Have you ever said the words “My site needs the SEO”? How about the word “link juice”? Maybe you’ve said, “We want to rank number 1”?
Stop it. Seriously. You sound ridiculous.
Okay, okay. Enough with the pretentious approach. Let’s get down to brass tacks. SEO. This is literally Search Engine Optimization. This blog is serving to educate you on exactly what it is and why it exists.
Let’s start with some very important information. There are over one billion websites on the internet today. Not scary enough for you? Here’s some better perspective: that means there’s a website for every seven people on the planet. Now granted, we all have our favorites (*cough*reddit*cough*), but if the internet weren’t constantly evolving and creating new content, then creativity would stagnate, and new phases of human existence wouldn’t ever become a reality.
Maybe I’m getting a little into the weeds here, but let’s be clear: MySpace was a THING. A very clear, popular, definitive THING. At its peak in 2008 (that’s less than 10 years ago…) it was getting ~76 MILLION visits per month. So why did they lose out to Facebook? Many journalists and industry experts agree that it was a combination of two things: the fragility of social media and the complacency of MySpace. MySpace just stopped innovating, whereas Facebook became an iterative and creative giant.
So what does all this have to do with SEO?
When we talk about SEO at Irish Titan, we’re often referring to Google, since Google has the most comprehensive algorithm to serve relevant content to its user base. In a sense, Google is to the Search world what Facebook is to the world of Social Media: in other words, they iterate to remain consistent.
And guess what? That’s it. That’s the colloquial “key to your site’s success”: being iterative in your approach to business. Still not clear? Let’s tidy up a bit.
When someone goes to Google and types in something they want more information about (what we call a “search query”), Google’s algorithm scans or “crawls” the majority of the one billion sites that exist on the internet today. Google then determines 50 or so pages of the most relevant results, based on many factors, but here are the two most important ones:
CONTENT and LINKS.
The more authoritative one site is over another, the higher up in the organic ranking structure said site will appear. The easiest way to think of links are like websites giving Google directions to other websites and recommending them as clear, industry thought leaders. There’s a third factor at play here, called RankBrain, which is a bundle of very complex computations. (If I knew them, I’d work in Silicon Valley, and not next to Golden Valley.)
Example: if I search “best hamburger in the Twin Cities”, then Google’s going to immediately serve ONLY results that are relevant to the query, based on data and metadata that exists on every hamburger related website. However, because the part of the query “best” is a subjective adjective attached to the root keyword (hamburger), then the results that I get are twofold: a list of local burger joints and list of websites that have reviewed local burger joints.
“But Tom….. I want to be Number One!” This is where you have to think about not only your industry and competition, but your specific company’s place in your vertical. What is it that makes your company stand out from the rest? Define that quality across the entirety of your website. No, that does not mean look up a highly trafficked keyword and stuff it into every page. It means, be descriptive, informative and creative about exactly what you are offering potential site users.
When it comes down to the metadata, you can quite literally read several other, much more well educated and informed blogs about that topic. At the end of the day, you should be looking at two key factors: links and content. Get those problems solved and work with a Digital Services Partner (like Irish Titan) to iron out the rest.
Stay iterative. Never settle.
Questions? Comments? Reach out to the Irish Titan Digital Strategy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.