SEO – What is it?

Chances are that, if you own a business, you have heard the term SEO, which stands for search engine optimization and it’s the process of optimizing your website for humans and search engines.

A potential visitor to your site sits down and types some words into the Google Search Box, and hits Enter. Google then presents them with a list of its recommendations of sites that they might like. Google’s main objective is to put in front of that viewer the best sites available. Google decides this by a set of criteria or an algorithm. That list is called the SERP – Seach Engine Results Page.

Some of those results are simply ads that have been paid for to get Google to recommend their site first. These are called inorganic results. The rest of the results are called organic. If you aren’t buying Google Adwords, this is where you’ll be. It’s very common for many people to simply ignore the sites that are paid ads because, well, they know who is paying for those ads, and they don’t want to be one of them.

There are two absolutes in Google SEO –

  • Google does not publish their algorithm – so no one knows exactly how they decide which sites to show.
  • Google is constantly changing and updating their algorithm.

That being said, there are sensible best practices to use when performing SEO on a website.

  1. Construct the site so that it’s easy for Google to read and figure out just what your site is all about.
  2. Make sure your site is shared on Social Media.
  3. Develop backlinks to your site – links that point back to your site from other sites.
  4. Write copy on your site that entices the visitor to hang around once they’ve gotten there. Google not only knows that a visitor has entered your site but where they went on it and how long they were there.

This list is far from all-inclusive, but it’s a great starting point.

SEO starts with keywords – the words or phrases that someone types into that search box. Initially, you have to decide what people are going to type there when you want to be in the SERP that Google presents to them. Then, of course, you want to be at or very near the top of that SERP. Some people have really short attention spans, and will only look at the top few. Others may have the false impression that – the higher up in the SERP means you are better at what you do. It doesn’t – it simply means you’re better at SEO. Still, that impression will always be there. 

We’ll help you figure out these keywords. There are tools available to give us some insight, but you may be the best source for keyword ideas. If you’ve been in business long enough, you probably have a pretty good idea what people would search for, and this would be a great starting point.

Then you might say, “Why not just fill your site with those keywords? I mean, the more the better, right?” Well, no. There’s actually a name for that – keyword stuffing – and Google considers it a ‘Black Hat’ technique. And yes, if you’ve ever watched an old western, ‘Black Hat’ means exactly what you think. Who said nerds don’t have a sense of humor?

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