Last updated: February 6, 2018 at 11:28 am
Let’s say John wants to find a good car rental company in Miami. He fires up google and types in “car rental company in Miami.” Let’s say there are 100 websites which deal with car rental companies in Miami. Which website will show up first and why? Which website will show up last in the 100 list, and why?
Millions of people all over the world are building websites to sell a product or service, or showcase their company. What happens when you type in a search term in a search engine? What determines which website appears first and which appears second, third or fourth in the search engine results? What guidelines can you follow when building your website and putting on content to help the search engines rank it for a particular keyword? Remember that the search engines are software programs, not humans, so they can’t discriminate. They look for certain qualities both in the written content and coding of your website to determine if to rank it for a particular keyword. Search Engine Optimization Experts understand what the search engines look for and know how to tweak a webpage so that a search engine will be more likely to rank it for the desired keyword. The art and science of tweaking a website or webpage so that a search engine is more likely to rank it for a particular keyword or keywords is called Search Engine Optimization.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a hot topic, for good reasons. The world is going more and more online every day, and search engines are the core of it all. The internet is often dubbed “the world at your fingertips,” and search engines make this happen. Nowadays, when you want to find out about something, you just “type in” what you’re looking for in a search engine such as “Google” or “Yahoo” and bop, the answer pops up.
For this reason, individuals and companies are scrambling to make sure their websites and specifically, their pages show up FIRST for a particular search term, or terms. The art and science of making your pages show up first in the major search engines, is called “search engine optimization.”
You could be the best writer or have the best product, but if it doesn’t turn up in the search engine results, you won’t be doing much business. Of course, you could do something called “pay-per-click advertising,” but the truth is, pay-per-click advertising is costly, and on top of that, people tend to “trust” natural search results much more than ads at the side.
This just builds a greater case for search engine optimization. It is no wonder then, that there are so many “Search Engine Optimization Companies” and “Search Engine Optimization Consultants” popping up all over the place. These companies and individuals claim that they know how to get your website ranking first place, or second place, or first five or ten in the search engines.
Indeed, individuals and businesses pay out billions of dollars annually to Search Engine Optimization firms and individuals to help put their pages on top of the search engine results for a given search term, or terms.
Here are some key truths when it comes to Search Engine Optimization:
- There is no silver bullet. Don’t trust companies or software that promise “thousands of links back to your website.” These are most likely spam links and will give you bad rapport with the search engines.
- Build your site naturally. Search engines were designed to detect earnest, hard work. If you build your site with “black hat techniques” for search engines, not only will it compromise the quality of your site, but the search engines will also detect this and push it downwards, if not block it completely.
- Keep your pages updated regularly. Search engines are skilled at detecting regularly updated pages, and this signals to the search engine that your content is fresh and current, and also that you are a webmaster who is serious about your work.
- Link pages internally. One page should link to another in your site, and this should be done naturally to create a sort of spider web on your site. Isn’t that what search engines are all about? Yes! They are called “search engine spiders” for good reason. The software that searches your site and determines where it lands for a particular keyword is called a “search engine spider.”
- Link to quality external site. This hints to the search engine spider that you care about your audience by providing them with additional high quality information.
- Have quality sites link back to you. Some sites, especially the spammy ones, are likely to get your site down in the search engines. Get back links only from very high quality sites. And for this reason, don’t trust companies or software which promises “thousands of back links instantly.”
It really “pays to know” about this subject if you plan to work online, so I’ll be spinning some high quality articles on the subject here. Have a good time and do learn something.
Please note that it might not be feasible to do Search Engine Optimization for all types of websites. Sometimes it may be more financially sound to use alternative techniques such as radio, television, newspapers, etc to advertise a website.