Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What You See Is Not What You Get
Why? – Because It Pays to Be #1
Over 90% of internet users never click on page 2 of the search results. Think about your own behavior. Do you ever go beyond the first page?
Further studies indicate the first organic SEO results receive four times as many click-throughs as the second listing.
If Google cannot find you, then your customers will not find you.
Having the most attractive website is worthless if it isn’t properly configured and optimized for website search engines.
Looking at the top three trafficked websites in the world – Google, YouTube, and Facebook -- you will find they are highly functional, but not very attractive. All the top trafficked websites have one factor in common – they are extremely easy to navigate. Often, the functionality of a website is overlooked for the sake of aesthetics.
SEO Ranking Factors – They’re All Secret
This means SEO tries to fit the website to Google’s algorithm. Even though Google’s algorithm remains a secret, we can still have a pretty good idea about the important factors that are used.
These factors can be divided into two categories:
- On-Page Factors. These include technical issues (e.g., the quality of your code) and textual issues (e.g., the structure of your site and text, the use of words). For Google and most other search engines, content is king.
- Off-Page Factors. These include the links to your site. Google and most other search engines use the number of links pointing to a page to determine how important that page is. The more often other sites link to your website, the higher your ranking in Google will be.
Within these two categories (on-page and off-page) are two primary areas the search engines look at to determine who should rank on the first page of the listing.
- Relevancy – how well your website matches a user’s search. This includes your title tag, the meta description of a page, and the visible text. These three, together, show the level of keyword density on a topic.
- Recency – newer content outranks older content. Google likes “fresh” content and a website that has not been updated in two years will probably not rank as well as a website that has fresh content.
You Can’t Fool Google
You can try. Some have succeeded for a while but, once caught, the results were devastating.
JC Penney, through its marketing agency, tried to cheat the system. In 2010, if you searched for beds, tablecloths, dresses, shoes, or almost anything imaginable (including diseases and dentists), JC Penney ranked first. They outranked even the manufacturers.
How did they do it?
Backlinks were everywhere. A backlink is a reference from another website to your website. Google uses backlinks to build credibility and authority for a page or a website. Backlinks from authoritative sites are very valuable.
The agency hired by JC Penney used “black hat” tactics to fool the search engines. “Black hat” tactics increase the search engine ranking of a site or page through means that Google considers “cheating.” This was discovered and published in a New York Times investigation, "The Dirty Little Secrets of Search." After the Times story hit, Penney's ranking for dresses sank from #1 to #52. Google essentially buried JC Penney.
A keyword is a word or phrase that best describes the content of your website. However, all keywords are not the same. Take, for example, many of the customers in our industry – namely, “moldmakers.” The term refers to the molds they build. However, if you were to search the keyword “mold,” you’d be overwhelmed with websites referring to the fungus commonly found as a household contaminant. You’d find the definition of household mold, how to identify mold, how to remove mold, and health issues referring to mold. The first listing on Google for anything related to the plastic injection mold making industry is on page 6.
Long Tail Keywords Connect
Long tail keywords are three or four words that connect what you do with the customers you are trying to attract. For the mold making industry, “plastic injection mold maker” does the trick.
Conducting keyword research is important to find the keywords searched most often by prospective customers. The keyword “mold” has more than 300,000 search a month, “moldmaker” has 200, “mold maker” has 2,400, “mold making” has 5,400, “plastic injection molding” has almost 15,000 and “injection molding” has over 33,000.
Your words matter. Are you a “plastic injection mold maker” or do you make "molds”? There’s a world of difference according to Google. The choice is clear if you do the research.
Search engines use text to determine whether or not your site will rank.
Content Counts (Always)
Developing a keyword strategy is only the first step in building a ranking website. The most important element is relevancy. How the content on your website matches the intention of the search is still the most important element in a high-ranking website. The good news is, search engines are getting smarter. They’re moving away from keyword content towards more natural language-based, relevant content. A recent Search Metrics study concludes, “…Google evaluates content according to its relevance—and not by the inclusion of individual keywords.”
Too little or too much – neither is good. If your website is stuffed with keyword content, it will hurt your website rankings. If your website does not have enough content, your website will not be considered authoritative. There is no hard rule as to how much content needs to be on a page. Shaun Anderson, of Hobo, a search engine optimization consultant, writes, “…the more text you add to the page, as long as it is unique, keyword rich and relevant to the topic, the more that page will be rewarded with more visitors from Google."
None of this is to imply that you need to “cheat” to get the search engines to rank your website highly. In fact, the most important element is to be smart, comprehensive, and articulate. Knowing your prospects, and thereby creating relevant content, is the most important element for successful search engine optimization.
High-quality text is a key factor in your overall SEO strategy.
Without text, ranking is impossible; a good-looking website is secondary.
We Can Help
At Creative Technology, we can help structure your website, develop a keyword strategy, and write amazing content.
So that Google and other search engines can find your website.
So your customers and prospects can find you.
So you can focus on providing them with amazing service and products.