Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of articles about ways to get more visibility for your website, but there is one thing that ties it all together…SEO. We must ask ourselves one question, what is the real meaning of SEO?
In this article, we’ll attempt to get a deeper understanding of SEO, mainly because I haven’t seen enough people teach it the right way. Due to my web developer background I’ve had over 15 years, along with A LOT of websites, to understand SEO so I consider my understanding to be the right one.
Breaking down SEO
To begin, what is this term SEO that we keep talking about? Well, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. You probably already knew that much, but if that’s all you know about it then you are missing the big picture and the big picture is the key to success with it. So, let’s begin by breaking it down into segments:
Search – This might be the most obvious one and doesn’t require too much explanation. Basically, do people search online? How do they go about searching?
Engine – The engine is the thing that drives it all. If we combine this with search we get Search Engine. A search engine is a tool for running searches, and since they are so specialized for this task, this is how most online searches are performed. The biggest example of a search engine is Google!
Optimization – The meaning of optimization is the best result, and in search engine terms, an ordered best result. For example, in Google, when you type in a search term the results given back are an optimized list of results that best apply to your query.
You might be wondering why I mention Google so much and not other search engines. The reason is that Google is the most used search engine and it gives the best and most relevant results. If you were to compare Google to Bing, Yahoo, or any other search engine you can think of, it gets a lot more people browsing while not looking particularly fancy. This is due to a relationship of trust and amazing results that Google has with its users.
One big thing to keep in mind is that the SE, and more specifically the O, is constantly going on behind the scenes. When you perform a search you are given a set of results for that point in time. If you were to do that same search at a later date, it is very likely that your shown results will be different from your previous search. Some websites might be in a slightly different position in the list, or some might have disappeared completely! This is directly a result of the constant, never ending, optimization Google’s engine is doing. So does this mean that there is no stability in webpage rankings? No! There are a number of ways to keep stable rankings on Google, you just need to know what they like and what they are looking for on each site.
When it comes to SEO, what do you need to do?
The answer to that is fairly simple. You do what Google likes. So what is it that Google likes? They want to make their users happy! It’s the users that drive Google to continually evolve and self-optimize. Without its users, there would be no reason for Google to provide the services that it does.
Wait! Say again?!
If the main goal of Google is to provide users with the most relevant results, or websites, based on what people are searching for, then as a website owner that makes it YOUR main goal to ensure your website is the most relevant it can be for Google to find it.
Relevancy can be applied to many things, for example, ads, conversions, website layouts, etc., but this time we are only interested in SEO. Relevancy in SEO means that you build your website so when people type a keyword phrase in a search engine, as long as your website has the best information or the best answer for that keyword, it will show up higher in the results.
Here’s an example:
Let’s imagine you have a content rich website with a lot of very long articles, containing thousands of words, on how to grow a garden. In this case, Google would view your website as the better option to have ranked higher than a website that only sells gardening supplies and services, content that contains only a few hundred words.
You see, by delivering as much information as possible on your website you are adding to the relevancy of your website. This is something that Google really takes seriously when considering whether or not your site is good enough to be ranked high.
On a side note, another good way to get higher positioning is if you target long tailed keywords with lower competition.
Determining whether you will be successful with SEO
Age of the website
With a new site, there isn’t really a reputation established with Google. Because of this, it will take time for any new website to change into a site that Google will trust. Basically, the older the site, the better. Fortunately, it isn’t that big of a deal in terms of getting first page.
New content and current content
If you were to compare a big news website which has a lot of new content getting posted to it daily to a personal website that gets new content a few times a week, which website will hold greater weight? The news website will, of course, and for this reason when competing for keywords we don’t pick ones that compete with big, well established sites. That’s just the way it is, since our sites will most likely never reach the content level of those kinds of sites, and that’s ok! The websites you are going to compete against be as big, so with the amount of content you are posting, you can beat them. While you might not beat them all, just remember that the internet is extremely large and there is more than enough room for you to easily compete, get high rankings, and drive lots of traffic to your site.
Social media shares
Social media is important because when your content gets shared it shows Google that people like it. If you remember, this goes back to what I was saying earlier about Google. Google wants to appease the users who using their search engine. The fact that your content is producing happy users makes Google notice and smile upon you. 🙂
Kind of falling in the same boat as social media, if people are taking the time to leave you a comment on an article that you wrote, Google views that article as being important. While not every comment on your site might be positive (Hey, it happens.), the fact is all comments are important pieces of a blog and SEO. Also, as a bonus, they count as content!
High-quality content, or Relevancy
One extremely important thing to remember is quality. While you might have thousands of articles posted on your website, if they aren’t meeting the standard that people expect, it won’t be viewed by Google as being a high-quality site. You must be producing content that people will comment on, read through, and share. These are the actions that turn your site from being an average website to being an authority website. Becoming an authority site means you have done all that is necessary to have success.
Remember, your main goal is to try and appease people. Don’t worry about focusing your content on the search engines because they are already busy trying to do the same thing. By focusing on visitors you make it easier for the search engines, and as a reward for your services they will love your website. Here’s a site I recommend to get training on creating your own successful SEO site!
Hopefully my explanation of SEO cleared some things up for you. If you have any additional questions or comment, please feel free to leave them here and I will be more than happy to respond! 🙂