So you want to rank higher in search engines, huh? I hear this request on a daily basis and in every digital marketing consultation I give. Since I get this question so frequently and spend a great deal of time explaining this famous acronym , SEO, I figured this would be of interest to you.

Understanding the History

First off let me begin with some history on the best known Search Engine, Google, and how search engines have evolved and how they work today. Google began as a project called BackRub by Larry Paige and Sergei Bin in 1996. Their sole purpose was to index every page on the internet and serve up the best search results possible to the user. Their major distinction back in ’96 was looking at the number of backlinks to a website to help determine that site’s authority for search queries. For example, if your webpage had 600 backlinks (another site linking to yours as a reference for something), then you would rank higher than a competitor’s site that only had 30 backlinks. This development was very innovative at the time considering Search Engines were incredibly unreliable on serving up relevant results for your search query. Fast forward 17 years, and not only is Google synonymous with search, but it has continued to refine its search algorithm to serve up better results and penalize companies that break their rules. Search Engines work by indexing your website and finding every reference to your site through the web. Through gathering that information, their algorithm will determine based on a search query, how relevant your website is to the user and serves it up accordingly.

What is SEO

Now that you have a bit of a background, let’s go over what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, and how it works. SEO is broken up into 2 sections, Onsite SEO and Offsite SEO.

Onsite SEO in a nutshell is making your website as readable and relevant as possible to search engines. Meaning, making sure your Title Tags, and Header Tags are appropriately titled, images have alt tags (telling the search engine what the picture is), meta information in the source code, and so on.

Offsite SEO, you may have guessed… is off of your website. Meaning building quality on-topic backlinks to your website so that your website’s authority grows for keywords and phrases you want to rank for.

So how do you get started? My recommendation would be HIRE someone. Why? Because SEO is time consuming, and BOOORRRINGG! Yep I said it, boring. Unless you want to spend your days scouring for relevant directories, blogs, contacting site owners, writing new relevant content etc. then you are better off leaving it to a professional.

Choosing the right SEO solution

When choosing your SEO company or hiring someone in house, keep the following in mind:

  • Check their track record and current wins in SEO. Search Engines evolve, and current success is far more important than successes even a year ago.
  • Make sure you get full reporting monthly of keyword ranking positions. You need to see the movement month over month.
  • Make sure you have analytics setup on your website so you can see if traffic is increasing as your rankings increase.

SEO is ongoing and no overnight success. It takes hard and smart work as well as time. If you make the commitment to it though, it is well worth the money and time!

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below, I look forward to hearing from you!