Search Engine Optimization for Dummies
One of the biggest mysteries of the digital marketing world is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Today we will take you through a couple of the different aspects of SEO in hopes that you will better understand what it is all about.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is a very simple concept. Basically, SEO is the series of the steps taken to help you rank better on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). If someone is looking for a roofer, one of the ways they could find one is by going to a major search engine (Google or Bing) and typing in “roofers” or “roofers in Chicago.” As a roofing company in Chicago, you want to ensure that your name pops up on the first page of available roofers and what is shown is a compelling sales pitch for your company. The concept is simple but the mystery arises in the steps to get there.
Looking Your Best for the Search Engines
As of January 2014, there were roughly 861,379,000 registered domain names. It is nearly impossible to see how many websites that translates to, but whatever the number, there are a whole lot of them. It then becomes a very difficult job for Google to go through all these websites and make some sense of it all. If you chip in a little, the search engines will appreciate that and give you a little support. How do you do this? The first step is to go through your site and make sure that the coding is easy for the search engines to read. Chances are, unless you are a web designer, you cannot do this alone but it is a critical step.
Once your site is coded to include appropriate page titles and meta descriptions, there are few other things you need to do on the technical side. One of the most important is to make sure you have an accurately built site map loaded on your server. This is another step that really needs to be taken care of by a web designer.
TIP – If you are having a website built for you, it is best practice to ensure that these steps are being completed as part of the build. Be sure to ask your website.
Create Valuable Content
This is one of the most critical steps to being found on search engines. Search engines prefer a site with a lot of content over a simple brochure website or landing page. The more pages you create WITH VALUABLE CONTENT, the better you will rank in the SERPs.
Tell the Search Engines About You
The major search engines have tools that allow webmasters to submit websites and sitemaps for indexing. Be sure to take advantage of these. The two most popular are Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools. These tools will also go through your website looking for problems and provide you with a report on what needs to be fixed.
Tell Others About You
Search Engines will rank sites that are most to the top of the list so the more people that refer to you, the better off you are. This is a process called Link Building. Now this is somewhere you have to be very careful. There are a lot of sketchy business that will provide links to your business, however, if one of the search engines sees that you are using questionable methods, you will be penalized. This is something you do not want to have happen to your site because recovering is very difficult.
The proper way to do this is to create legitimate links to your site. Here are a few ways to get legitimate links.
- Submit your website to as many search engines as possible
- Submit your website to as many industry directories as possible
- Embrace social media and provide links back to content on your site
- Create good content and provide links from other blogs to your content
SEO is truly an art but is also an ongoing process. As an art, you have to learn the approaches and creatively apply them to your site. As a process, it is something that takes time. It is not a one-time, “set it and forget it” task.
The staff at Boxless Media are all trained in SEO so that everything we do is done with the search engine in mind. Contact us today if you are not doing well in the search engines.