Understanding SEO – How it works
I get a lot of people who know their business needs search engine optimization and understand it’s benefits but don’t fully understand how it works and what a SEO firm actually does for the money. The first 15 minutes of almost every meeting I have with any prospective client is explaining SEO, as result I figured this is a much needed article. I will likely break it down to 2 or 3 smaller articles, as there is a fair amount of info to understand. This article is for the business owner who knows that he or she needs SEO and gets the benefits but wants to understand how it works.
Typically when business owners decide they need to be found on Google they think, I need to get my website optimized and go about looking for someone to provide a quote to fix their website. They are shocked when they dig deeper and find out its not juts something done to their site and not just a 1-time fee. Search engine optimization is not just one thing but a combination of many things.
Search engine optimization is :
- Long term marketing effort that isn’t a quick fix
- An uninterrupted method of advertising
- A way to grow a healthy business.
- Something needs to be done over time slowly
- The Best advertising method right at the moment
- A way to get in front of your ideal customers
Search engine optimization is not:
- A quick way to get business
- A way to advertise specials or short term products
- A fix for a poor business
- Cheap! ( if done properly)
- Just about stuffing keywords on your website
- For all Businesses
Ultimately SEO is about creating trust between your brand (website and web properties) and Google. Which is what the SEO experts job is. I get paid to convince Google that you are trustworthy, relevant and popular amount your peers and customers. This the main core algorithm of Google and how it decides who goes where on the rankings.
The Three main factors that really have not changed for years:
- Relevancy – this is both on page (website and web properties) and off page relevancy. Often this is one of the weakest portions of most clients marketing plan. Either they hired a web designer who’s good at making things pretty and does not understand marketing and seo or they did it themselves and missed important items. More on onpage info here Some really easy ways to influence relevancy on page are :
- Ensure your content on your website includes they keywords you want to rank for
- Ensure you have enough content and organize it by topics
- Ensure you have H1 H2 H3 and title tags – see my other article on onpage seo
- Ensure all your images are geo- tagged and have alt tags
- Ensure all off page signals are coming from relevant sources similar to your niche
- Authority – this is based on signal coming from other websites and where most seo guys spend most time working on. Its also why SEO services are a monthly paid service, link and articles need to created ongoing and slowly. Some examples of authority link building would be a guest post from an authoritative site see one here for my site ( it also fall under relevant because of topic) is about Digital Marketing. Getting these kind of links ongoing is what will drive authority to your site and let Google know that you are an expert in your topic. The more authority links the more Google views you as an authority.
- popularity – this has gained much more strength these last couple of years than before . things like the amount your website or brand is being mentioned either on the web or on social media. The amount of shares, tweets and likes. Also the amount of time a user spends on your site, whether they leave right away after landing there (bounce rate) and how long they stay. This metric is almost impossible to fake or fool which is why a good website is key, with user ease as the main feature.
Your SEO expert you hire should completely understand all these factors and be able to deploy them all to increase your ranking. Hopefully this demystified some of the mumbo jumbo and magic of SEO for you. Need help with your SEO ? let me know I can take care of you. Mike Chrest 403-386-7427 MRC SEO Consulting, Follow us on Facebook , Twitter