SEO: Feed the Beast
So you’ve built this beautiful new website, you launch it and then you wait eagerly for traffic. You even decide to search for yourself. You type in the obvious search terms for your business, click and the results are in! Wait, your business is not in the results. You click page 2, still nothing. Finally, there you are on page 4. What gives!?
What kind of animal is a Search Engine?
The Search Engine is a beast that is able to sift through huge amounts of data with lightening speed and determine which web pages are the most relevant and in what order to serve them to the searcher. It is always searching for its “favorite food” using algorithms to determine rank and relevancy.
How do you feed a Search Engine?
Basically, how do you get a Search Engine to choose your website pages when someone is searching? There are two areas of influence: Onsite and Offsite
- Onsite is the content and infrastructure of your website. These are things you can control. Some of the key things the Search Engine looks for are:
- Natural keywords and phrases that are popular and make sense in the content of your site.
- New content that represents current hot topics or information of interest within your industry. A blog or news page is a good way to keep fresh content on your site.
- The ease of navigation and the structure of your website. Is it structured to be responsive, meaning will it adjust itself for ease of use on mobile devices?
- Offsite is the value placed on your website by other websites and resources. Many of these things are out of your control but a few that you can influence are:
- Ensuring that you have an active, high quality presence on social media that links back to your website. Make sure you use relevant keywords and phrases in your posts that are part of your website content. Make sure all of your profile information is consistent on every site. Having a fully populated Google+ page (including reviews) is of particular value when it comes to the map listings on Google searches.
- The inclusion of reference links to other respected industry-related websites and the cultivation of high quality in-coming links to your website. The search engine views a link from other websites to yours as a vote of confidence or trust.
- Citations or non-linking references to your business with consistent contact information to increase the positive perception of your website’s value. Online directory listings or listings on referral sites and local chamber websites are a good place to start.
Following basic search engine optimization fundamentals will help position your website to be found in the upper search results. Remember, search rank changes don’t happen overnight. Be patient and persistent, but if it all seem too much seek the help of an experienced SEO professional.
By Erica Thomas
Vice President, Media Director
Marketing Strategies, Inc