What is SEO?
For those of you who don’t know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This means that you want to optimize your site for the way that search engines will see it. Sounds simple enough right? Well it is really, but it takes time. In fact, a new website, using the proper techniques, will take a good 3 – 6 months to be recognized by the search engines.
How Does it Work?
The search engines, basically Google, Bing and Yahoo, use what are called algorithms to find and rate sites.
They look for things like the following:
- match content to searches
- quality content that answers searchers questions
- sites that are mobile and desktop friendly
- page titles that are pertinent to content
- links that are relative and not spammy
- amount of traffic to the site
- time spent by each visitor
- bounce rate
Do You Want to Rank #1 on Google?
Of course, you do! We all do. That’s why we need to learn how to build our sites to reflect what they are looking for. It makes perfect sense really. Google, and the others, have clients searching their databases for information. They want to make sure that the results they return on any search are the most relevant to what their client is looking for. In order to do that, they review websites for well written, legitimate content that answers questions.
We’ve touched on some of the items listed above in previous Steps but let’s have a look at each criterion.
We’ve already spoken about writing content and doing it in such a way that you’re speaking to your reader as if they were sitting in front of you having a conversation.
No need to try to fill our pages with fancy words that half your readers may not understand. We’re not here to impress anyone with our language skills. The intent of our content should be to help, to answer questions, or provide options.
The way we make our content relevant to searches is by using the keywords. Keywords throughout your page but not in excess will lead the search engines your way.
When the search engines look at our content, it is very easy to determine the sites that spam their way through a page with content that means basically nothing. We don’t want to tell our readers that there are several options and leave it at that. We want to explain what all of the options are and how one compares to another. The more detail you can give, the more of an authority you become in the eyes of the search engines and your readers.
Mobile and Desktop Friendly
Years ago, this was never an issue but these days everyone is on a cell phone or tablet. If they come across your site while on their phone, you want to ensure that the site appears correctly. This is done in the choosing of your site theme. The themes will be developed to be mobile friendly. Most themes now are, but there are still some that had not addressed the issue at time of development.
Page Titles and Links
It should go without saying that your title needs to represent what your content will be about. We want to make sure we don’t go rambling off topic and start discussing something that has nothing to do with what we originally started writing about. That’s a biggy for me. One train of thought leads to another and next thing ya know….
We haven’t as yet discussed adding links and that will be our next Step in this series. However, I will say here that the links we do add also need to be relevant to at least the particular page if not the entire site. Inserting links that are not relevant are viewed as spam and a way to fill your site with money making options.
Traffic and Experience
The other thing the search engines look for is how much traffic you are getting to your site and are people spending time on your site. If your visitors are landing on your page and moving on, they have not found what they are looking for. The search engines will then be less likely to move you up in the rankings.
As you can see, all of these elements come together to form the bigger picture. Making sure we address each of them is the best way to succeed. It does take time. You will not be recognized as an authority site overnight. In the beginning, your content is the most important aspect of your site. The more content you write using keywords, the more quickly you will be recognized and ranked. Once we start to see the traffic and the rankings, we write more content! Keep the flow going and keep those visitors coming.
It’s kind of crazy, that it wasn’t all that long ago, that I had no idea what SEO was. Don’t be overwhelmed. It all comes together with time and learning!
As always, comments or questions are welcomed below.