Marketing Redefined: SEO
What’s the last thing you googled today? Wanna know mine? I asked Google why a washing machine smells like it’s burning. This was after my son texted us, “Hello, parental beings, my washing machine smells like it’s burning, what should I do?”
Well, Google immediately displayed a page full of resources and possible answers. Each resource led me to a webpage, which provided an article or a video. I spent about ten minutes searching, reading and looking through some of the pages, then came to a conclusion: call for service. I don’t want to attempt taking it apart to change out the belt (which I could do by just following the steps on the YouTube video it pointed me to). But, like I said, I don’t want to.
This story demonstrates one moment in the life of SEO – the next term to be highlighted in our Definitions series.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s the very process that happens every time we do a search. The engine scours billions of pieces of content on the internet and evaluates thousands of factors to spit out the most relevant and the most likely answer to my question, almost like magic.
So, how is this done? More importantly, how can my website be so loved and adored by Google that it will spit my link out to whoever is searching for the answers I can help them with? And how can my business get that distinguished rank of being displayed on the first page of the Google search outcome?
These are amazing questions. And if I knew the exact answers, I would tell you and we would all benefit from hundreds of people coming to our website everyday to read about our company and be convinced to do business with us. The truth is, given that Google handles over 2 trillion searches per year (40,000 searches every second), they have incredibly brilliant people outlining over 200 ranking factors (called algorithms) that help determine the best answers to the first pages of search.
The goal for every website owner that wants more traffic is to figure out what those 200 ranking factors are and try to implement them to your own website.
When Google is scouring (indexing or crawling) the content on your website, you want to be noticed and for Google to find your website credible – that’s when they start ranking you higher. Fortunately, Google is somewhat transparent about how they rank the sites, but also, there are some secret aspects of the algorithm that can penalize your ranking as well.
As we educate ourselves and continuously work to bring relevance to our own sites, there are 3 things to keep in mind when it comes to SEO:
1. SEO is not magic. It’s not something that you swirl your wand once and all the work is done. It’s a constant process that involves research, strategy, dedicated time and hard work. It takes patience, but it’s worth it to understand the full picture.
2. SEO is changing and updating with time. There are constant updates to the algorithm – they are always trying to improve and keep from people cheating the system. You’ll obviously need a successful strategy for your SEO efforts, but it’s also important to know that old and obsolete SEO tactics that used to be effective before might not be effective now. In fact, if you continue to use a dated strategy, you may hurt your SEO more than help it. You need to be constantly learning and evolving.
3. SEO loves valuable content. Content is king. Even after all these years, one thing still remains at the top of the priority list for SEO. Fresh content is still believed to bring more value to your site than anything else. Take your thoughts and ideas and put them into action with regular content creation. Not just content for content’s sake, but real, authentic and valuable content that will help others. Like answering why a washer smells like it’s burning.
I hope this gives you a good foundation of what SEO is and how important it is for our business. Because I’m literally about to call for appliance repair to whichever company has the best SEO strategy.