To help you understand the concept of SEO, I’m going to use an analogy that I feel will help explain what a search engine is and how it works.
Let’s start with an extremely basic question with a long complicated answer.
What is a Search Engine?
let’s take a minute and pretend we are back in school and we are learning about the library and how to find books.
Can you imagine how much of a pain it would be to look through books either at random or one by one to find one you are looking for if there wasn’t a system in place to organize the books.
Do you remember the Dewey Decimal System?
We used the card catalog from the library and the small “Index” cards inside the cabinet that gave you the book’s location based on a set of values written in numbers?
In the most basic way I can think of, the Dewey Decimal System at a library was essentially a search index. Add some human-power to it and your Liberian is Google or Bing! The card catalog is the index of all websites, and your librarian, they are Google offering you suggestions based on what books you’re looking for.
Now, let’s travel to The land of make believe!
you ask the librarian:
“I want to find a book about time travel .”
As the expert on books at the library, they might have some suggestions that will interest you.
You take that information and head back over to look for the suggested book using the Dewey Decimal System and voila!
A really slow Google search.
Drum roll… Snare.
The scenario above breaks down like this:
- Library = The internet;
- You = you;
- The book you’re looking for = Your search term;
- Librarian = Google;
- Dewey decimal system = The index of websites and information curated by Search Engines like Google & Bing;
- The Book = the search result.
HowStuffWorks.com has a great article on how Google works.
…”Google can help narrow down what you’re looking for with specialized searches. You can browse through differentcategories that pertain to your keywords, including:
- News articles or video footage
- Products or services you can purchase online
- Content in books
- Scholarly papers
Read this great in-depth write-up on HowStuffWorks.com search engines and Google in general, some great insight is offered on ranking your page. Click Here to Read The Google Search Engine!
How do I make my website easier for Google to find?
Now we’re cooking! In this post, I won’t get deep into technical stuff, but you’ll know enough to have a better understanding of what SEO actually is.
Writing something of value does two things, creates trust and authority in your area of expertise. Google doesn’t know anything, Google indexes websites and shows you the most relevant page based on the question you are asking. You need to tell Google what your content is about and why it is more important than your competition’s post.
If you ever plan on being found online and results from the vast amount of companies available that provide the same products or services that you provide. You need to create some kind of value with your content. Search engines work off of the principle of relevance, authority & trust.
My tips for optimizing your content:
- Write about something of value;
- Make sure it’s written for humans, not robots – Google knows the difference;
- Write as an authority in your area of expertise;
- Provide examples of your knowledge, cite your sources.
What if you don’t optimize your content?
No SEO or bad SEO boils down to the indexing of your content, your content is still valuable, but, as the quote from Google states in my tip above, SEO helps Google understand and index your content. You need to help the crawler understand your site and index it properly.
If your content is not indexed, the reality is the only consumers that’ll find your website, already know your actual web address.
This may work for your current customers, the rest of your potential visitors will instead go with your competition who creates better value with their content and makes it easier for that content to get indexed.
Skimp on SEO and you’re helping your competition win. Their content might not even be the best, it could be yours, but if a search engine doesn’t know about you, your potential visitors won’t either.
Here is what Google says about SEO and your content:
You should build a website to benefit your users, and any optimization should be geared toward making the user experience better. One of those users is a search engine, which helps other users discover your content. Search Engine Optimization is about helping search engines understand and present content.
Successful Conversion hacks
Web Traffic is great. But, all the web traffic in the world won’t do a single thing if there isn’t a conversion. Someone needs to signup for a newsletter, buy something, call you, etc.
The point of building your website was to find customers. Fortunately, many proven techniques can help with SEO and conversion rates.
Gain conversions by creating trust, this is a quick win
When online consumers are browsing individual companies, showing them that you are trustworthy, purely through the business policies that you already put in place can provide potential customers with peace of mind. Implementing this process is easy and can give your SEO strategy an impressive boost with conversions.
Running an e-commerce store? Highlight your business practices, place your return policies where they can found and understood.
A small FAQ section discussing customer service policies, including how your company resolves customer issues, is great for someone on the fence with your product or service.
Finally, don’t make the same mistake as other businesses, by hiding your contact phone number. Place your number boldly within the header of every webpage.
Make Your Website Easily Navigated and User-Friendly
One of the primary reasons consumers leave websites is that they are hard to use. Payment options are another cause of shopping cart abandonment. Offering only one payment option limits choices for many would-be customers.
To prevent this, and increase your conversion rate, be sure to include a few options, such as Credit Cards, Apple Pay, Google Wallet, & Paypal.
Why you should measure your traffic
Using web analytics measures web traffic and gives you data to act on. The collected data allows you to analyze trends as well as the type of traffic within your website. Using analytic software will help you determine what is working and what you can improve upon. Data is everything when making decisions on your content and how to market it.
The Power of Traffic Data & Analytics
Using web analytics will allow you to verify the impact of specific pages on your website. For example, how a user interacts with specific pages, do they stay and click through to more pages or leave because the content is weak. By monitoring pages with the highest bounce rate, you’ll know what can change to improve underperforming content within your site.
Web analytics will also provide you with vital consumer interest trends. By comparing each page to the time that users spend on a specific area of your site, you can determine what aspect has captivated their attention. This feature will provide you with the information needed to make sure that each of your web pages can hold a reader’s interest.
Posting is the first step, next is knowing when to post.
You can post blogs and new content throughout all hours of the day. But, imagine knowing when the best time to promote is.
Web analytics allows you to monitor web traffic based on the time of day, providing you with the data needed to determine the ideal time to announce a promotion.
This data can also determine when a new post will get the highest amount of views. When used correctly, analytics can increase traffic and drive engagement.