Okay, so I’m going to make a lot of weird references in this blog… Stay with me here, folks.
Let’s say you’re Googling something,
like I don’t know, Jennifer Lawrence tripping in her Oscars gown, or How to clean your converse sneaks. There are specific keywords in those searches that are going to trigger different results in your Google search, right? What shows up when you Google “Oscars 2014” is going to be pretty different than what shows up when you search “Jennifer Lawrence tripping Oscars”, and what shows up when you search “My shoes are dirty” is going to be different than “Cleaning White Converse”. It’s all about the keywords you use, because king Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo use super special complex algorithms to find the most relevant pages to you.
Think of it like this, you’re going speed dating, and you see this super hunky outdoorsmen. I’m talking beard, North Face vest, just that outdoorsy look. Well, when you get to his table, what are you going to talk about? Things like the Academy Awards and how much you love Channing Tatum, or are you going to try to name drop a few of your favorite hiking spots? Obviously, you’re going to want to talk about that time you hiked Rattlesnake Ridge (that one time). Keywords, folks, it’s all about relevant, popular keywords.
How does that even happen?
Search engines use crawlers to scour the HTML of your favorite websites to find exactly what it is that you’re looking for. After they target the potential websites to show you, they run some quick web-metrics and algorithms and find which pages are the most popular, and the most relevant. Google recommends that you make your website thinking of the customer, not thinking of the search engine. It’s important all your links connect, and that you make one big giant beautiful web of a website. Did you like that pun? Because it was totally on accident.
Kind of like when you meet hunky speed dating guy, let’s name him Hunter, for obvious reasons. Okay so you’re telling Hunter about that time you went hiking, and now he’s asking you what else you’ve done, so you have to tell him a little bit more about how outdoorsy you are. You need all your links to connect!
A easy work around a lot of companies in the past have figured out when it comes to their site showing up first on the algorithm was to stick some secret keywords into the HTML of the website like “Justin Bieber Shirtless” because obviously that’s going to get a lot of searches. DONT do this. Don’t lie about your keywords! What’s the point of lying to drive traffic when you’re not going to retain any of your visitors! Search engines like Google are extremely smart, and they will take notice when your site jumps up a couple spots. And they can actually ban you from search results for significant amounts of time, which could end up taking a huge chunk out of your profits/conversions. BMW used a cloaking technique to show the crawlers something different than what is actually on your page, and they were penalized for a short two days. Unlike Overstock.com that faced google search removal for 2 months (5% fall in profit).
Don’t lie to Hunter about who you are. I mean, maybe stretch the truth a little bit, but don’t lie about it. Because Hunter is not only outdoorsy, but he’s really smart. Hunter catches on to those things.
Have you heard about Link Building?
Basically, if a well known and ranked webpage links to you, the better your rank. This means, if you publish some awesome content, and your site gets linked to it, you’re going to earn some Google cred.
There’s two kinds of link building; Natural Editorial Linking and Manual Linking.
Natural Editorial Linking: The more dignified form of link building where someone will link your content to their site, and give you some rep off of that! If that happens, that’s awesome. So that would be like if I linked to Moz’s Link Building Guide.
Manual Linking: The lesser dignified form of gaining cred. Think of it like this, you’re basically begging someone to link to your website. “I’ll link you if you link me” 😉
Note that Google WILL catch you if you pay a website to link to yours – it’s a huge No No, and you will get screwed for it. Don’t be that guy.
Basically, link building and SEO is all about creating relationships and connections with other sites. So, don’t fear SEO, because Moz came out with an awesome beginners guide to learn the ropes of SEO and Linking.
I know this is all pretty daunting, but I promise that it’s one of those things that once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad. So don’t fear SEO (and speed dating)! As long as you stay strategic and you stay real to your self and your website, it’ll all go smoothly.
Good luck and have a great long weekend!