SEO - 101 (Search Engine Optimization)
Hi there! It’s GG and I’m going to talk to you about Search Engine Optimization for your blogs and website pages. Folks have to be able to find you before they can love you! Yes, I’m learning a lot in my new internet marketing training. This blog should be informative, but it is also blatantly gratuitous for its primary purpose. (Getting YOUR attention!)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for those on the inside of internet marketing is not a mystery. The purpose of this blog is specific; I want to explain SEO to anyone willing to spend just a few minutes reading this blog. Tools are available on the Empower Network blogging platform to evaluate every blog you write. Many other posting services include an SEO evaluator as a standard tool.
Wait, back up… I assumed everyone knows what a Search Engine is and what it does. Sorry about that.
Search Engines are the computer programs behind “Google Search” and “Yahoo Search” and all of those other search lines we use every day on the internet. Here is a detailed resource for a review of How do Search Engines Work? (I think it was designed to make you glad others do this work…) Personally, I loved it. I enjoy reading lengthy documents full of gobs and gobs of data. The search engine industry is huge, and something most people take for granted.
How do they search?
“Crawlers” and “Spiders” are programs that travel through the internet looking at the HTML code of the sites and pages they encounter. You don’t have to know HTML anymore to be able to build your own website. There are many website building and hosting services available. I happen to use WIX to host my GG Brand Management site, but there are others as well.
What do they look for?
Search Engines look for key words. Key words can be simple, like tags. Twitter has done more to indoctrinate social media to the concept of tags than any other single platform – you see the “#” or “hashtag” everywhere. #livinglife #yolo #marketyourbusiness #firstworldproblems Got the idea? Websites and blogging platforms utilize an actual section for tags – these are just words separated by a comma which are incorporated into the HTML code search engines include when determining what the searcher (your target audience) is interested in finding.
It is impractical for a search engine to go through the entire internet every time a person puts a word into the search bar – even though computer programs are fast, we humans want instant gratification and the internets are far far away and very densely populated. Which is why we don’t just meander through the web and use search engines in the first place. To make the process faster, search engines actually store the content they think people will want to see.
How do they determine what to store?
Ah Ha! If you could figure that out you could build your own Google, or Yahoo, or Ask.com. The specific formulas and algorithms are highly proprietary, but there are things we can know intuitively.
1 - Key words are a big factor – do you have what people are looking for?
2 - How many people visit your site? The assumption is if a lot of people do visit, they must like what you have.
3 - How many people travel from your site to another, without going back to the search engine? The assumption is if they go back to the search engine they did not find what they were looking to find.
So, based on the optimization formulas the search platforms store the links to the chosen pages, sites, and content. Finally – the search engine displays the results ranked based on the rating of the content, and the likelihood of being successful with their client.
Who is the search engine’s client? Online marketers! You! Me!
You can pay money to services to promote your site, but even then an understanding of this very important reality is important. You can pay search engines to display your pages first. Once upon a time I worked with the competitive analysis group for Bell Atlantic. Yellow pages was a HUGE industry, and that is the great-great-something of the modern day Search Engine. It is the most convenient way for customers to look for you.
If you are not an online marketer, you are only unaware that you really are! If you are online – which is the only way to read this blog, you are an online marketer. If you are not marketing anything else, whether you know it or not you are marketing yourself. Personal branding is one of my passions, and feel free to visit my website to learn more, or to contact me for assistance in understanding your brand and why it is important.
One homework assignment – go onto your favorite search engine and put in your name. I found something really interesting.
But I’ll save that for next time...