Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (aka SEO) is the art and science of getting Google and other search engines to show your website to their users. There are 3 cores things that need to be done to get you to rank well:
When Google’s robots (aka Googlebots) come to your website, they are going to be attempting to copy all your content into their database (called the “Index”). Their primary goal is to read and store your content.
However, a lot of websites make this very hard for Googlebots. They hide content in very unorganized ways, using techniques that Google recommends against and embeding content in things Google can’t fully read, like images and Flash files.
This forces the Googlebots to leave because they have the other 100 billion pages on the Internet to scan. Wouldn’t you if a website was completely inconsiderate of what you needed?
In order to get your website fully indexed, your website will need clean coding and utilize the techniques that Google recommends.
Add Relevant Content
“Content is king”. You’ve probably heard this phrase before. No where is it more true than on the Internet. When someone goes to Google and searches for “something something something”, they are trusting Google to find and present information related to that phrase. Google takes this trust very seriously and they have failed if they refer their visitors to a website that has nothing to do with what they were originally asked.
For this reason, if you want to show up when someone searches for “something something something” and your website doesn’t have the words “something something something”, you really have almost no chance of showing up, especially if the phrase is competitive.
So what does that mean for you? It means you need to a) figure out what people are searching for using tools like Google Keyword Tool and WordTracker and b) add quality content onto your website that deserves to show up for that phrase.
Build Your Authority
Having clean coding and relevant content is necessary but most of the time, it’s not enough to get your website showing up because there may be thousands of other sites that are equally as relevant. To really move the needle on your traffic numbers, you need to build authority the authority of your website.
The primarily way Google determines authority today is based on the quantity and quality of incoming links to your website. An incoming link is when a different website (such as your suppliers or an association directory) links to your website. Google sees that as a vote of confidence for your website and the quality of the website linking you makes the biggest difference.
For example, if you are a dentist and the American Dental Association links to your website from their home page (maybe because you won some award), Google will give you a huge boost in your rankings. On the other hand, if your website gets links from hundreds of scammy sites, Google will penalize your site.