“SEO” stands for “Search Engine Optimisation” and is the process of tweaking or optimising your website for the purpose of ranking better in Search Engines such as Google and Bing.
Nobody knows the exact methods that Google uses to serve up results to people doing searches but Google tries to provide someone doing a Google search with the links that Google thinks they’ll find the most relevant and useful.
The goal of SEO is to convince Google that your website is important, trustworthy and relevant (for a particular search term or terms).
If you read up a little on SEO you might find the terms “Black Hat” and “White Hat” floating around. “Black Hat” SEO methods are SEO methods which are trying to trick Google into thinking that your website is more important, trustworthy or relevant than it really is. Black Hat methods often work in the short term but Google are constantly refining and tweaking their ranking methods and will quickly penalise (or even ban entirely) websites which appear to have gained their ranking undeservedly.
Visitors tend to want to visit sites that are important or popular. Pages are assigned a “Page Rank” which is used to rank how important Google thinks a given page is. This is closely tied to the number (and quality) of links which point to you. If a lot of other websites are linking through to your website, you can think of those links as “Votes” for your website. Links from highly ranked pages are themselves more valuable.
Do: Approach your suppliers or dealers and ask them to link to your website
Don’t: Piss off your customers in the hopes that they’ll link to you through negative reviews.
I’ve mentioned that lots of websites linking through to your website increases your ranking, but before you go and sign up for a “link farm” (a website whose only purpose is to link to people, with the goal of increasing the destination websites’ page rank) you’ll need to know that links from important websites will help you appear more important but links from untrustworthy sources are worse than useless – they can actually hurt your ranking!
Some SEO companies will encourage you to hide text on your website by making it the same (or similar) colour to the background, or by using other means to hide text from the eyes of your visitors and only show it to search engines. They may also try redirecting your website. There are innumerable “tricks” they can use but remember: Google knows most of these underhand tricks by now and the ones it doesn’t know it soon will. You might get short term gain by employing nefarious SEO techniques but sooner or later you’ll be penalised (or banned) from Google results for them.
Before your potential visitor can see your listing in Google they’ll need to do a web search: what do your customers search for?
A goal of SEO is to establish which search terms your customers or potential customers search for and then ensuring that your website is optimised for those terms. Make sure that the words your customers use are the same ones you use on your website.
By ensuring that your website is and is seen to be important and trustworthy, your website should appear higher in the rankings when one of your potential customers performs a search which is relevant to your business, products or services.
The actions that you perform on or for your website in order to increase your importance, trustworthiness and relevance in the eyes of Google (and other search engines) are called Search Engine Optimisation.
Got a question about SEO? Ask us in the comments section below.
Did you know?
90% of search engine users will click on a result in the first 3 pages of search engine rankings. What page is your business on?
SEO can be overwhelming and time consuming work. If you need help with SEO, check out Web123’s Affordable SEO Packages for small business. Web123’s SEO Services will bring more business to your website. It’s that simple.