This is the first part of a multi part series where we are going to dive into the fundamentals of marketing your business on the internet. There is a lot of misinformation going around, and it it’s a full time job just to sort out the good from the bad. Fortunately, I’m here to break it all down for you in plain English.
Here at Dr. PayPerClick we don’t specialize in SEO, but we recognize its importance in modern business. For those that aren’t sure, SEO refers to search engine optimization. In a nutshell, SEO is the process by which your website climbs in the search engine rankings. This is not so easily achieved in practice. Getting that coveted #1 spot can be difficult and require a lengthy campaign. To see why, let’s take a look at what goes into ranking a website. For simplicity, let’s just use Google as an example, but know that the information here applies to Bing and Yahoo as well.
What Is a Search Engine Anyway?
To get an idea of how search engines rank websites, we have to know something about what a search engine is and how it operates. Simply put, a search engine is a giant referral machine that connects content consumers with content providers. In this case, content can be anything from a blog post, a wiki article, or a local business trying to sell its products and services.
Google knows that if you don’t get the answer to your question enough times, then you’re not going to come back to their search engine. This means that Google has a strong interest in making sure the content you receive is accurate and answers your question. How does it do this?
According to the SEO authority Moz, a number of factors go into ranking a website. Among these is the authority of the domain (the .com), which is measured as a function of the number of incoming links, as well as the on page use of keywords, quality of content, and social media links.
How Does SEO Work?
Once we know the factors that go into how Google ranks a website, we can make some educated statements about how to climb in the rankings. By far, the most beneficial thing is generating inbound links from trusted websites. This can mean getting a short press release on the local news website, or doing some guest content in your area of expertise at another website. The reason this works is that Google knows that if other reputable websites link to yours then the chances are high that your website has quality information.
Keywords also play a big role in the rankings of your website. Keywords are what Google looks at to determine the relevance of your content to the search query. For example, if you search for “where can I get the best pizza in Phoenix”, that is your search query. The keywords might be “best pizza in Phoenix”. Google can make the connection between the keyword and the search query and serve up the right website to help our hungry searcher.
You might think that stuffing keywords into your webpage would help your rankings. This would be incorrect, and it would have the opposite effect. Google is smart enough to know when you’re trying to game the system. The keywords should appear once or twice on the page, but any more than that is dicey. This plays into the quality of your content. Just write informative text that is long enough to convey the point and not stuffed with keywords just for their own sake.
Finally, we live in a world increasingly dependent on social media. Google is smart enough to know that if you link up your Facebook and other social media sites to your main page, you’re probably a legitimate business. This is only a small part of the rankings, but it’s essentially free and should always be something you do.
In part 2, I’m going to cover how to keep your SEO guy honest. There are many out there that will attempt to game Google’s algorithms and do lasting damage to your business in the process. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make sure this doesn’t happen. They are free and only take a little of your time. I’m going to show you how in the next post, so stay tuned!
If you have any questions, just drop me a line. I’m always happy to help!