What is SEO?

If you’re a webmaster or have a business with a website, you probably hear the term “SEO” all the time. But what is it? SEO, or search engine optimization, is the way that people attempt to improve their search engine rankings. Studies have shown that the higher a webpage shows on a search result, the more likely people are to visit it. This is why SEO is so critical to the success of a website, especially one that is an online storefront.

Now that you know what SEO does, let us look at how it works. There are three main parts of SEO: keyword content, backlinking and bounce rate. Keyword content gets the most time in the spotlight, but backlinking and bounce rate are equally important in Google’s eyes. That said, quality keyword content can generate the backlinking and bounce rate you’re looking for anyway. So that you can understand the way each part works, here’s a breakdown of all three.

Keyword Content

Keyword content is simply updating your page with information or posts that frequently use a keyword combination. For example, if your website sells cat food, you’d want to have keyword content for keywords like “cat food,” “cat food that reduces hairballs,” “cat food for kittens” and the like. Depending on who you speak with, the keyword use percentage lies between 2 and 5 percent. Most content runs between 300 to 500 words, but can range wildly depending on the subject.

Keyword content is less about volume of words, and more about content. A few years ago, people could simply create pages that listed the same keywords over and over, literally hundreds or thousands of times. Google decided they did not want these types of pages to be rewarded with high search engine ranking, so they have retooled the way that pages are ranked, and they have become very quality conscious.

To begin with, there are a variety of tools that can measure the readability and approximate grade level that a content is written at. Keyword content that is gibberish is immediately downgraded according to Google’s quality scores. Additionally, if content shows up repeatedly throughout a website, that’s also going to lower your quality score. That only applies to content though; having your contact information on every page of your site will not count against you.

Finally, you need to frequently update your site with new keyword content. Google give’s top ranking to the “freshest” or most recently updated websites, so to stay on top, you need to post regular updates.


Another way that Google measures the quality of your website is by looking at how many other websites link to yours. If there are a large number of websites that link to yours, the search engine assumes your website is high quality according to their standards.

This includes both links to your main page and articles that are posted on your website, which is another reason that quality content is crucial. Few websites will link back to an article that is nonsense or is pointless, but good information will get links no matter where it is found.

Another reason that backlinking is important is few people are really using it. Keyword content is at the forefront of most people’s SEO initiatives, and if your website focuses on link exchanges and promoting articles on your website, you have an advantage that other websites in your market do not.

Read more about backlinking – Link Building Strategies.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the number of visitors you receive that leave your website within seconds of arriving divided by your total number of visitors. If your website has a high bounce rate, Google will assume your content is low quality. This means that no matter how much keyword content you have, if your bounce rate is high, your search engine ranking will suffer.

The way to keep from having a detrimental bounce rate goes back to the importance of quality key word content. If your keyword content has nothing to do with your key words, or if your content is poorly written and hard to understand, people will leave immediately. However, high bounce rates are reasonably easy to avoid. It is as simple as creating keyword content that relates to the keyword and has solid information on the keyword your content relates to.