SEO: The Elephant in the Room

Amy LavinMarketing


SEO, the elusive acronym that we equate to mean “social media posts.” But what does it really mean, in general, and for your business specifically? In this post, we’ll break down some SEO theories and discuss some SEO strategies.
What is SEO

What Does SEO stand for?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. So, let’s take a step back to better evaluate and prioritize all of this mumbo jumbo into a sequence of ideas we can get behind.
Check out this really great, common explanation of SEO at around minute 35. https://www.wnyc.org/radio/#/ondemand/604394

First of all, why should a window cleaner bother?

Welcome to the twenty-first century, that’s why. Once the internet started rolling, entire businesses were eventually built online, without ever having a physical location. In fact, even those businesses with a physical location became keen on the idea that the internet provided new means to gain and target customers. It became (and still is) essential for a business, window cleaning, or otherwise, to have an online presence to sustain in the business world today.Meaning of Life
A reasonably accurate and sweeping generalization of the overall goal for a business is to make money. So, with this newfound internet market coming into existence, the next logical question for companies to ask was how they would market themselves to make the most money possible. And that, in a general sense of internet timeline, brings us here, asking what SEO is and why it’s important to you.

What these businesses started to find out was that most people found their site through a search engine and that the best way to make money was to be at the top of the list, hence search engine optimization. So, to make a long answer to a short question a bit longer, profits are why you should bother with SEO.


Now the question of “how.”

To understand how to deploy the best SEO practices, it is essential to know how those same search engines collect their data. Unfortunately, the reason SEO is so elusive is that no search engine will give its exact method it uses to rank websites. All we have to work from are general guidelines given to us. This leaves a lot up to the imagination.Blog Swapping
With that being said, imagine a setup similar to the Keebler Elves shown on cookie commercials. This environment represents a website. Each elf is what’s called a “robot” in the backend internet world. Every time the elves stumble on a new place to bake cookies, or a new website, they “crawl” it, exploring every nook and cranny. Once they have thoroughly checked the place out, “crawled” every corner, they write down little notes about each room or each page. This is what’s called indexing, putting all these notes into a filing cabinet for later use.
The elves not only explore the layout and content of your website to get a feel for the place, but they are also looking for specific things, the backend setup, the reliability of the site, and the relevance to the search term. Many things will affect and essentially lower your ranking, but for this post, we’ll mainly focus on things that will increase your ranking.

Backend Website Setup

As is the case with many business sites, management sites such as e-commerce are used. For multiple reasons, this can be a blessing and a curse, but mostly a blessing because these types of sites have some preemptive moves to help with SEO. It is essential to research and fill in all the necessary descriptions (alt text, title tags, search keywords, meta descriptions, etc.) prompted. One note on this, SEO is always evolving, so make sure to research best current practices because eventually, some descriptions will hurt you rather than help you (product tags).

Reliability

This might sound a bit ridiculous, but the reliability of your site is very, very important to how it ranks. This idea can be broken into yet another three components; link building, content, and user experience.

Link Building is an extensive subject matter but can be thought of in simpler terms; the more people who trust and link their sites to yours, the better you look. And for the matter, the more critical those linking people are, the more weight and credibility that link offers. One way to begin a link building campaign is to reach out to people and ask them. For more ideas, see https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-link-building.

The content you write has to be reliable, which means you have to put time and effort into what you’re talking about. When your content is strong, people will talk about it, and it will gain traction. It is all too often people with great things to say that don’t take the time to articulate their point clearly, and their content becomes lost in the sea of website pages. It is hard, granted, to consistently come up with engaging content, but it is essential to take the time and do so. Once your content is spread over multiple outlets, which includes blogs and social media posts, it will gain traction. It is crucial to market your content in this way to increase the possible traffic coming to your site. And more traffic means more profits.

User experience also seems like a strange way to rank your site. After all, how does the elf know how well Person X likes your site? It all comes down to traffic. If your site is constructed well, users should have no problem finding the answer they are looking for (assuming you have the strong content previously discussed). This makes people want to use your site more frequently, which in turn tells search engines your site is reliable for information.

Relevance

No Rank For You!How relevant is your site to the keyword search that has been performed? This is the question search engines ask themselves when ranking yours for a specific keyword. The first step you should take before writing any content is keyword research. You are really just trying to think like your customer, how would they word this phrase, what would they look up? The answer is what you base your content around. This way, your strong content will directly correlate with what your customer is looking for. Relevancy brings traffic, which in turn means reliability, which in turn brings more traffic. It’s the circle of (website) life.

Conclusion

SEO isn’t the scary monster it is made out to be. It is important to remember it is a process. It is built layer upon layer, but each layer will produce more opportunity and notoriety. Focus on your website setup, relevance, and reliability. Do research. Ironically, the web is a great way to find more information on every asset of SEO. The more you want to learn, the more opportunity lies in front of your window cleaning business. There are tons to be said about SEO. We haven’t even skimmed the surface. For more information, search for SEO. The sites that rank the highest know what they are talking about.

Thank you also to all the great people who drew/ or put on their blog these amazing cartoons: 1.http://mysay.in/page/3/ 2. http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/01/google-cartoon/ 3.http://poppypetunia.blogspot.com/2009_02_01_archive.html 4.http://www.webcore.me/blog/page/2/ 5.http://london-seo.com/2012/02/google-myths/