How does SEO optimization work to help Google find my website?
You have created an amazing website, but nobody can find it. People are telling you to do some SEO to improve your ranking and web presence. But you are a Doctor, Lawyer or Entrepenuer, not a tech guru, most of this stuff makes no sense. You could do pay-per-click and get ranked at the top of the search results as a sponsored site. But if you don’t have a huge budget to pay for your position you need another way to organically grow your ranking. Understanding how search engines find your website is the first step to understanding how to increase your presence.
The easiest way I have found to explain the search process is to think of the vast world wide web as a palatial library with more books than you could ever imagine reading. Google is your librarian. Each website is a book. Unlike the old fashioned library there is no dewey decimal system. Instead, Google the librarian judges what it thinks are reputable sites based a series of criteria.
What Criteria Does Google Use To Find and Rank My Website?
Google is a lot more powerful than the old librarian telling you to be quiet. It has a lot more than a book jacket to rank from. First, Google looks at the age of the website. Oldest sites get the most credence. Romeo and Juliet ranks above Fifty Shades of Grey. It doesn’t mean Fifty Shades is bad or doesn’t have value, it just means the classics will always outrank. So you need to find other ways to get your newer site noticed.
Next, Google wants to know that you have a lot to say. In other words, it wants to see a thick book. Meaning, your website should be robust. The more content the better. And while content with keywords are better. Keywords aren’t enough to make an impact alone. But Google is smart so if you simply write “Attorney” over and over, it will catch on. It also checks to make sure your thick book is also well written.
So now Google the librarian has found a bunch of old, thick, well written books. But old, thick, well written books are often times boring. To make sure people want to read the book, Google looks for Dynamic content. The more photos and videos the more interesting Google thinks your site is. The more interesting, the higher your ranking. Think of a physician’s manual or text book with a lot of information in the form of many chapters with text, but also photos, tables, graphs etc. More interesting than just a lot of words on a page.
Google the librarian now has a pile of old, thick, well-written, highly dynamic books. Next it is going to check to see if the books are part of a trilogy. Meaning, there other pages linked to your site. This is where those seemingly annoying links to other sites make a big difference. If your site is woven into other sites through links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, local and national professional societies, etc. Google thinks you are an integral part of the web and again thinks your book is more relevant than the other books on the same subject, or with the same keywords.
If I Follow These Criteria Do I Still Need SEO?
Let’s go back to the days when you were researching a term paper. If you were anything like me, you wanted the shortest means to an end possible. That meant taking the stacks of books the librarian suggested and skimming one or two them to try and glean as much relevant information as possible. People searching for information on the internet are even more impatient. If there is a stack of books you want the person to reach for yours first and get all the information they need to then move on in the sales or business cycle. In order to be the book people reach for first, you need to constantly be updating, adding content, link building, and essentially optimizing your site. Which means you could be a tech guru, which if you are reading this you more than likely are not, or you could hire one. SEO helps make sure that not only is your book in the pile the librarian selects, but it is the top of that pile. Which in turn gives you the web presence you have been seeking.