SEO in the Simplest Terms

In the simplest terms, search engines work off an algorithm, in some cases multiple algorithms which are basically their internal formula for determining how valuable a website is.  Search engines will look at every page on your website and rank its level of importance. When people search for different topics the search engine knows what page on the site to return and ranks it according to how strong the search engine thinks your page is.
Google claims that over 200 variables are considered in their search algorithm, which is changed constantly. So there is no clear road map for absolute SEO perfection. We do however know there are key components to SEO which includes:

  1. Content on each page- how words are arranged. Does your page content include the exact word or phrase a user is searching?
  2. A Listing of specific products or services.
  3. Company Information- Names and Addresses.
  4. Testimonials.
  5. Are you providing help or advise, sharing your knowledge through a blog for example.
  6. Fresh content.

You’ll need to regularly monitor your efforts to ensure that they work.  Google Analytics is a great starting point. With the addition of a couple of lines of code to your website Google Analytics will output useful data to better evaluate your SEO performance. This includes seeing where geographically your visitors are coming from, whether they are returning or new visitors, the type of devise they are viewing the website on and also the keywords that were used to search for your website. If you are a 540 client and do not have Google Analytics already installed on your website please let us know and we will set it up free of charge.

Unfortunately I have seen clients fall victim to spam email traps like “Get your website #1 on Google” and it has ended up costing them in the long run.  Search Engine algorithms are constantly changing and concepts like multiple landing pages all over the web, redirects and title stacking are now being detected and will eventual hurt your ranking and in extreme case be all together banned from a search engine. True SEO is an ongoing process that evolves along with your business. Clean code, using elements like proper title and description tags certainly help but  it is more than code and keywords. Great content is the significant driving force, if you can produce excellent, keyword-rich content on a regular basis, you will be one step ahead of the competition!

4 replies
  1. val yenko
    val yenko says:

    I think SEM is as important as SEO. I have been hearing a lot about it lately and think that it does have it valid uses, but I think they fall short of the initial reason for SEO in the first place.

  2. efpierce
    efpierce says:

    With as difficult as SEO is to understand and utilize correctly, I am amazed that you made it sound so easy and I think I get it now. I still couldn’t do my own SEO, but at least now I know a little bit about what the experts are doing.

  3. matt540
    matt540 says:

    Thanks for the comment. Content is certainly not the only key to good SEO but through the various Google algo changes it has always remained a priority. Proper use of headers, description tags, reputable backlinks and so forth are critical as well. As for the Google Hummingbird change original, high-quality content remains a strong focus for high page rank. The biggest change revolves around conversation activity. Hummingbird focuses on each word in a query vs. just one or two keywords so writing strong content is critical. According to Google, best practices that have been important in the past remain important; Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways.


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