What is SEO? When I first started out online, the term “SEO” really confused me. I didn’t know how to understand SEO. I knew that it stands for Search Engine Optimization but what the heck do they mean by optimizing the search engines? Today I would like to write a post on how to understand SEO and hopefully help you start a good relationship with search engines.
Wait, first of all, do you know what search engines are? They are the companies with big names you all should have heard of: Google, Bing and Yahoo. I am sure you know them. The search engines are the service that these companies offer online so that we, Internet users can search things on the Internet. You must have used the Google at least once to find out information you need, right? Then Google gives you all the resources available that are relevant to your inquiry. That online feature is called the search engine.
So, when they say “search engine optimization,” it means to make the best out of those search engines for the sake of your business (website). In other words, build a good relationship with Google so that they would recommend your website to their customers (online users).
If Google likes your website and recommends it to users, what happens? More people will make notice of your website and come visit, right? (We call these visitors “traffic.”) When you started having more and more visitors to your website, what happens? More chances of converting them into customers, hence more income. This is why all of us online marketers go crazy about how to turn Google (or other search engines) in favor of our website, which is SEO.
It is a constant effort of proving the value of your website. You cannot simply write to Google and ask “Please like my website. I have so much valuable information for visitors. Please recommend it to people by placing my website on the first page of Google search.” No, it does not work that way. (I wish it does though)
You have to convince Google that your website is worth recommending, so it does take time. You can view it as building a trust between Google and your website. Imagine it as human relationships. You cannot just grab a stranger on the street and say “I started a new business. Please recommend it to people!” right? The stranger (Google) first has to know who you are, what your business is all about, what services you provide, if you are trustworthy, and if your business is good enough to recommend to people around him.
Same with the online world. Building trusts with search engines like Google do not happen overnight and it does take some time. It also covers many aspects of building a website. They can be the creative parts of a site or technical parts of it, and this entire process of building a trust is called SEO.
“I Still Don’t Get It…”
Ok, I am going to explain with an example from here. By the way, out of the three companies Google owns over 2/3 of all search traffic on the Internet. So, here I am going to primarily discuss the optimization for Google and here is the example situation.
- A woman is looking for a way to lose weight and still enjoy sweets.
- You have a page on your website about losing weight and still enjoy sweets.
This woman will go online and Google search by entering a phrase like “how to lose weight and eat sweets.” Then Google would go through its gigantic storage of data seeking the online resources (websites, images, videos, etc.) that are relevant to this lady’s needs.
There are millions of “losing weight” websites out there. They could be about low-carb diet, aerobics exercise, vegetable juice fasting, or you name it. But the information this woman seeks is very specific. She wants to lose weight and still wishes to enjoy sweets. And you have the perfect blog page on your website that she can learn so many ways to enjoy sweets while on a diet!
But the chances are that this woman would never know your website even exists. Without Google showing your website on the 1st or 2nd page of her search results, there is no way that she would discover your site.
So, what should you do?
First and foremost, you have let Google know that you have written very helpful tips for those who are seeking ways to enjoy sweets while on a diet. You do this by putting the main theme in the title of the post. In this case, the topic is “how to lose weight and still enjoy sweets,” right? You make the exact phrase of the topic of the page. You can also use the same phrase somewhere within the content too.
In this manner, when Google visits your site (Yes, they visit a site periodically to evaluate it), it can understand what this particular blog is about and for what type of audience it is going to be helpful.
“Ok, this website has a page about losing weight and enjoying sweets, huh. I can see it in the title and phrases inside the content. I shall take a note of it for my customers who need this information in the future.”
I listed below the basics, within this particular example, as to how to SEO (build a good relationship with Google) for your website.
- Be specific with your blog title, such as “Ways to Lose Weight and Enjoy Sweets.” Do not name it too general like “How to Lose Weight.”
- Write articles in depth. You can write about how to make healthy sweets at home, your suggestions of sweets from a store, the best time of the day to consume sweets, etc. The more you write, the more Google sees your website useful for the readers. Do not ever leave your page with only 300 letters or so.
- Constantly post new articles. Google loves a committed author. Constant updates of your website is a big plus and it shows Google that your website is not a joke. You are serious about it and you are actively working on it.
- Engage with the readers. Welcome comments and respond to each one of them. After all, you have to prove that your website is helpful for visitors. How can you say that you are helpful when you are not there for your readers? Besides, the comments you receive on a page become the PART OF THE CONTENT. The more you have them, the better for SEO. Google trusts an engaging and supportive site owner.
There are more technical elements of SEO, which you should implement as you structure each page/post on your website. You can read it in “On Page SEO Techniques for Beginners.”
I hope this post helped you to get the general idea of what SEO is. Simply put, SEO means to create your website in a manner that search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) easily understand, love it, and confidently recommend it to their customers.
I will share more information regarding SEO in other posts. If you have any questions or comments, do leave them below. I always love to hear from my readers. Thank you!