Updated: Jan 24
Search Engine Optimization - what is it and why is it important?
In simple terms, SEO means that your website is optimized to show on results that are searched for in search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other web search website.
When people type in things like "best photographer near me".... the search engine searches the web for the best fitting websites to respond to your search.
How do I make my website come up first in search engines?
So there is no cut and dry answer or process to make sure your website comes up first. You have to think about ALLLL the hundreds of thousands of related websites across the internet that can come up in those searches. Each website that is listed, comes up based on several different aspects. One of the biggest one is popularity. The most popular, most clicked on and most used website will come up first vs a website that was just built. BUT there are ways to build your website up to those standards, so that Google and other search engines will show your website within the first few results! :-)
So how does SEO really work?
Search engines like Google, use crawling bots, to crawl webpages to search for relative information. When they find all the relative information, they show your webpage in the search results.
There are a few different types of SEO that the crawling bots look for:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Niche SEO
These are things that the bots crawl through on your actual pages.
Keywords in your content, your headers, alt image texts and content.
If the bots can easily crawl through your website without reaching so many dead ends, it's a win! They report back to Google that this website is legit and relevant to the search!
So how do I make sure my on-page SEO is correct and crawl able?
This is where it comes in handy to have some kind of professional involved to help you with this. Its a science haha! You want your keywords to be in order as the bots crawl. So in your site title, that grabs the attention of the bots. Then you want the right keywords in your headers, and in the first few sentences of your homepage opening paragraphs... then flowing to your other pages and so on. The key here, is the right keywords based on your business and the right flow and order of those keywords.
You also want to make sure your website index and site map is crawl able. Meaning, all of your pages link together in a way that makes sense. You want everything webbed together but not confusing. If you have so many pages that are dead ends, that aren't linked well and too many pathways to follow to get to other pages.... those bots get lost and report back to Google that this website is trash.
You also don't want any dead or broken pages! If the bots end up on too many broken pages, they report back to Google that your website is broken.
With all of that considered, your webpages coding is important! If your layouts and coding are unorganized, too junky and not coded correctly with broken codes and links... those bots report back to Google that this website is trash. It's broken and no performing correctly.
So to wrap up on-page SEO...
This is where hiring a professional website designer ,like myself :-).... is important!
We know the flow your website needs to have, the proper coding and we consider SEO when building your website and pages! Once Google determines that your website is trash because it is too hard to crawl, broken or not relevant... it forgets it!
Off-page SEO is mainly about backlinks. Backlinks are links to your website that are listed on other websites. So affiliate links, blog posts that link your website, advertisements, facebook posts... anything that contains a link to your website. When Google bots crawl the web, they look for websites that are also back linked. To the bots, this tells Google that your website must be pretty popular if everyone is talking about it and linking to your website. The more backlinks, the more popular, the better reputation you have and the more relevant your website sounds!
So how do I get more backlinks?
This is when getting out there and talking with other related businesses and blog writers comes into play. Marketing yourself and/or your business.
Reach out the blog writers, asking if they will add a link to your website on a blog post they wrote about; your websites can benefit them and help provide the needed information in their blog post. For example... you find a blog post about photography back drops. The writer talks about their favorite ones and other places to find good priced backdrops... reach out to the writer, telling them that your business sell photography back drops and that they can add a link to their blog post for their viewers if they'd like. Majority of the time, the blog writer wouldn't mind doing this for you because it adds to their content, adds a backlink for them as well and it makes their blog look more legit with more affiliates. (You can use those reasons when negotiating this with the blog writer. You're welcome!) :-)
Don be discouraged if you either don't hear back from the blog writer or they say no. Honestly, it's their loss because this benefits them also!
You can also be sure to get your friends to share your facebook and instagram posts that link to your website.
Link your website to any and everything possible!
You can also reach out to other businesses and offer affiliate links. You advertise me, I advertise you; kind of thing.
A popular thing, but harder to achieve thing, is to be ranked on those "Top 10 best websites for..." webpages/blogs. If you can get the writer to list your business on their ranked lists... this is a huge plus! Especially if this website/blog is popular and has many readers! This acts as good advertisements AND good back linking.
Off-page SEO is basically about your popularity across the web and your reputation. Clearly, if your website is linked to other websites that state your website is trash and a scam... that lowers your SEO.
Off-page SEO wrap up...
You want your website linked on as many other websites as possible. You want those crawling bots to report back to Google that your website is legit, popular and relevant!
Niche SEO is all about being relevant in your niche or business field. Make sure your business stays on topic and doesn't try to venture out into too many different niches. Sticking to ONE niche is important and really makes a difference in how you attract visitors and clients.
So when someone searches for a specific niche, if your business is within that niche and matches it almost perfectly... your website will come up within the first page (of course, considering the other SEO elements I just discussed. If Google things your website is trash, it still will not come up in search results; so keep that in mind)
So just make sure you stay within your niche, don't try ti handle so many different topics and niches all at once. Stick with one and master that one!
Toxins refer to manipulative coding, scams and fake websites. If your coding purposely manipulates your viewers into clicking on something that leads to a fake website or scam page, Google knows and it WILL not show your website in search results. Google knows when your links only our websites do not lead to where they claim to lead. For example, you create a button on your page that says "click here to view..." and in facts it just leads the viewer to a webpage to enter in bank info... obvious scam and a lie; Google knows!
So just be honest and don't try to trick people into clicking on ads, buttons, buying things or subscriptions! Be the good, honest person I know you are :-)
SEO wrap up and highlights...
Search Engine Optimization = SEO
Make sure your website is "crawl able" by Google bots, by making sure your website has a good indexed site map, no broken pages or dead ends, relevant key words in your headers, titles and content.
Make sure your website has a good flow; everything links together without a bunch of dead ends.
Get as many backlinks as possible! Affiliate links and blog post links. The more your website is shared across the web, the better!
Don't create manipulative content and codes
Have extra questions? Leave them in the comments below!