The greatest dream of any small business website owner is to receive an endless stream of organic traffic, thanks to being well positioned in the search engine ranking. Since a recent survey by Pew Life Project revealed that a whopping 83% of Internet users choose Google as their preferred search engine, it means that decoding Google’s algorithms should lie at the heart of any search engine marketing campaign.
Benefits of SEO
Before we dive into tips that you can do to roll your website up to the top in Google rankings, let’s briefly examine some of the benefits of SEO or search engine optimization. First off, ranking your website for a related set of keywords will bring in qualified business leads who are truly interested in what you have to offer, potentially resulting in greater sales. Second, SEO is very affordable in comparison with traditional forms of advertising such as TV, radio or magazine ads, resulting in a more appealing ROI. Finally, a well-developed SEO campaign can boost your brands image.
Winning The War Against Google
So, with so many benefits in hand, how do we win the war against Google who seems to endlessly change its algorithm as a way of weeding out spammy websites out of its engine, while ensuring that all of its results remain relevant and authoritative in the eyes of its users?
Naturally, any answer is easier said than done, since Google rarely gives out clear instructions of what should or must be accomplished in order to rank highly. There are occasional vague, clues given out by members of the Google spam team, such as Matt Cutts, who has been singing out the same old tune for ages now: “Give us unique content! Give us unique content!”
Is that really all there is to it, to provide users with unique content and then hope for the best? Surely, there is much more to it than that. First and foremost, the content should also be engaging and connect with users on a deeper, emotional level. However, aside from the issue of what you put on your page, remains the even greater issue of who links to you, also known as off-page SEO.
Google Algorithms in a Nutshell
Here is where the waters get very murky, as there are updates and refreshes done to the Google algorithm every couple of days. Nobody knows what the perfect strategy is to rank for their niche with 200+ factors coming into play – all one can do is gain experience by trying out different strategies and seeing what works best. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying!
Some algorithms are quite drastic such as the Panda and Penguin updates that pay heed to the quality of content and backlinks respectively. Others are minor adjustments that merely take into account your keyword density, social media factors or the overall link popularity of your webpage on authoritative site.
The good news is that many aspects of SEO (on-page and off-page) can now be easily outsourced so that you can spend more time building your business and less time on doing boring, rote work.
image credit: palsar via shutterstock