Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process on takes to increase the visibility and “findability” of a website on a search engine through means that you don’t pay for – this traffic is frequently referred to as “natural” or “organic” results that are earned through the content and creation of your website.
SEO is what you need to do if you want your business to show up at the top of the first page of Google when people search for something related to your industry. For a specific locality, it is the way to ensure that the right people (i.e. the people who are going to use your services) can find you. If you are a local company, it doesn’t matter if someone from across the globe can find you.
If you show up anywhere other than the first page of a search engine, you won’t be able to gain business or sell products to your full potential.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO is a very complex subject that is constantly evolving, but in a nutshell SEO is all about one thing: you have to give Google what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. Why Google? Google makes billions of dollars in paid advertising each year simply by putting advertising on the tops and sides of the page – and why do they do that? Because everyone is using Google!
Google makes almost $200 million dollars per day, and much of that money comes from tiny ads near the top of the page. If you have a business that makes you billions of dollars in a year, you’d probably want to protect it. That is why Google continues to change and upgrade the way that they provide services to users.
So how does SEO matter to Google? Because it is used so that whenever someone uses Google to search for whatever it is they are looking for they find the most relevant, useful information possible. That’s how they stay on top as the most widely used search engine in the world – and why they don’t even have any formidable competitors.
Google uses over 200 factors to determine which websites should rank near the top of their pages. Google asks itself many questions to determine how “good” your website is and if it is the best fit for what people are looking for on a daily basis.
These questions can include:
- Is there useful, relevant content on the website?
- Is there any duplicate content on the website?
- Does the website provide real value to the user?
- Does the website load quickly?
- Is it easy to crawl?
- Are there hidden pages?
- Is the website secure?
- Are they using Google My Business?
- Are there reputable and relevant links pointing to the website?
- Are there title tags and meta descriptions in place?
- Do users stay on the website?
- Does the website look good on mobile?
- Are there relevant keywords?
- Does the website have a sitemap?
- Does it use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools?
- How old is the website?
- Are there social media ties?
These are just a few of the questions that SEO answers – if something is near the top of Google, you can be assured that the website is doing all of this and more. There aren’t even 20 items listed above, and there are more than 200 things that Google will look at to determine if your website is credible, relevant, and valuable to someone performing a search.
Sometimes, you can set up some of these items in just a few minutes. Other times, you have to get extremely involved and technical with your website. Some of them, you can do by yourself with little research. In other cases, you may need a developer, writer, or professional who is knowledgeable in SEO best practices and tactics.
What Are the Rules Of SEO?
If that explanation isn’t enough to give you a bit of an explanation as to why Tulsa Internet marketing SEO is such a challenging subject for many people to grasp, then hold on, because there is something even worse going on with SEO that you need to know about:
Nobody other than the tea of incredibly smart and savvy engineers near the top of Google know exactly what those factors are, what weight those factors are given, and when the formula will change. If anyone tells you that they do know EXACTLY what Google wants, you are being lied to in the worst way. Google changes the algorithm daily, sometimes more than once!
If this sounds like it is hard to do, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Most people don’t understand SEO, and that is part of the design from Google. It is difficult to rank for a reason: you want to provide people with the best possible value. There are a number of things that Google pushes to constantly stay on the cutting edge and continue to have as many visitors per day as they do.
Beware of “Black Hat SEO” where individuals will basically spam your page and ruin your reputation. These people trick Google into sending traffic to a specific page, because they know that this will make them a ton of money. However, Google eventually catches on and can even blacklist that website. Do not do this to your website! It is important to build a website that is safe and secure while still having relevant, useful content that people actually want to see.
How Can I Get SEO Then?
Well intentioned online and digital marketers, through testing and a lot of hard work and training, identify certain (perfectly principled) factors that help drive rankings, but over time the envelope gets pushed too far and Google pushes back. Guest blogging, meta descriptions, excessive use of keywords are just a few examples of what you can do. You do have to keep evolving over time, because Google continues to look for more and more.