At Butler Web & Design we provide free branding consultations for businesses in which we cover all types of topics such as graphic design, website design, and search engine optimization (SEO). SEO seems to be the topic that gets everyone’s attention, because every business wants to know what it takes to be seen above their competition on Google. Before coming up with an SEO strategy for your business, it’s helpful to know how search engines work. The good news is that it’s not complicated (at least the concept is not complicated).
All a search engine is designed to do is make sure that if someone is looking for a particular “thing” on the internet, that they find good, relevant content related to that “thing” they’re looking for. An easy way of thinking about how search engines work is by comparing the internet to a library – a gigantic library with hundred’s of millions of books. Your website represents just one book among many that potentially have the same type of content. So how does someone who has never heard of you find your website on the internet? The same way someone finds a book in the library… they ask the librarian! Google, Yahoo and Bing (along with every other search engine) are like the librarians. When people are looking for specific types of content on the internet, they ask the search engines to help them find it; and the search engines’ number one job is to make sure that they refer you to exactly what you’re looking for, or else they know you wont trust them in the future.
So how does this analogy help you with your SEO strategy?
Think about it this way… Pretend you are in this huge library and you ask the librarian to help you find a book about “vacationing in California” (that’s your keyword, by the way, in case you are still struggling with the analogy). The librarian tells you “right this way” and then brings you to this haggard looking book with the following qualifications:
- An ugly cover that looks like it hasn’t been in print for several years
- A table of contents that doesn’t really make sense of what the chapters are about
- Poor content that’s not really helpful
- The chapters are not laid out in a very intelligible way
- No visuals (or no good visuals)
- No recommendations
Obviously if a librarian took you to such a book you wouldn’t trust that they were qualified to do their job and you would more than likely ask a different librarian. Search engines are very jealous for your business and want to make sure you trust them above the other librarians. So what do search engines like Google do? They program their algorithms to make sure they only pull up the best, most relevant and qualified content that they can find on the internet. They want to make sure that if you’re looking for a book (website) about vacationing in California that it has:
- A beautiful, attractive cover
- A table of contents that clearly explains what the content of the book is about
- Great written content that is helpful
- Helpful visuals showing you the scenery in different locations in California
- Maps of different areas in California
- Reviews from vacation experts saying that this book is a trusted resource (testimonials and symbols of trust)
Every update that Google has ever done has been to refine this process to make sure that searchers are finding only the best, most relevant content. In other words, they’re continually getting better at their job, so it’s crucial to make sure that your SEO strategy includes offering good, unique, helpful and relevant content for topic that you are wanting to be found under.
That, again, is just the concept. How that’s done exactly can get a little more complex (but not necessarily confusing). For more info on how to get better search engine rankings for your website, browse around the Butler Resource Center or contact Butler today.