Say your business is about to launch a new performance marketing campaign. Your focus is content marketing, and you have every confidence that you have the design and the content to make for wonderful results. Yet what is good does writing or graphics do if there's no audience to see it? The internet can sometimes seem like a vast expanse or void, swallowing content with little or no return. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is a great way to increase your chances of getting noticed on the web. What it is in plain English, is a way to give your site has the best possible chance of coming up on a search engine and being seen by potential viewers. Lets take a look at what Search Engine Optimization is and how it works.
There are two different sides to search engine optimization, onsite factors and offsite factors. Onsite factors are the factors you have control over personally on your site. Keywords, site content, and links to other sites are all good examples of onsite factors. Offsite factors basically include factors that effect your site from the outside. Social media, other people's sites, reviews, and directories are all good examples of offsite factors. As both onsite and offsite factors are essential to SEO lets take a minute to explore each one more in depth.
WHY ONSITE FACTORS MATTER
The way Google functions is by crawling the web (actually they have a "robot" to do that, Googlebot), and compiling an index of words from all of the information it sifts through. When someone searches for something, say cartoons from the 1940's for example, one of the ways Google comes up with results is by sifting through this huge index of words. This is why keywords are important. Without the proper keywords, someone searching for content related to your site could miss it entirely. Another onsite factor you can take advantage of are links to other peoples sites. This onsite factor has a bit more humanity. If you link to other people's sites, people will in turn link to yours. This is a sure fire way to grow your presence on the web and promote good content..
WHY OFFSITE FACTORS MATTER
Google does not judge a blog by the color of its page, but by the content of its character. It figures, the more sites that link to yours, the more important and relevant your site must be. Offsite factors are what gives your blog pagerank, or importance on the internet. If there are 15 websites about Persian Cats, but only one with multiple reviews and links hosted by other sites, Google will send the one with "credentials" to the top of the list. This good practice of promoting reputable sites is one of the things that has made Google a successful search engine.
HELPFUL TIPS ON GETTING NOTICED
1. Give thought to the words you choose. As mentioned earlier, if relevant words aren't there search engines won't be able to find them. Try to see inside of the mind of someone searching for your site. What would they type?
2. Make sure everything is in working order. Check for broken links and incorrect html. These things can lower your site's pagerank.
3. Consider hiring an a reputable Search Engine Optimizer. If you are too busy to take on the task of search engine optimization yourself (or just want a fresh perspective), hiring an outside optimizer can be a helpful way to improve your website's visibility. If you are considering this, Google recommends doing so when you first launch your site or when you are considering redesigning it. Outside SEOs can be a valuable ally in getting noticed, however beware of sites that use the following practices: the use of "doorway pages" or pages loaded with false keywords, the use of "shadow domains" or deceptive redirects, SEO's that operate with multiple aliases, sites that use viruses, malware, spyware, or scumware. Google frowns on these practices and they could lead to lowering your sites pagerank.
4. Submit your site to Google. There's no way Googlebot can miss you then!
5. Be a good neighbor. Posting links to relevant blogs, leaving comments on other people's sites, or posting relevant and complimentary subject matter are all good ways to get linkbacks and up your sites pagerank and visibility.
Anytime you understand how something works, you increase your chances of making it work for you, and the internet is no exception. With good Search Engine Optimization on your side you vastly increase your chances of getting out there and getting noticed on the web. Does the internet seem a little smaller all of a sudden?
Elana can be reached with questions or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org