Understanding SEO a little better

Have you heard this (or said it)?

Client: I want my company’s web site to be the number 1 result on Google for “Product X”.
Me: Yes, that sounds great. You just starting selling your version of “Product X” two weeks ago and you have never had a web site for your company. So we’re going to have to start small and work our way up to number 1.
Client: But Company Z is number 1 and they are our biggest competitor.
Me: They’ve been at it a lot longer and have put in the effort to get that number 1 spot.
Client: How can we do that too?

That’s the best possible outcome to this situation. Very often people don’t understand how to rank well on search engines. The technology and algorithms used are constantly changing and are hard to stay on top of. There are some basic concepts that will start to set you up for search engine success.

  1. Content – Your site needs to contain words and phrases that are relevant to your product. Specifically your page title, headers and site content.
  2. Inbound links – If your site is linked to by a lot of different sources, the search engines view that as proof that the content on your site is relevant. Another big part of  the inbound link equation is the words that are actually linked. If there was a link on one site that said kids shoes and on another site the link was all black Converse Chuck Taylor toddler shoes, which one do you think will give a bigger bump as an inbound link? Obviously the second. It has more context and relevance. That’s important to search engines.
  3. Reputation – This takes into account not only the reputation of your site, but also  the reputation of the sites that are linking to you. If your site gets linked up in the New York Times, that’s going to carry a lot more weight than if it gets linked up in your sister’s personal blog.

All of these concepts are pretty obvious. It’s just a matter of being diligent and putting the effort in to develop all of those aspects of your website.