Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to how easy it is for a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing to find your website for different keywords. When you’ve optimized your website for a search engine it means you’ve done some research on what words and terms people (ie your most ideal customers) are using when searching for your type of service.
Search engines rely on a program algorithm to search the internet every second for new websites and new content that is commonly called a “spider”. If you have ever looked at your web statistics and wondered why you have a huge number of “hits” but only a small number of “visits” the additional “hits” on your website are from various spiders sniffing out your website and content to update their databases.
Search engines are constantly updated and modified with more and more complicated programming to try and make sure the most relevant websites rank highest when someone types in a keyword (or multiple keywords). To that end, there have always been companies trying to trick search engines into ranking a website high. You might be familiar with clicking on a promising looking website link through Google and instead getting a webpage filled with nothing but ads and no answers. This page has falsely added a bunch of keywords to get traffic and fool the search engines, but every day you’re seeing less and less of these because the search engines are getting smarter and smarter. And every time they find websites that are using bad practices like just adding keywords without using them in sentences or in proper ways, each search engine has the right to completely blacklist that website!
Do not hire a SEO “expert” who uses these illegal practices! It will win you high ranks in the short-term and ruin your website forever in the long-term.
So how do you make your website SEO Optimized?*
One of the questions I get frequently when I’m working with small business owners in Louisville, KY is “Can a little company like me actually have SEO on our website?”. The answer is:
YES! If you are willing to invest the time to write regular, useful, keyword rich content (just like this blog post!) Advice columns, articles, podcasts, videos and blogs are especially popular right now.
*This is a little like saying a ATM Machine, but hey, that’s the English language for you.