Everyone likes to be found. Especially on Google (or Yahoo, Bing, etc.) — it’s cheap and where most people look to find websites like yours.
The average seeker doesn’t go past the second page of search results. So it’s imperative to get high on the organic (non-paid) results. Or the alternative is to pay for the placement at the top or to the right. And that can get expensive.
This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Sound scary? Here’s an over-simplification of how it’s done. It starts with the Search Engines sending spiders (digital super sleuths that randomly look at every page on the internet) arriving at your website. Here’s some of what they’re looking for:
- Content that changes. When the spiders check your site they look to see if your information changes. They believe (rightly so) that if you’re engaging an audience, you will give them new content regularly. Blogs and social media feeds will do this. But remember to have an easy way to change the actual page content too!
- Meta-tags that are used. You can “hide” words on a page. These words tell the spiders what you’re really good at — what the benefits are on your site. Surprisingly, there can be a disconnect between those words and the content on a page. Search Engines compare the two and see if you genuinely have the pertinent information you put in the meta-tags. This forces websites to be authentic in content.
- Other Websites refer to your website. If the search engines want to point people to your site via an organic (non-paid) search, they want to make sure others like you too. So as they search the web, they look for links to your site. The more that others say your site has good content (based on the volume of links that point to your site), the more they want to say it too! This isn’t easy to do, but request associations, groups, members, tourist websites to list and link to you. The more the better!
Is this everything to SEO? No. In fact, my programmers (who incorporate good SEO foundations into every site we construct) have to keep up with this never ending world of search. It’s why we love our jobs!