Posted by Curtis | Posted in
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a topic that is often made to be more complicated than it really needs to be. Yes, there are some tips, tricks, and advanced techniques that you can learn along the way, but your initial SEO work can be broken down in to a simple step by step process.
SEO is 10% preparation and 90% perspiration. Once you have your initial plan down, it just comes down to doing the work–and it does take some work. However it’s worth the effort, and ultimately you will profit from the targeted free traffic to your website.
How Does A Search Engine Rank Websites?
The idea of a search engine is to provide users with relevant content based on what they are searching for. It wouldn’t make much sense if the search engines provided content that didn’t match up to what we were searching for. If this were the case, no-one would ever use the search engines – they would be useless.
With this in mind, one of the core strategies of a search engine is to ensure that users get the most relevant results possible. Since there is no way that a human can go through every website on the Internet, the search engines use programs called robots or “bots” that search and analyze websites to find the most relevant websites for each search term.
Once it finds websites that are relevant for a search term, it ranks them by importance. Therefore, SEO in its simplest form is about making your website as relevant and as important as possible for your desired search terms. On-page SEO, which is optimizing the pages on your own website, is all about making your website as relevant as possible. Off-page SEO, which is any optimization you do that is not on your own website is all about making your website as important as possible.
Your First Goal: Make Your Website As Relevant As Possible For Each One Of Your Desired Search Terms.
The more relevant a search engine deems a website, the higher up it places it in the search engine results. Most of the time, getting a higher rank in the search engine results will mean more traffic for you. Therefore, it is in your best interest to make your website as relevant to the search engines as you can.
Of course we only want to be relevant for search terms that we think will bring targeted people to our website. There would be little point in getting people to website that are looking for knitting designs if your website is about baseball (unless you are somehow redirecting them to a web page about knitting designs).
Another word for a search term is ‘keyword’. Keywords are the search terms that you type into the search bar. “Cheap Red Roses” is an example of a keyword.
How Does The Search Engine Determine If One Website Is More Relevant Than The Other?
Asking this question is equivalent to asking: How can I optimize my website for the search engines? What you are really trying to do with On-page SEO is to make your website look as relevant as possible for each targeted keyword that you find. The better you get at making your website appear more relevant to the search engines, the higher you will rank in the search results, and the more traffic you will get.
The search engines take many things into consideration when determining the relevance of a website for a specific keyword. This process of choosing relevant keywords is often referred to as the ‘algorithm’. No-one knows exactly all the things they take into consideration and that is why SEO is highly debated topic. The search engines also like to change up the formula they use to choose relevant websites, so it can be important to stay up to date with the latest changes.
Your Second Goal: Make Your Website As Important As Possible For Each One Of Your Desired Search Terms.
The more important the search engines think your website is for a specific search term, the higher it will rank in the search results. Put yourself in the position of the search engines. Your job is to figure out the best web pages to send people to for each specific keyword. It’s not that easy when you think about it, is it?
That is why we want to use SEO – to help the search engines figure out the best results (which includes our own website of course ). We use on-page optimization to make sure all our web pages are as relevant as possible, then we use off-page optimization to show them that our web page is also the most important for that keyword. This is mainly done by getting other websites to link back to your website using the desired keyword in the link. When a lot of websites (especially high quality websites) link back to your web page for a keyword – the search engines will see your web page as important and rank you higher for it.
The Step By Step Process To Getting High Ranking In The Search Engines:
Even though the exact search algorithm is unknown, we do know some steps that will help get your website to the top of the search engines for specific keywords. Through research, analyzation, and testing we have discovered specific actions that will make your website more relevant to the search engines and in turn help you rank higher for your keywords. Here is the outline of the basic process:
- Gather profitable keywords
- Create a keyword optimized web page
- Get keyword anchored links back to your web page
That’s it. Of course there are nuances within each of these steps, but this is the basic outline of what you want to do. Don’t worry about all the advanced strategies and little tricks right now. If you just follow this 3 step plan on a routine basis, you will get more traffic to your website.
Doing The Work – Executing The Step By Step Process:
Now that you know the process, it really just comes down to doing the work. Someone needs to do these things on a consistent basis for your website. Either you can do all the work yourself or you can outsource the work to someone else for fairly cheap.
It can take a little time for your website to rank high especially for keywords with higher competition (more people trying to rank high for it). But, if you follow these steps every day, you will see a change in your website rankings.
Now that we know the big picture of what we are trying to do with SEO, I will break down what you need to do for each step in the process. By the end of this series, you will have a full blueprint for getting free search engine traffic to your website. Next week, I will start with the first step “Gather profitable keywords”.