These words are enough to paralyze the average website owner nowadays, especially if they’re just beginning their foray into the digital melee that is the modern day inter-webs. If you’re trying to figure out the difference between Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird & the like, you probably have a good idea what you’re doing with website SEO already but for the rest of us, I’d like to talk for a bit about what makes a particular site rank better than competitor sites in very simplistic terms for the rest of this blog post.
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization which is simply working to get the best organic (free) exposure for your site possible. Industry experts such as Perry Marshall or Stu Atkins caution that website owners should use a combination of SEO strategy as well as paid advertising & we fully agree with them on this but the long-term goal for website owners is for their site to become a household name among their target audience. There are plenty of SEO “experts” that promise they can get you amazing first page search results instantly but this is simply untrue. In the case of website SEO, horse sense is really what needs to win the day – if someone’s claims sound simply too good to be true, they probably are.
So what, Jeff? You still haven’t explained what website SEO is!
Alright, alright, alright – essentially good website SEO is producing relevant content that you want your site to be known for & creating a web of traffic from other sites into your own site. A perfect example would be this post. The odds are pretty high that you found the post on social media & followed the link to read the article. Search engines track where traffic comes from & goes to, how long the visitor spends on any given page, link locations, etc. & they use that in conjunction with what their algorithm thinks the page is actually about to determine how high quality the page is & how highly ranked the page should be in a given set of search results. This post should rank fairly well whenever someone searches on website SEO related terms but it won’t rank well at all if someone searches on tactical nuclear warfare – nor should it.
So I can just list a lot of terms that I want my site to be found for & that will help my SEO? Awesome!
Slow your role, there, Neo. When you understand that the main reason that search engines, primarily Google, make algorithm changes is to make their search results more relevant & of a higher quality AND that the algorithms are adjusted hundreds of times per year by really smart people who are very good at their jobs, it seems kind of silly to assume that they wouldn’t anticipate this kind of approach, doesn’t it? Keyword-stuffing is actually a big no-no in the kingdom of SEOlandia & will get your website thrown into the exile of poor search results pretty quick.
Good website SEO requires you to be very deliberate about what you do with your site & requires that you produce content that your audience finds compelling & useful most of all. Besides, if a website owner tries to gimmick people, it tends to come through – people can sense that & they don’t appreciate it, so they leave & tell others not to go to that site. That’s the wrong kind of word of mouth advertising that you definitely don’t want for your website.
- Be genuine, helpful, & help solve the client’s problems & your word of mouth will be stellar.
- Write better blog posts that your readers appreciate & find useful & carefully plan the SEO for each post & your overall website SEO will improve over time, making your site a household name in the right circles.
That’s what we want, right? To be known in the right circles because honestly, while tactical nukes are interesting, they’re pretty frightening & we’d much rather be found & well known by men & women in business that need help with their business.