Nothing is more poorly understood or tackled more ineptly in marketing that Search Engine Optimization, or simply, SEO. But if you align your site with Google with the steps they outline and then generate quality content your SEO is going to be easy.
What exactly is SEO, or, Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is a moniker that represents a wide array of techniques webmasters have deployed in the past in order to get a website page-one ranking in a search engine’s return page. The underlying philosophy has been that by investing in time, money, and energy to get what’s called “organic” page-one placement for a particular website, a business benefit would be had for that website. As organic page-one placement is generally considered “free” placement, it becomes a goal to get the search engines to rank a page on page-one, thus, the business takes advantage of page-one placement on Google search without incurring heavy advertising costs. So, SEO historically has been any technique that enables the search engines to rank a particular piece of content as the best content on the web and bestowing upon that content a coveted position on page-one of their search engine return pages, or SERPs.
The SEO nitty gritty
Two things occur in order to get a page ranked. First, the page is crawled by search engine spiders to obtain content. Next, that content is ranked in the search engine’s banks of return pages. Once complete, when a searcher inputs a key phrase to that search engine, the engine surveys its banks of ranked pages and displays what it considers the best result to match the search query. Simple enough, but consider that there are tens of thousands of pages indexed for any particular keyword phrase, that’s where the misunderstanding begins.
What constitutes the engine’s criteria for relevant content to a particular keyword phrase is the subject of very high level mathematics, powerful algorithmic and artificially intelligent networks of computing power, and a whole bunch of people who consider themselves expert in how this whole mess works. The fact is, few people know for sure how it all works. But there are some indicators that have proved worthy way points by which web-masters have charted SEO strategy through the years. But, to their chagrin, the search engines move these way points with an alarming frequency. Thus, various methods of SEO have come and gone, some well-meaning and decent, others downright fraudulent and counterproductive to ethical business practices.
With a tip of the hat and a wag of the finger to much of the SEO community, we set our SEO strategy on some very basic, ethical, and quite frankly, easy stuff that Google says to do to make your site index well.
The simplest SEO Rule
Deploy a website on a platform that utilizes sound and proven .html and other webpage structuring (Genesis and WordPress). Populate that website with quality content that has clearly recognizable business, product, and service descriptions that fit your business model. Make sure that your website is easily navigable by users in their search for information. Register a site map with Google, and take advantage of all Google tools that identify your business. Search for, and seek to be included in quality business directories that support your business. Strive to keep current, well written, and informative content on your site. Do this and you’ll be ahead of plenty of people trying to sell you SEO.