Despite what you’ve heard, search engine optimization is not magic. It’s not even super complicated. Actually, it is quite simple. For the win, remember Google’s goal: provide search results that are the most relevant to the person conducting the search.
Doing it right, however, takes work. That means that you have to do the fundamentals well, and do them repeatedly — as in, weekly.
Seriously. It’s that simple. What would Google do?
Like you, Google needs to win and they do that by retaining eyeballs (or any number of pre-dotcom-bubble-burst terms you want to use). They need visitors to search, and search, and search, and search. In the search results, they sell ads. These ads are clicked on and this, dear reader, is how Google makes money. That, in turn, makes the shareholders happy.
Thus, Google’s number one goal with search results is to provide the most relevant search results to the visitor. The easier it is for people to find the information they are looking for, the more they use Google to search for information. Your content needs to convince Google (or Bing, or Yahoo, whichever) that your website is relevant to the terms their users are searching.
So how do you set your site up for SEO success? Here are some fundamentals to get you started.
- Make sure the information on your site is relevant to what is being searched. For example, if you’re a financial services company, you’ll want to use that term in your content.
- Refresh the existing copy on your site by including your SEO terms.
- Add new and relevant content frequently and on a regular basis. Google rewards sites that are updated consistently because their customers want the latest information for their search results.
- Collaborate with other sites relevant to the search topic to add links to your site and vice-versa. (Bonus for linking with sites that have new and relevant content too).
- Adhere to Google’s guidelines for tagging content.
- Make sure each page has a unique title and URL. (Sounds obvious but you’d be surprised)
- Provide a unique page description in your site’s meta tags (see #5 above).
Already accomplished a few of these? Then you’re well on your way to winning. While there are additional items to consider, addressing these SEO basics — a.k.a. thinking like Google — provides a solid step to a winning approach.
Help Google Help You
Ready for the next level? Check out their Webmaster Tools. Let the industry giant of search tell you what technical & code items should be fixed. Also, find out how you currently rank for terms it deems to be related. And grab some best practices while you are there.
It is not complicated. But it does take effort. You need to do the fundamentals well, and do them each and every week. When it comes to SEO, think like Google for the win.