SEO101_Cutouts

SEO 101: Getting Your Site on Search Results

Black Raven AFC is here to help you understand what happens when you put an S, an E, and an O together and why those three little letters are make or break for your company.

What Happens When Your Customer Searches On Google (or any of the others)

There are three things that happen when your potential customers type into a search engine:

  1. Complicated search algorithms analyze billions of sites and decide which are most relevant to the query.
  2. The search engine lists lots and lots of web pages in order of their relevance to the query and overall trustworthiness.
  3. Most of your potential customers ignore everything else to click a result on page one. Maybe they’ll go to the second page of results, but probably not.

Sometimes a fourth thing happens: somewhere out there your spidey sense tingles. That’s because one of your prospects just clicked on a competitor’s web page that’s ranking higher than yours. Good for their business, not so good for yours.

Why Should You Care?

The content that Google and other search engines prioritize gets more attention on the web.

Your competitors know this, which is why they spend money on search engine optimization (SEO). They want to rank for industry-related keywords so they can be the first brand that web searchers associate with a solution to whatever problem they’re looking up online.

More simply, your potential customers search for information on the web. Google helps them find that information by presenting trustworthy links that do the best job answering questions. And since your customers pretty much pay attention to the first page of results, what ever shows up first is what customers click.

What Exactly Is SEO?

Search engine optimization consists of everything you do to improve your site’s presence on search engines.

Part of this is creating organic content: writing blog posts, website copy, video, and other items searchers will find useful. Another component is telling Google everything it needs to know about why your site is the best source of information for a particular query. This all falls into the category of technical SEO. There are even more behind the scenes compenonents which are all designed ultimately to help you show up.

Don’t mix this up with search engine marketing (SEM), which is when you pay search engines to put your web page at the top of search results with the little “Ad” icon next to it. Those paid ads are only clicked, on average, about 2% of the time.

By comparison, the very first unpaid, or “organic” result, gets clicked on about 32% of the time.

What Goes Into ‘Doing SEO’?

Here’s all of the compentents you’ll need:

  1. A solid website. It needs to look good. It needs to be built for mobile and every other size device your customer might have. It needs to have a usable content management system (CMS) that allows you to make changes.
  2. A technically sound website. Operational links, properly indexed pages, HTTPS encryption, a sensible site structure with plenty of metadata, etc.
  3. Content. Copywriting like “how-to” blog posts, videos, all the good stuff that your audience loves to absorb.
  4. Data about your target audience. Because how else are you supposed to know exactly what types of things your prospects are searching and what words they’re using? Knowing this info will help you know what type of content to create.
  5. Backlinks to your site from other credible sites. These tell Google that you’re an authoritative source of information (Domain Authority or DA).

The Bottom Line

You have a business. Your business has a website. You want that website to show up in search results for more queries.

So… you need to optimize. That doesn’t mean stuffing your content with keywords (that’s actually a bad thing) or spamming comment boards with links to your content (also a bad thing).

It means understanding what information your audience cares about, and then presenting that information in a way that both your audience and Google’s algorithms can appreciate.

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