Ah, the elusive SEO! Many people scratch their heads at this topic but to be perfectly honest, it’s less complicated than it might seem to be. We’re going to break this topic down into a few digestible pieces so that you can get the most out of the information I want to share.

  • An introduction to SEO
  • Keyword Research
  • On page Optimization
  • Site promotion
  • Measuring and Tracking your Results

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Lets start with the obvious; What is SEO?SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is the sum of the methods and techniques used to have Search Engines like Google or Bing show your website within the top results for certain words that are relevant for your business.

Simply put… it’s what is needed in order to get your website to show up when someone looks for your type of business using a search engine.

Why is SEO important?

A website without visitors is like a hockey game without fans! Awesome on it’s own, but seriously what’s the point?

Learning about, and performing routine SEO related tasks for your website will not only make it easier for your customers to find you, if done right, it can put your business in front of many more future clients.

How does SEO work?

Have you heard of the term “Search Algorithms”? It’s a computer science term that is defined as: a series of operations that are specific to finding an item with specific properties among a collection of items.

Search Engines use search algorithms in order to display the “most relevant” website for the terms used in the search. Google itself defines their algorithm as a series of “unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to guess what you might really be looking for.”

Example: if you were searching for a new computer online you might type “new computer” into Google in hopes of finding a deal or information on a computer you could buy. Google would take that search term “new computer” and look for websites that use those keywords, as well as take into consideration your geographical location, the language of your browser, and then it will display in order of “page rank”, the websites that it thinks would be the best match for what you are looking for.

Cool, huh?

Learning about the operations used within the Google Algorithm will allow you to modify your site content to display your website higher up on the Search…  just don’t try and exploit it. The algorithm also includes spam checkers!

White Hat SEO

Anything that is “white hat” in the online space is something that has been done legitimately and not done to “trick” a system into doing what we want them to do. It is important to use “white hat” SEO because Search Algorithms are always changing removing and adding equations that limit the display of websites that shouldn’t be in the top 10.

Understand that Google and Bing make their money by being the best search engine available. They need to remain the best possible resource for finding relevant information online. So if you use “tricks” to get your website into the top results (keyword stuffing, invisible text, doorway pages, etc.) their algorithms will will “black list” or ban your site from showing at all. A basic understanding on the how’s and why’s of search engine optimization will ensure this doesn’t happen and give your business the best possible advantage over your competition.

Next post!

Keyword Research. If you have any questions, or topics you’d like to discuss please feel free to leave me a comment or message. Thanks!

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

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