We've recently had an increase in questions and concerns from our clients about SEO. For those of you who aren't familiar, SEO is Search Engine Optimization. SEO, in simple terms, is the process of influencing search engines to find your website. Why would you want this? To drive interest and potentially sales.
For example, if you own an Ice Cream shop in Alaska (& I can only assume this is a very competitive business in Alaska) you want to be at or near the top when someone Googles Ice Cream Shop in Alaska... Correct? Of course you do!
Achieving high rankings in search engine results is as desirable a goal as say, having your company featured on the cover of a popular magazine (20 years ago). In fact, there's an entire market for companies to offer services which focus on nothing but increasing your rankings through SEO.
Depending on the services offered, this method can be perfectly valid for your business. But know this: Google (and other search engines) can (and DO) change their algorithms FREQUENTLY. They do this to prevent search engine manipulation. They do this for YOU, the end-user, to give you the best, most relevant and valid content on the internet.
At the end of the day, there is one sure-fire way of increasing traffic to your website and subsequently improving search engine placement, site traffic, and sales – Give the search engine what it wants: Good, Relevant Content.
You should be updating your site frequently with good, quality content that people will want to read and share. Simple enough, right? To our surprise, this seems like the ultimate chore for so many people.
Think of your website as your storefront; the window that people peek through before they make the decision to walk in. The one chance you have to grab their attention. Would you let cobwebs and dust inhabit your storefront? Would you simply sit and forget your storefront? Of course not! Well, not if you want that foot traffic outside to come in!
Here are some ways that YOU can drive those search engine results:
Google's algorithm places a heavy weighting on the number of websites that are referencing (or linking back to) your website. These are backlinks or inbound links. Google's logic is simple: if other sites are referencing your site, then it must be a relevant and trusted site with relevant content.
Beware, though! Adding spammy backlinks from sites that aren't related to your site, just to get backlinks, can actually hurt your search engine rankings. This is what many so-called SEO companies do, so in effect clients are paying them to hurt their rankings.
The best way to utilize backlinking is by... you guessed it! Creating good content! Here are some ways:
Don't trust any SEO Professional or Agency that promises a #1 organic ranking. A #1 organic ranking is completely impossible to guarantee because there are so many external variables beyond the control of the SEO Professional, variables such as Google's always-changing algorithm and competitors' websites just to name a couple. Even Google won't guarantee your ranking, even if you're paying them for ads.
By understanding the technologies behind your website, you'll be able to gain more control over rankings and overall, your business!