One of the key things that I tell people when they get a new website is “Just Having a Website Doesn’t Mean That Anyone is Every Going to Find It!” There is an endless battle that a website owner has to fight to get found on the Search Engines.
Obviously, we all know that Google is the leader and is where the majority of traffic comes from. But, don’t disregard that there are actually thousands of Search Engines out there. They are all vying to become the next Google. At one time, Yahoo was the leader and they seemed invincible. Then, along came Google who simplified things and focused on the simple search idea. The rest is history…! But, you never know where the next big idea is going to come from that blows us all away.
Now, we all clearly focus on Google’s search results and then consider that places like Yahoo, Bing, DogPile, … will also be scanning our website. We are constantly trying to figure out the best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to try desperately to come up in the results when people are looking for our type of business. It isn’t easy and it is never-ending.
All of the Search Engines use a formula that is called an “Algorithm” that uses all sorts of parameters to figure out when someone does a search what type of results will come up. We all would like to think that if we put our website out there, then someone will find it based on our name or what we do. But, often that isn’t the case. And, unfortunately or not, it is every changing. As the technology changes and more information is gathered by the engines, they then change their formula. It’s hard to keep up with and even harder to figure out because they don’t actual tell you what they are doing most of the time.
Here are some things that I always recommend:
Honest in Advertising – The very first thing I always tell people is to be honest about describing who they are and what they do. Years ago, the idea of trying to fake the Search Engines into listing you in some way might have worked, but now it clear that honesty is the best policy. They are smart enough now – their algorithm will see through lies – so tell the truth about who you are.
Meta Tags – In the past, the main way that the Search Engines figured out who you are is through a set of tags in the code of a website called Meta Tags. These are essentially a Title, Keywords, and Description for every page of your site. These still work, but how the engines are reading them keeps changing. So, it is still vitally important to put them in a site – especially the Title tag – but realize this isn’t the end of the game. You have to keep changing them to fit the latest trends.
Accurate Text – One of the biggest things I can tell people is to actually write good text with good keywords into their website. The Search Engines will scan your website and every word you’ve written is taken into account. Keep writing into your site – blogging is great – so that there is always new, hot, and important information about who you are and what you do in your site.
Find Your Niche – Who are your clients? Who will be searching for you? What makes you unique? You have to figure out who your demographic is and really try to target that with your Meta Tags, your Text, and everything you put into your site. If you can define yourself by keyword from your competition, then you have a chance to stand out in the Search Engines.
Mobile Friendly – This is NEW. In the recent past year, Google started tagging websites who are Mobile Friendly and which are not. At first, they simply tagged them so that the public new before they clicked on their smart phones to view a site. Now, they are about to take that a step further and any site that isn’t Mobile Friendly will start seeing less and less traffic. This is a NEW change that is going to effect millions of small businesses who haven’t upgraded their websites in a long time to the new software like WordPress.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into getting your website found in the Search Engines. And, it never ends. You have to constantly be tweaking all of these items and doing everything you can to make a website stand out. If a site becomes stagnant, then your traffic stagnates. You have to keep working on it, keep changing your keywords, keep following the latest trends, … It is a never-ending battle!
Search Engine Optimization Lecture
Join us on April 20th at 6 pm at Bookmans for our next Flag Tech Talk to learn all about SEO. Joe Bodin of “Reliable Web Designs” will be discussing a wide range of techniques to make your website stronger. We will cover all of the above concepts and more. Go to www.flagtechtalk.com for more information.