Search Engine Optimization is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
Why do I want to appear high on search engines?
It is a Search Engine's job to provide the most relevant information for a specific query. Therefore, by having your website appear at the top, it means the search engine has chosen your website as the best possible answer for the query that was entered. Users know the most relevant links are placed at the top and therefore will always be more likely to click on those links over and above any of the other options. This means, by appearing at the top, you will have more visitors coming to your website. More visitors means more potential customers means more potential sales.
But can you get me to the top?
Google's algorithm isn't public knowledge. In other words, no one can say for sure what the variables are that determine what spot you get on a search engine. It is therefore pretty much impossible for anyone to gaurantee any spot to anyone. This is the frustration that often goes with running an SEO campaign. It also doesn't help that so many companies promise clients a spot at the top, when it's not possible to deliver on such a promise.
What's the point if I can't get to the top?
The goal with SEO should not be gaining a specific position on Google. That is just the result of following good SEO practices. Therefore, the goal should be to enforce good SEO practices. If you only consider your actual spot on search engines for certain keywords as a way to determine your success on Google, you might be missing out. Yes, it is important to rank high for popular keywords, but it's also important to know that a keyword that is popular today, might not be popular tomorrow. It is for this and many other reasons why having a full end-to-end SEO strategy in place can yield far better results than just trying to get first place for a specific set of keywords.
So what optimizations should I be doing?
Search engine optimization ultimately boils down to three things:
- Content is King: The most valuable thing a website can have, is good content. If you don't offer anything people want to know, no one is going to read your website or share its content.
- High Quality Backlinks: Every time someone links to you, it should be seen as a tiny digital hi-five from one website to another. The more backlinks you have and the more reputable the companies are that link to you, the more amazing a search engine will think you are.
- SEO Best Practices: A website needs to have the correct structure in order for a search engine to understand the content.
That sounds complicated?
The idea behind it all is that if you have a website, with really good content, you will have people linking back to you. In other words, creating good content, you will get people to share and link back to what you do. So the real trick here boils down to what Google loves emhpasizing so much: focus on generating amazing content!
That really just leaves the "Best Practices" portion. This can be tricky for newcomers, but if you set up your website correctly, you won't have to worry about it again. All the Drupal websites we build have built-in mechanisms that help generate the right meta tags that search engines need to identify your website correctly.
I need more help?
We help clients with all aspects of SEO.
We generally start by ensuring the client's website is technically correct. In other words, can search engine crawlers actually read the website as it is and understand it. During this process we will also make sure that the right meta tags are available on the website.
Once the technical structure of the website is correct, we will proceed to generate new content. This can be in a wide variety of formats. In some cases it might be necessary to create a blog on the client's site and write informative articles that can be found on search engines. In other cases we might have to do off-site campaigning and rather focus on building on the current number of incoming links for the site. We decide a way forward after a careful investigation.
We have several partners that we work with that help us distribute articles. These have shown to be very effective at generating high quality backlinks. We have also written many articles that have been able to draw a lot of traffic, particularly on our Namibian Blog.
We would love to help your business gain traction on search engines. If you are interested to see how we can help you, please don't hesitate to contact us.