It’s the feeling of people noticing your hard work, caring about your opinions or simply finding out there are others who are on the same wavelength as you. As people, we will always care about getting noticed from our coworkers at work, our family at home and when going out in public. For business, getting noticed is the sign of potential growth and connections with future customers or clients. Every year, business spend billions of dollars on advertising alone just to reach out to people’s interest. Even with a brand new website, this can be especially tricky for much smaller businesses who are still struggling to get recognized. Just having a presence online is not enough to get your business in the first results. In order to get noticed by more people online, search engines need be able to tell read your website as well. This is where Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.) comes into play.
Google can help you
Let’s say you’re looking for a local dentist’s office, like most people you will be most likely to reach out Google to help you find it. Google’s search engine then looks for websites with the words “local dentist office” and sends it back in order of what it believes to be the most relevant and reliable source it has access to. In its early years, Google’s search engine based its results on how many links a site was redirected back to. This made it easy for rigging the system with dummy websites that a company could pay to get top result. Today, Google uses a much more complex algorithm to keep things in check with over 200 different factors. Only a handful of these factors are accessible for public viewing. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll keep it short by only covering the basic idea of how to utilize S.E.O.
Here are some of the factors that affect SEO
Google’s search engine keeps an order of all the websites through a ranking system. To influence this rank, we have to look at the kind of factors it recognizes. Some influences include how long the website has been up, the safety of the website, how often it is updated, the consistency of the content and so forth. This process is conducted by google’s search engine bots to determine this factor, ranging from 1-10 with ten being the highest. Out of the lowest rank of 1, only 2% of websites are within the rank of 9. From here on, each rank makes up only 2% of the last rank. Reaching out of the lowest rank alone is an accomplishment as your business will show up more often than most of your competition. Higher ranks mean higher traffic, but traffic alone isn’t enough to push your towards the top.
A website is an assortment of content that the user puts in relation to the purpose of the website. The content can include videos, images, text and so forth. We can view a picture or video and describe what we witnessed. For the automated bots (spiders or crawlers as they are know) that search engines use, they can only read the content in the form of text. They not only read a website’s text but the pictures, videos and links. These bots can read the information put on a website’s images by looking at the names and alternative text associated with the images. It’s up to the user how to best decide what to name and tag images as so that the bots connect the content with the purpose of the website. Even optimizing urls can benefit bots and visitors by making them easier to read and understand based on the content of the page. Relevancy is key, your content must be consistent, easy to understand and should be easy to put together as to what your website is. LinksA single website alone can not do the job of having multiple connections with other sites. Social media is a strong factor in keeping your site updated and accessible through S.E.O. A search engine can also read a website’s links and the content associated with that link. Having links to Facebook, Twitter, Linkdin or any other external sites with your business’s association will improve your ranking. This goes along with being active in social media by interacting with customers and gaining their trust, the more interactive you are the more likely you’ll get linked back to your website. Linking to other related sites can also be beneficial for both you and the website you are linking to. A graphic design website would benefit from linking to other graphic design related sites that talk about what’s popular or what software to use. This also can apply when partnering up with businesses to help each other out by linking to each others site. Another benefit is the kind of words are used in your hyperlinks, so let’s say I tell you to click here but not tell you where it goes. Search engines look at the exact text is highlighted and see if it relates back to your content such as a link to an adorable kitten.
Your reputation is another considerable factor when being ranked. This can include spam, pop-ups, negative comments associated with your website, and so on. If your traffic immediately backs out of your website, your search result takes a hit from Google’s search engine. This can be due to a shoddy website, being an unrelated search result or even being unsecured. This can be resolved through an encryption based website such a Cloud Flare or Let’s Encrypt. An encrypted website verifies that you own it and that has a level of security that prevents other people and bots from accessing your website. You also always want to keep things consistent and relevant. The search engine prefers that your content be clear and straightforward without trying to disguise it as something else. Basically, you want to stay secured and be trustworthy to both your viewers and Google. There are many more factors to cover, but this covers the general idea of how S.E.O works. In general, being clear, consistent, secured and organized with your content will help improve your website’s ranking and reputation with your potential clients. A website is more than just a pretty picture, it is the essence of your business and how you want people to see you.