Does your head explode every time you hear phrases like “search engine optimization”, or “optimizing your website content”, or just plain old “SEO”? If you’re nodding your head like an excited dog then don’t hit the back button. We know you’re tempted to – you’ve probably read through a couple of “what is SEO?” articles already today and given up hope of finding an answer that makes sense – but stick with us. Our goal is to provide you information on what SEO is and how it’ll help rank your website higher in search engines.
SEO or search engine optimization is the simple process that ensures your website can be found by users in search engines, using keywords and phrases related to what your website is offering. This is achieved by creating great content – stuffed with keywords and phrases – for your website. You can do this yourself or by hiring a copywriter experienced in writing website content for SEO.
Search engines – such as Google – display websites that they deem to be authoritative and relevant. Relevance is measured by analyzing the page content – the words on your website – and authority is measured by the amount and quality of relevant links linked to your website pages – this one is a little trickier, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Now, this much we do know and anyone else that tells you otherwise, run away screaming – no, not really. But Google isn’t prepared to give away all their secrets – how their algorithms work for ranking websites in search engines – otherwise we’d all be doing it. Besides, Google, and the other search engines, want to make you work hard for that top spot.
For search engines to be able to analyze your website content, you first of all need content – relevant and great content - but you can’t just write anything. It needs to contain 3 elements:
At what point did you put your hand on your head and start rubbing your temples? It was the “keywords and phrases” section right? We thought so. The keywords and phrases are related to what your website offers. If you’re a web design agency – like us! – the keywords and phrases are “web design” and “web development”, and words related to other possible services, such as “online marketing”, and “SEO”.
Search engines also like websites that are updated frequently with fresh content. This tells Google that your website is active, and will help to keep your website ranked higher. However, this does not mean you have to rewrite your content everyday, week, or month - although you should at least tweak it every so often and give it a good overhaul once a year.
However, there are ways of generating new content on a monthly basis without needing to consistently touch your website content. Blogs or “blogging” is a great way to update your website, and prove your website is active. Every new blog post you write becomes a part of your website, which tells the search engine your website is active. If you write a blog post once a week , that’s 52 new pages of content a year! And for SEO, that’s awesome!
If you thought generating great content was a headache, then generating links to your website is, like we mentioned earlier, trickier. And unfortunately it all comes down to content once again. To get other websites to link to your website, you need great content - such as the content on your website, writing blog posts, or publishing articles related to your industry. Other websites, if they like what they read, will then link to your website. Essentially, it’s quite a straight-forward concept, but it takes time. Don’t think for one minute it’ll happen overnight.
Whatever you do, don’t confuse quality with quantity - 15 high quality links from relevant sources easily outweigh 1000 low quality links. There are instances where “SEO Specialists” sell you on the fact that they can generate a 1000 quality links. If they do that, politely decline their offer and walk away. Chances are they are spammers, and for you that could be detrimental for your website.
If there’s one thing that you don’t want is to get blacklisted by Google - being blacklisted from anything is bad - but if Google blacklists you, then say goodbye to your website being searchable in Google.