10 Things to Know about SEO | Search Engine Optimization
Picture this. You are walking the beautiful streets of Italy. You are looking for a bite to eat. You speak only Italian you’ve seen on menus and must rely on your GPS for direction to the most authentic Italian restaurant. Chances are you’ll venture to the first place listed. You may even decide that the first four places don’t have what you want and end up eating at the fifth. The reality is, with your stomach growling, you may simply settle for whatever is closest to you, whether it’s the first restaurant or the fifth.
Google is your phone book, your phone-a-friend, and your Dewey Decimal System. Google’s job is to return content for searches. They simply want to give you the right answer to your search at the right time, and its all based on math, pure and simple.
Google sells one thing: relevance. Google must see your site content as relevant to the terms people are searching.
Your website is a destination and Google is the map. In order to attract visitors you must update what you are offering regularly and be listed first or at least above the fold – think newspaper. The best way to do this is through search engine optimization— SEO, for short.
What is SEO?
A Google search defines SEO as “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.” The results are also called the SERPs, Search Engine Results Pages.
“10 Things I wish I knew when I started my SEO journey”
The above definition is partially true: SEO isn’t about getting as many visitors as possible; it is about getting the RIGHT visitors who are most likely to take the action you desire.
Updated Content: Out of date content becomes quickly irrelevant to searchers. In the past few months, a major retailer, Futureshop and Target have closed and Heinz has merged with Kraft. It only takes an instant for up-to-date content to become outdated.
Backlinking: The “worldwide web” truly is exactly that: a web. If your website is one corner of the web, backlinking extends it to other corners. A backlink is when the URL to your website is linked to another website. This can be done through a comment or hyperlink on a blog. The number and quality of backlinks give social proof of your importance on the web.
Blogging: Blogging is one of the best SEO tactics. Why? The use of a single phrase or keyword in a blog makes it more likely that the URL will have a higher ranking on Google.
Google Keyword Planner: This simple tool is good for discovering what kind of keywords your visitors are searching for. Simply enter in one word or phrase associated with your site and Google will recommend other similar words and show you the volume of searches for those words.
Social Media: All of these things mentioned are ideal in combination with social media. Social media allows for the creation of backlinks, keeps your content up to date, provides the ideal place for blogs to be shared and all of this further exposes and integrates keywords.
Google Algorithm: Google’s algorithm is the math behind the search engine rankings. It is a calculation of hundreds or thousands of bits of information about your website, your competitors, and are then corrected, re-released periodically and regularly determine what tactics work best to achieve best-rated and valued content. An example of this is Panda 4.0, Google’s algorithm specifically designed to prevent sites with poor content. In 2014, Panda 4.0 de-ranked the value of press releases for SEO, causing PR Newswire to decrease in rank by 63%.
Monitor Your Help: There are many companies offering SEO help. It is important to verify the results they claim to achieve. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Peril of Shortcuts: These SEO tips are simple enough but moderation is key. Google algorithms can detect any attempts at shortcuts or spam that were intended to increase the ranking of your website. The penalty for these attempts can be a Google software robot kicking your site into de-ranked oblivion. So…. last but not least:
Slow and Steady: SEO is not a one hundred-metre dash. SEO is a lengthy process that requires patience and ongoing attention in order to achieve sustainable results. Those willing to endure the process will experience a strong return on investment, an ROI of active visitors.
Need some help in Search Engine Optimization? Got your own SEO story to tell? We would love to hear from you.
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