It has become easy and cheap to build a new website. Billions of businesses around the world along with governments, private organizations, and individual blogs are all over the internet.
So, your website is up on the internet, looking good, but no one can find it!!
How do you get visitors?
You need Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get people looking for your products or services to find you on the internet.
Search engines are like libraries. People come to them to inquire about a book on a certain topic, product, or service. If they get the wrong books, they will lose faith in that search engine and use another one.
Reputation as a consistently reliable source of information is what keeps search engines in business. Google has maintained the best reputation and that is why it is twice as popular as Yahoo or Bing. In order to maintain this good reputation Google routinely looks at every website and ranks them.
How do Search Engines rank websites?
Every search engine has its own priorities for ranking websites, but the rules are the same. Spiders (also known as search bots) crawl though your website’s coding to determine whether this is a good or bad website. They grade every website and award points for good website structure, on site optimization, relevant links from other websites offering similar services, good relevant content text and usage of keywords. There are 30 different things that a spider looks for in a website giving good grades when done properly and poor grades when done poorly.
You want search engines to think you have a good website in relation to your keywords and the relevant information and content to them. A bad website will never be ranked and no one will find it by typing in its keywords into search engines.
So, what can SEO do for your website?
SEO involves the reconfiguration of your website so its structure, look, feel, and content are easily understood by the search engines spiders. Your website must become pleasing to the search engine spider in order for it to be well ranked for your main keywords. A poorly structured website will always be poorly ranked by the search engines.
Keywords are important too. Using the right keywords to describe your business is essential. Some people wrongly think that if they just use the most popular searched terms as their keywords, they will bring in visitors. A keyword like “money” is searched by hundreds of thousands of people around the world every day. But, if you Google the word “money” you will see that Google has indexed 4 Billion 360 million (4,360,000,000) web pages. To get into the first page of Google searches for “money” means you must be better ranked than 4 Billion 359 Million and 999 Thousand and 990 competitors. Using the keywords “make money fast” brings up 152 Million web pages indexed by Google. Which keyword gives you the better odds for a higher ranking with Google?
Many websites offer local products and services that do not require worldwide or even countrywide searches. The keyword phrase “used cars” would not work for a car dealer based in New York City. A better keyword would be “used cars new York City”. Researching for the best keywords is really all about guessing what the general public will type into a search engine to find your products or services.
Links from other websites to yours measures the popularity of your website. But, just having many links will not help you because Google and the other search engines may see your website as a spammer and penalize you. What you want are websites with good Google rankings whose products or services are relevant to yours. The used car dealer will get better grades from Google if all of his incoming links are coming from car manufacturers, other car dealers, car parts stores, auto mechanics, automobile organizations, driving schools, etc.
A big mistake new websites do is to buy links from brokers. This is called “link farms” where thousands of incoming links are purchased from the farmer who created them. All of these links will be irrelevant to your website’s subject matter. Google looks at the domain name URL’s of these links and if it sees they are coming from the same source, the website gets penalized and possible banned from being included in its search engine.
Popularity within the internet community by having social network sites and relevant product and services websites linking to yours gets high grades from Google.
To summarize, SEO is about ensuring your website is structurally sound allowing the search engine spiders to crawl around freely while understanding the text and what products or services you are offering and recognizing how popular your site is with other relevant websites.