SEO is one of those online strategies that is often unclear and seems like “magic” to many. In reality, search engines intention and process for ranking is pretty logical. There’s a metaphor I like to use and help explain. Hopefully it helps you!
Essentially imagine the internet as a huge filing cabinet. Search engines are tasked with finding the best “file” for your needs. Imagine you’re in an office and someone asks you to pull the best file for “Austin real estate”. If you went to the filing cabinet in the back and looked through all the files what would you look for in order to pull the best file?
- The title of the file would be your first indicator, right? If the file is labeled “Austin real estate” it’s likely a good match.
- For websites these are called title tags. The headers of your pages, your URL, etc. all alert search engines to what content your site covers.
- The content within the file would also help you choose the best file. Is there a lot of it and is it constantly referencing Austin real estate? If so, it’s probably a good match. You want the fattest file with the most content on the subject aka the website with the most content.
- Online, this is web site content with relevant keywords. If there are many pages of content regarding the subject matter being searched it will help you rank higher. The more relevant content to the topics you want to rank for, the better your rankings.
- What’s the date of the first file entry? If there is a file with only one year’s worth of data on Austin real estate and another option with decades worth of data on the topic – which would seem to be the better authority on the subject you need?
- Online, this would be when your website was first registered and published. The older your site, the better your rankings.
- How many times has the file been cited by others as an information resource for Austin real estate and who was referencing it? If a high school student cited it in their research paper it’s not as credible as the National Association of Realtors®, for example.
- Online, this would translate to people linking to your website using relevant keywords like “Austin real estate.” The more popular the site linking to you, the more impact it will have on your organic search rankings.
- Link building is one of the most difficult parts of SEO and one of the most influential for your rankings. It’s also been the most penalized as there are many unethical ways to build links.
- The best way to build links is to create quality content that is of value to the consumer. That way people will naturally link to you.
- Social media is a great way to start building links to your website. Although they don’t carry as much weight as other websites linking to you, it’s a fantastic place to start building clues for search engines that you are an expert on that subject.
*This is by no means everything that goes into SEO but hopefully it provides a good basic understanding of where search engines are coming from when ranking your site.
Please take a look at the various SEO services I offer and contact me with any questions or requests.