Search Engine Optimization = Getting Found
Search engine optimization. Most people get it, few people understand it. Business know they need it, few businesses actually invest in it.
So what makes SEO such a mythical and often misunderstood online marketing method?
Well for starters, any acronym on the web is going to intimidate anyone except those who are tech-savvy web terms, and/or geeks. Look at RSS – it still solicits dear-in-headlights looks from people. The web could do away with a lot of these acronyms to make it more accessible.
Second, saying search engine optimization is a bit of a mouthful. And by that very nature, it sounds complicated. But it really isn’t.
Want to know what SEO really boils down to? Here it is in two words: Getting Found. And for the sake of simplicity, that’s how I’ll refer to SEO for the rest of this article.
That’s all there is to it. Search engine optimization is all about getting your web site found in search engines – Google, Yahoo, Bing, and elsewhere.
So How do you Get Found?
Really, there’s just two really importance factors that go into Getting Found.
Factor #1 – On-page and domain elements. Essentially, everything to do with your website itself.
Factor #2 – Off-page – has everything to do with everything outside your website.
Those are really the only Two factors you ever need to concern yourself with Getting Found.
Let’s look those two in closer detail:
On Page Factors
Back in the old days, Google cared solely about meta data. ie. Data that describes your site.
Titles, description tags, keywords, etc. Is this still a factor? Yes, but not as much as you might think. Google looks at something like 100 different factors in ranking your site. You could go nuts in figuring them all out.
Just stick to the basics. Because on-page factors still count and it’s what you can most control. Remember, just have relevant keywords in your body, headings, and meta information. That’s it. Things like domain age matter too – but we’re mostly concerned with things that we can control, not what we can’t.
Off Page Factors
Off page page factors are pretty simple too – it’s all about inbound links, ie. links that point to your website.
Not just any links though. Google wants to make sure that these links that point to your site are from reputable sources and are sources related to your website. A site about web design, that gets links from other sites about web design, will in turn be rewarded with better ranking in Google.
And that’s why quantity doesn’t matter as much as quality. There’s plenty of business web sites out there that outrank those with tens of thousands of backlinks. Why? Because they clearly are a site that is the best and most relevant result that Google has deemed appropriate for the keyed-in search term.
How to get backlinks? There’s no single method. Content generation is very popular now for getting backlinks, because it says to Google that information on the web exists that is relevant to your business. And it’s considered “white hat” in the sense that it’s not considered spammy. Relevant articles, press releases or blog posts can be posted in various places on the web with links embedded that lead to your site. Remember, its not always about the traffic that link gets, its about the “authority” that the site gives you when you get a link.
Another thing to remember is that Getting Found takes time, sometimes 6 months or longer (depending on how competitive your search keywords are). Most companies I work with usually do not see results until after 2-3 months of starting a campaign. This is because Getting Found is an organic approach that has to approached naturally and with small steps, taken day by day, over a period of several months to truly see results. The reasons for this are several: 1) Google has to update its index, which takes time. 2) A fast rise in search engine can getting a website flagged by Google and deindexed. Do this and kiss your traffic Goodbye.
The safest route to success is a steady, proactive and purposeful approach to getting found using the strategies outlined.
Questions? Send me email or leave a comment below.