Having a glamorously looking website, does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with a well-performing website. In fact, we have seen the “Mercedes-Benz” class of websites that perform poorly and Google barely even knows it’s there – much less the audience it was built for. On the flip side, we have seen very “Plain Jane” websites perform amazingly well because all the SEO basics were covered. Perhaps, you have a mix of both.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Compared to traditional marketing strategies, SEO is still the baby in the room – so don’t worry if you don’t know much about it – most business people don’t. That’s exactly why we’ve prepared this article for you.
SEO is basically the techniques used to encourage your website up the ranks of search engine pages so people on the internet can find your site. There are many tricks in the bag – most that you can do yourself, others you may want to hire out for. This article is designed to guide you through some of that process.
Whether you have a “Mercedes-Benz” or a “Plain Jane” website, or something in the middle, hopefully you will find a nugget of value here.
As much as I would love that this term referred to a particular type of golf course, sadly it does not. “Links” in SEO terms refers to the hyperlinks in other websites that point to a page on yours – and vice versa. The links in other sites are “incoming external links” and your links to other pages are “outgoing external links”. For simplicity, we’ll just call these “external links”. In case you’re wondering, the links in your pages pointing to other pages in your domain are considered “internal links”. The important thing for you to understand is that there are different kinds of links, and search engines know which ones are which.
Links are vitally important to SEO for this one very simple reason: If your site has lots of external links then it must be very important! A person can safely conclude then, that the more “external” links you have, the better your site will rank.
This is why most SEO companies hang their hat on this concept: Link Building. A time consuming process available to all web savvy marketers that includes the dry and tedious task of adding links to websites.
Buyer beware! Google and other search engines prefer “natural” link building (and only they know what natural means). Too many new links may deem your site a scam and they may exclude you. Get your site to show up on a link farm, and they may block you completely! Add lots of relevant links naturally and you’ll be good as tops!
Scary word, we know. Sounds like something a dermatologist would remove by laser. Fortunately, this word will get you feeling like an insider with your website. MetaTags are the fancy programming under the covers of your website that search engine robots look for. Robots?! Yup, every search engine searches your site by way of automated robots. They are the machines we wish to fancy and dazzle.
Like most robots, search engine robots can only do what they are pre-programmed to do. Understanding their “formulas” for thinking is what lets us have the ability to encourage them to have favor with your site and list it where potential visitors can find it – near the top of a search engine page!
Notice we didn’t say “the top” but rather “near the top”. Ranking #1 or #2 for a set of keywords has been proven to not have as high a conversion rate as ranking #3 or #4.
Here’s why. Most people who click on site 1 or 2 when researching something and become educated by those sites. So, when they make it to site 3 or later, they are an educated visitor and ready to convert! Ranking for 1 or 2, especially for competitive keywords may take months or years to accomplish – buyer beware of anybody promising anything less!
So, there you have it! SEO in a nutshell. Links + Tags = Ranking Properly improve one or the other (or both) and your ranking will improve. There’s other tricks in the bag, like video marketing, social media marketing and other cool toys that will give your ranking a boost – but these basics should get you off to a good start.