Wondering what exactly SEO is? In this post one of our awesome search engine optimization specialists breaks it down for us!
What SEO has in Common with Miss USA
The first time I heard the phrase “SEO”, I had no idea what it was or what it meant. Once I got a grasp on it, It made sense for me to compare SEO to pageants like Miss USA. In order to win these kinds of pageants, you’re judged on a variety of things. Regardless of what people think, just having good looks doesn’t make you the best. There are many other factors that Miss USA contestants are judged on. SEO is kind of like this.
Ads Vs. Organic Ranking: How Sites Get to the Top
I’ll explain by giving an example: A couple of days ago, I was wanting to look at options for new tennis shoes. I have my favorite brands, but I like to see what’s out there and what competitive prices I can find. So, I typed “good priced tennis shoes” into the search bar on Google. This is what came up.
You can see that there are two types of sites that show up at the top of the page. The first is ads at the top of the page. Companies pay to appear in these top spots. (Side note: we also offer Google ads management if you want to score these top ad spots for yourself!) But underneath those, you’ll notice websites that don’t have the word ‘Ad’ next to them but are at the top of the list of thousands of websites. These websites are ranked organically, meaning they’re not paying to be at the top: they’re at the top because they deserve to be there. They have good SEO.
The Judges of SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. All-day long, the internet has bots or “judges” that crawl the internet and look at every website to exist. When you type in a keyword into the search bar, as I did with “good priced tennis shoes”, those bots find the websites with those keywords and determine which ones get to show up. They’re trying to determine who gets first place. And second. And third. And so on. Now there are various things that these bots (judges) are looking for, including:
+ Good, user-friendly design
+ Accessibility: well labeled-images (alt text), standards-compliant HTML
+ Relevant content
+ Relevant links and references
+ Good writing: complete sentences with correct spelling and grammar
+ Unique and relevant page titles
If you want your website to win first place, you need to make sure that it excels at all of these. You can’t just build a website and expect it to rank well and show up at the top every time. SEO takes work. Consistent work. The judges like to see that you’re updating content and putting in work regularly. Just like it takes more than a pretty face to win a beauty pageant, it takes more than a pretty website to win in Google.
There is a lot that goes into good SEO. But it’s important to remember these basics, and you’ll be able to get a good headstart to winning first place every time.