SEO, or search engine optimization, is an ongoing, ever-evolving multi-faceted process that basically aims to put your business’ website at the top of a Google search. Everyone can understand the importance of being at the top of a list and arguably, this is in fact the purpose of SEO.
The SEO Process – It’s Google’s world, we just live in it.
What Not to Do
To achieve a high ranking on a Google search you first have to acknowledge and accept the fact that it is Google who has the final say in where you appear in any given search result. Yes, there are other search engines but at this point it is pretty much an established fact that Google has dominated the search engine industry. Once you have accepted this you must then understand that Google is a commercial entity and can operate its own services however it deems appropriate.
Take into consideration this example: one way to achieve a good SEO score is to use pre-defined “keywords”. Choosing appropriate keywords that pertain to your business or service then repeating them throughout your website content is a pretty good idea in terms of SEO. Of course, creating entire pages covered header to footer with nothing but your keyword is a bad idea. Google will recognize that you are trying to cheat its system and will punish you harshly for it. Emphasize the word harshly.
How harshly? The story goes that one such SEO expert – who will remain unnamed – tried to abuse the keyword system by putting his keyword text in the same color as the background of his website and filled his page with them. The idea being that customers visiting the site wouldn’t notice but Google would pick up that the website was full of keywords and put him right at the top of the search list.
The exact opposite happened.
Google recognized that he was abusing the keyword system and penalized his website’s ranking. Google reduced his authority in search engine results so drastically that he inevitably had to shut down the website for good and start over despite repeatedly emailing unanswered apologies to Google service representatives.
The moral of the story being, don’t mess with Google. No, they are not heartless corporate brutes, but if you try to cheat their system they will find out and they will punish you for it.
What You Should Do
Understanding how to communicate yourself to Google is one logical step in achieving a high ranking. There is a language of sorts that is used by Google and it changes as often as internet technology, which is almost every single day. To keep up with it SEO experts have to utilize certain resources, such as the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, which is currently the go-to for any WordPress developer who wants their website to be in, at least, passable form when presenting itself to Google.
The way that Google is able to monitor and evaluate websites is with its web crawler. This also identifies another facet of the SEO process, Off-Page SEO. Google’s web crawlers regularly search the internet, following the links between websites it already knows to new websites that are linking to and from them. Once a new website is discovered it is cataloged based on how it is structured. Websites that are well structured not only know the updated language that Google uses to read them, but are also designed to run smoothly from a technical standpoint and from a user experience standpoint.
And at this point, things get complicated because there are four or five separate blogs that could cover all this information and more. Essentially, the process of SEO is elaborate even if the official end-result – being on “page-one” of a Google search – may seem very straight forward.
Does SEO Really Matter?
You may be saying, “Hey! I’m a local business and I have a solid, established customer base and I’m not so insecure about how or where my business shows up when someone searches for my service online,” so it would make sense that you may not want to invest time or money into SEO for your business. Of course to look at it from the sole perspective that you are performing this elaborate routine entirely for the purpose of appearing above your competitor when a potential client or customer searches for your service online then you may be omitting many of the valuable “side effects” of the SEO process.
The SEO process is essentially a highly-focused online marketing campaign. Like many mountain climbers say, more often than not, that people who pay guides to take them to the top of Mount Everest aren’t really mountain climbers. They just want to stand on the tallest point on the planet. They are missing the point. The point of mountain climbing is climbing mountains, not just the bragging rights for getting to the final destination. The similar could be said about the process of search engine optimization for your online presence.
Remember the Google web crawler that searches the internet looking for new links? The way to create those links is to promote your business on social media and interacting with those online who have similar interests or knowledge about your services. You can do this by promoting an upcoming event you have planned or blog about the decades of knowledge you have acquired just doing what you do. In this modern information-age you should probably be doing that anyway.
If you already are blogging and promoting yourself online, you are already on the right track. You have already begun to dedicate yourself to completing a large part of the process of SEO. So why not go all the way? Why not support what you are already doing the right way? It only makes sense take advantage of every possible resource at your disposal to help your business and SEO help is as close as your keyboard.
Pro SEO Tips
- If you want to keep up to date with the ever evolving language that Google uses to determine how it ranks websites check out the Weekly SEO Recap provided by Yoast founder and SEO guru Joost de Valk here: https://yoast.com/weekly-seo-recap-2016-7/ As mentioned earlier, Yoast is the go-to source for all things SEO related and their founder is a veritable fountain of useful information.
- Write a blog! Just start writing something and putting it up there. Generating content for your website on a regular basis is all part of that climb toward the top of your Google search. If you aren’t a writer or not sure how to begin, then write about how you aren’t a writer and you aren’t sure how to begin writing a blog. Then post it. For more information about generating content for your first blog post you can read my personal blog post about Getting Started Generating Content for SEO. It’s light on the technical jargon and heavy on the laughs, so no pressure either way.
- Hire SEO Experts: Experts like us here at Valley Digital Services. Whether you already have an online presence that you want to promote or need to get started you can contact us anytime. Fill out the form on our Contact Us page and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss what we can do for your business online.
If you liked this blog post check back with us for more updates in the future providing useful tips and tricks to stay ahead of the curve with Google. Find us on Facebook and Google + and share your questions, thoughts or ideas with us! We’d love to hear from you!