SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of making Google (and other search engines) like and therefore, rank your website. Here’s a very quick explanation to try and help demystify the acronyms…!
PS – when we refer to Google, we do, as ever, mean all the search engines, not solely Google
Why do you need Google to ‘like’ your website?
The easiest answer is that Google want to give good customer service too. So if someone in Yeovil searches for “Builders”, it would be pointless in Google returning a list of builders based in London. That would not be a good experience for the ‘searcher’.
Also, if you search for “best running shoes for marathons”, you’d be annoyed if all the results featured shoe brands such as Jimmy Choo, when you are specifically looking for running shoes.
Google tries to provide the result that you want, first time, as do all the other search engines.
How does Google know what is on your website?
Google releases a ‘spider’ into your site every few days, which indexes every single page. This spider will look at your page titles and the content on those pages. It will look at the images you use, and the descriptions behind them. Also. it will look at the sitemap, and make sure that all the links and the behind the scenes data (known as meta data) is correct.
Search Engines are looking to trust that your website. If your website is called “Yeovil Builders”, it is checking that you are a builder based in Yeovil, not a little old lady in Warsaw selling billboard ads. They want to provide the right result to their customer, the ‘searcher’.
How does SEO help?
SEO is the art of ensuring all these ‘trust signals’ are present and correct. It is ensuring that all your pages are linked properly to each other, and to their titles and to your domain name. It is getting trusted links and decent meta data, to show that you are legitimate. There are loads of elements that we could cover here, but you get the idea.
By giving search engines full access to all this correct SEO, you’re allowing them to crawl you quickly and efficiently, showing that you are, in fact, a builder in Yeovil. This, and probably only this, will allow you to climb the ranks of search results.
Is there a Quick Win here?
For many years, people have tried to get around the requirements of search engines, trying to ‘trick’ their way onto the first results page.
Unfortunately for these type of people, the world now works on trust, including search engines, and they are smart enough to learn when website is trying to trick them. Those websites will be removed and blacklisted! Its simply not worth it.
Build an SEO-focussed website. Think solely of the customer experience. Take your time and do it properly to reap the rewards. There are no shortcuts anymore – there’s inevitably someone who has already tried it..!