Understanding the SEO Process

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is a process of creating or editing information for a website in order to achieve the highest rankings possible for your subject.  Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo want to ensure that when they rank a particular webpage for a particular subject that the link they offer to the person searching is the best match for what is being searched. In order for search engines to make sure that their customers are getting the best search results, there are several indicators these search engines consider and look for.  While these items are very extensive and the search engine’s algorithms are very complex, the indicators search engines are looking for are actually very simple. These indicators can be summarized into these five categories:

  1. Does the content on the page match what the user is searching for?
  2. Do other websites consider your website the authority on the subject?
  3. Are there other people talking about your website and sharing the information with others?
  4. Are people spending time on the website once they click on a search result?
  5. Where are people located in relation to the business who owns the website?

While search engine algorithms very complex the five factors mentioned above are a good way to generalize what these search engines are looking for.  These five indicators are a good way for search engines to know if your website is the best choice to show in the top rankings for a particular search or search phrase. Let’s now look at each general category in more detail.

1) In order to ensure that your website matches what the users are searching for, there are a few things we want to include on a particular page in your website.  These are proper meta tags, alt tags, h tags, and relevant page copy.  In a nutshell, this means we want tag a particular webpage to have information relevant to what people are looking for and to make sure that search engines know this.  

2) When other websites that include the same subject matter your site contains link to your site it shows search engines that your page is an authority on the subject matter being presented.  It’s like having a plumber refer you to another plumber, or a doctor refer you to another doctor.  When you have links to your website from other sites that don’t cover the same subject matter, it’s not very effective.  That would be like a doctor referring you to a plumber.   Some of the best websites to have link to you are the top 10 online directories like, Yahoo, Yelp, Google+, Super Pages etc.  These sites are good sites to have link to your website because they are known by search engines to be fairly reliable as providing accurate information.  In other words, if Yelp points to your carpet cleaning website and indicates that you are a carpet cleaning company Google can be fairly certain that Yelp is correct based on passed history. There are other blogs and directories that you can link from, but not all of them are good to be linked from and some hurt your rankings rather than help them.  

3) Social media pages like Facebook pages are a good way for Google and other search engines to see if other people are talking about your website.  If you have a carpet cleaning website and people on Facebook are talking about carpet cleaning and mention your website as a good site about carpet cleaning, then Google will also feel more confident in showing your website for the search carpet cleaning.  Search engines will crawl other social media sites like Twitter and Google+ to see if people are talking about your website too.  The more people that are talking about your site as an authority on a particular subject the better for your business and for your search rankings.  

4) Search engines like Google will monitor how long people stay on your website once someone clicks on a search ranking result.  Google does this so that if too many people click on a link from Google, visit your website, and then leave in just a few seconds Google will know that the page they sent that person to, may not have been the best match.  Google knows that if someone clicks on a link from Google and then stays on your website for a while then the search listing must have been a good match. So when you create a page about a particular subject, you will want to make it interesting enough that people will stay on the page longer to let Google know the information on your site is good information.  

5) Search engines will look for your business page as it appears on Yelp, Yahoo, Google+ and others to find the location of your business.  Based on where your business is located, search engines like Google are more likely to show your business in the top rankings when people close to your business search for your services.  You may also have your address listed on your website so search engines know where your business is using the address on your website too.   Summary When you are working with a Search Engine Optimization specialist, their main objective is to make your website the best it can be relative to the search terms people are using to find it.  It’s also important to make sure that the page is interesting so people will stick around and read what you have to say.   These types of fixes, changes, content additions and more that SEO specialists do is intended to help their clients get top rankings.  However, these website adjustments take time to create and it also takes time for other people to start talking about your services on social sites and sharing your information with others.   Search engine optimization is not the only online marketing tool available though. You can also pay for ads via pay per click campaigns, write press releases, and more.  At WMS, we will help you anyway we can to help your site reach more people and rank better, but as always we can never guarantee first page rank. All we can do is do our best using the strategies we know work, and hope Google and other search engines partner with us to give us the results we all want.