Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is complicated and changes practically every day.
The major search engines, like Google, Yahoo! and BING, are constantly changing the way they calculate their search rankings – which they do through their search algorithms. Their algorithms determine how data is shared and displayed when you do a search. The only constant in search engine optimization is change – as it’s really always changing.
Someone who’s always on top of what’s going on with these search engine algorithm changes is critical for your business. An experienced search engine optimization professional is constantly researching, testing, and implementing the latest search engine strategies for better rankings and knows what works and what doesn’t work. If Google changes something, they’ll know about it. If BING decides to become stubborn, they’ll work to figure out how to overcome their changes and get the rankings back on top.
Staying on top of search engine optimization is a time intensive, high maintenance, and energy-consuming task that we’re dedicated to – so that you, our clients, don’t have to be concerned about it. When you invest with us for your online marketing needs, you can feel comfortable knowing we’re working hard to keep you and your business on top!
So How Does SEO Work Exactly?
This is the million dollar question! You’re guaranteed to get a different answer from everyone you ask. The primary reason for this is because online marketing is more an art form than a science. While there are certain recipes, there’s no substitution for dedication, experience, and love of the art. Similar to a professional gourmet cook, anyone can follow a recipe and have some results (good or bad), but a true Iron Chef brings years of experience, dedication, and a flare of artistic abilities that only a real artist can have.
With billions of webpages to search and rank, search engines change their algorithm so often that there can be a variety of different methods to get your site ranked up top. Some strategies work better than others, but it’s the right combination of strategies for your site which will provide you true long term success. There are however, certain universal guidelines and fundamental search engine optimization principles that are critical to your online marketing strategy. The rules are clear on what you should do, and just as important, what you should not do when working to get your site ranked.
Principles for SEO Success
The more the internet changes, the more it stays the same. One thing which has always been fundamental to all the search engines is good content on your site. This will always be one of the top factors in ranking your site. Without constant, good, and updated content, any site rankings you receive will be short lived. If you have a static website where the pages don’t change, you can expect that website to slowly move down in the search engines over time. In addition, each and every page of your website is critical to the overall success of your site – not just the front (home) page. Therefore, each page must be properly optimized for the search engine algorithms.
As important as good, updated content is for your site, it’s equally detrimental to have content that is poorly written, useless, and gibberish. The search engine spiders (the software programs that go out and crawl the web for content) will figure out if your content is good or bad and can possibly demote your site or lower it in the search rankings when your content is really poor. Even worse, they could possibly blacklist your site and prevent it from showing up in any search results at all!
At Blue Rise Media, we work diligently to develop well-written, keyword specific content for your business and brand which is consistently updated and monitored and can be used on your site as well as off your site on different social networks. This new and quality content will continually add to your online library of information which your visitors can peruse at their leisure and help increase your sales conversions.
In addition to good content, links from authoritative sites pointing back to your site are critical for your ranking success. Specifically, links from sites in your niche market. Google developed a term called Page Rank to determine the authority of a site based upon again, another algorithm.
Page Rank, or PR, is Google’s way of ranking pages. It is used to show how much authority or weight a particular site has. The algorithm they use is known only to Google. It can be widely agreed upon that incoming links play a major part of the algorithm though. In addition, PR considers the age of the site or how long it’s been around, and how much activity the site receives or how long visitors stay on a site after they find you on the search engines.
This means that the more sites linking to you and the higher their PR ranking, the better it is for your site and the higher your site will rank. In other words, the more popular the sites are that are linking to your site (or recommending your site), the more popular your site is likely to be.
Here’s an example: Let’s say the University of Illinois has something on their website with a link pointing to your website. Google says, “Well, your website must be pretty important if the University of Illinois is pointing to you.” But, if your neighbor’s personal family website links to your site, then Google says, “I don’ t really know who your neighbor is and he’s probably not that important, so even though he’s recommending you, that doesn’t really mean very much.” So the more Universities you get pointing to your website, the more important your website must be. You can have 100 neighbors point to your site and it really doesn’t mean as much as 10 Universities pointing to your site. With 100 neighbors, you’re just a really good guy. With 10 Universities, you’re an expert. So accordingly, your site is ranked higher.
At Blue Rise Media, we work to negotiate inbound links to your website on your behalf. Our focus is to create links to your site on other sites which are authority sites and sites which are ranked high within your industry. This helps build up your reputation, and therefore, rank your site higher. In addition, we also work to create links to multiple pages on your website and not just your homepage. This is called deep-linking. Deep-linking shows that your site isn’t just trying to fool the search engines into ranking you, but that you’re really an expert in your field.
3. Visitor Behavior
Google and the other search engines collect all kinds of data. In fact, they pretty much collect everything. If a visitor goes to your site and then leaves immediately, that’s called a bounce. In other words, they just bounce off your site. This means they didn’t really see what they were looking for on your site. If your bounce rate is high – meaning a lot of people are leaving your site quickly – your site ranking will drop. Google and the other search engines will assume that your site really has nothing to do with the particular search term that led the visitor there (or that your site is not relevant), so it lowers your rank and therefore your site visibility. This is why it’s important to work with a company that understands why having the right site design, creating relevant and compelling information, and understanding conversion analysis is so important to your site’s success.
4. Human Idiosyncrasies
While Google uses software and “robots” to crawl the web and look at your site, it doesn’t like sites that do the same thing. Google and the other search engines want to know that whoever is running your site is a human being and not just a software program. Sites that use software to automatically generate content and add hundreds of pages to their site within a very short period of time are flagged by Google as a big no-no.
You might be able to fool them for a little bit, but as soon as they figure out it is software, and not a human, that’s adding stuff to your site, not only will you disappear from the top 10 rankings, your site might be banned completely and never show up in the search engine results pages – even if someone does an exact search for your domain name. Using these tricks can cause much more harm to your rankings than not doing anything. That’s why it’s so important that you take the time and effort (or work with someone who does) to build things right the first time around.
At Blue Rise Media, we work with our clients over a period of several months, and even longer, to draft up an appropriate plan of services for them. Our focus is getting you results, and we know the best way to do that is to build your site up properly over an extended period of time. We’ll work with you to create your Marketing Intelligence Assessment and to put together a proper strategy that the search engines love and will continue to rank high. This again means more visibility for your site for a longer period of time and can translate to many more prospects and customers.