SEO: The Most Important Acronym For Your Website
In an article titled, “What is SEO and How It Works for Small Businesses in 2020,” on LyfeMarketing.com that was published on July 8, 2020, the author – listed as Sherman – said “SEO…is the process of optimizing your website to get organic, or un-paid, traffic from the search engine results page.”
“In other words, making certain changes to your website design and content that make your site more attractive to a search engine,” Sherman said.
Some of the big search engines out there are Google, Bing, and still holding on, Yahoo.
For the sake of keeping things simple, this blog will focus on Google.
When you do an internet search, you type a phrase or combination of words into the Google search box and click submit. A listing of websites and blurbs from each one is presented on the next page. The idea behind SEO is to show up as close to the top as possible to catch the eyes of the people searching for information.
“Search engine optimization is the process that organizations go through to help make sure that their site ranks high in the search engines for relevant keywords and phrases,” Sherman said.
Words matter when it comes to Google combing through websites, but so do many other things. In addition to words, the titles matter. When a page is created, <title> title tags </tag> and what appears between the tags are picked up by Google. So are links on pages.
A few years ago, I had a contact at a dealership who wanted me to create SEO-friendly pages consisting of massive blocks of text and links. A page was created for each new model of a vehicle that was coming out the following year. For example, a page was created for Volkswagen Passat and it consisted of text explaining why this car was so great. It also had links that went to pages that listed features, specifications, and pricing. There were also links that allowed visitors to check a dealer’s inventory and schedule a test drive, just to name a few.
Rather than list a long link in the text, we used <a href…>click here to test drive a Volkswagen Passat</a> because the words associated with the links were just as important as the links themselves.
Something else the Google “crawlers” look for is fresh and engaging content to update its searches with. If a developer is posting fresh content, the sites reputation goes up and Google crawlers keep checking back.
By updating content, utilizing links, choosing words wisely and making sure titles are relevant, a developer could use this organic approach to appear higher up in search engines, therefore improving the site’s search engine optimization.
The alternative is to spend money to appear toward the top of the page, which many companies and organizations do.
Let us look at an example of a Google search that pulls content both from organic approaches and paid approaches.
First go to Google.com, then type “2020 Volkswagen Passat” in the search bar.
The very first link to appear is an advertisement placement that Volkswagen paid for to appear at the top of the search.
The next link is more than likely an organic listing, as it does not display “Ad” next to it.
When you scroll down the page, you notice sites like Edmunds, Cars.com, and Motortrend.com. These have pages that are SEO friendly. After clicking on the Edmunds.com link, a page loads that is specifically about the VW Passat.
The page has a ton of links as well as text that search engines gobble up. In addition to the links and text, the site is also constantly updated with new content, so Google goes back, and often.
Going back to the paid listing from VW, though, it almost seems like a waste of advertising dollars, especially since the very next item is the same site. At the same time, VW is a multibillion-dollar company that can spend that type of money to ensure they are first. For smaller companies, a beginning approach may be to just see what they can do with a few simple organic tweak to the text and links on their sites.