The simplest way to explain exactly what SEO means to those just starting out in business, is that it is a creative way to help improve the visibility of your website in search engine results online.
You don’t have to have a complete understanding of the technical aspects of it to make it work for your business, or need the budget to put it in the hands of paid SEO experts. You can create a successful SEO friendly website all by yourself – and you can do it for free!
Google is probably the best known search engine in the world right now, and it has dominated the internet for some time. I doubt there is anyone in the developed world that has not heard of Google, even OAP’s who are not actively online would have failed to notice their TV, radio and newspaper advertising presence.
There are rules you need to know about before you even start creating SEO content for your site. If you go out of your way to play the system to achieve fast rankings using what are deemed as ‘black-hat’ techniques, you will find yourself being penalised by Google. Bear in mind though that these ‘rules’ are not actual laws, but more like guidelines for ranking well in Google and other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo etc.
Fortunately these days it is much easier to rank perfectly well within search engine results by writing original, quality content for your website or blog. Consistently writing informative posts that give readers what they want will increase your traffic through natural search engine results pages (SERPS). Gone are the days of unnatural keyword-stuffed posts where it was the writers job to try and shoe-horn in as many high-ranking keywords into a single post as possible. This just resulted in poor quality content that didn’t flow well or even make sense most of the time.
Ranking well in Google can be very valuable to you, and can be seen as a form of free advertising for new businesses who are just starting out and wanting to establish their brand name. So writing content that Google actually want to return in its results is a great way to get good rankings.
So what does Google want?
Google is an ever-changing beast, and things change often! What may have been OK five years ago is no longer acceptable today. Right now in 2015, Google want to give ‘quality user experience’, so your content should be focussed on delivering quality information rather than heavy keyword manipulation of the past.
Yes, keywords still do play a part in gaining you rankings, but intentionally using too many will certainly get you a Google Panda slap, an algorithm tool that looks for signs of poor quality content and therefore poor user experience. If you write naturally about your subject, then your content will have naturally occurring keywords already in there, and this is what Google will pick up on for it’s natural keyword SERPS.
It is not just your content that help you to rank well. Your website architecture, your social media promotion, and your ease of usability will also have an effect. A webmaster can no longer rely on clever content tricks to achieve rankings, so care and attention has to be put into every level of your business website – from the floor up.
Search engine optimisation in 2015 is about writing good quality relevant content, and earning the trust of your readers by delivering user satisfaction. Invest time and effort into filling your website, engage followers through social media marketing, only circulate quality posts and articles, encourage positive customer feedback and social engagement, and you will see your site ranking well.
Of course, all of this will take time, and new websites will take a good while to rank because Google will recognise them as being new, and therefore lacking in quality content. Once your site matures and can see you have been submitting plenty of good quality content, Google will see your site as worthy, and will be happy to rank you higher, which will send more traffic your way.