My previous SEO post on how to increase your blog traffic with these SEO tips was really popular and I’ve been getting a lot of SEO questions lately so todays post will go into explaining what SEO is and how understanding Search Engines & Keywords can benefit you.
Whats involved in a Search Engine?
- Search Engines (Such as Google Search) has two main components;
- Crawler aka Spider, Bot, Robot – This goes out and fetches info on the web.
- Algoritm aka Ranking Formula – This determines the relevancy of sites that the search engine finds.
A Crawler searches around the web fetching pages and following links. It then gathers information and adds it to the database. Like a spider (crawlers) on a web (links) that catches insects (info) to eat (database). In other words crawlers finds posts and pages, reads them and then indexes them appropriately. It is important to keep all this in mind when you design your blog layout. If not done right, some technical issues can stop the crawlers.
An Algorithm decides what pages on the web to show. There is no way to know exactly what determines this as there are hundreds of factors, that are forever changing. Two main things to consider are what your page says (information & content) and what others say (through links). Search Engines take what others say into account sometimes more than what you say yourself. If your blog is getting a lot of links from other people, then it must be good!
What is Good SEO?
Good SEO means steering clear of the difficulties that stop crawlers. You also need to have relevant topics and create unique content for your audience that is easily found. If starting a new site or blog, you should include SEO in the planning stage, so this should be set up when you first start your blog. You can still do it if you already have a blog, but it will take a little longer. Though, this will pay off in the long run.
- Fix any technical difficulties that may be stopping crawlers.
- Write appealing interesting content.
- Optimise that content for readers and search engines
- Optimise images for search engines – learn how in this post about SEO Tips
Some people find a way to trick the system (through Black Hat methods), but then it changes and they have to find out the new way of ranking high in a search engine. This is constantly changing and you’d have to change with it. If you understand SEO, you won’t need to trick search engines. Google don’t like this and you’ll more than likely be taking off searches.
In general, all you need to do for good SEO is make your website/blog the best it can be for your readers meaning great original content that is easy to find and navigate.
How do I do this?
Think about your target audience. Who are they? What age are they? What are they looking for? Think about Google Search. What question does your target audience have? Do they have a problem or a need? What does the user want from your blog?
Provide your readers (and potential readers) with what they want; a solution to their question or problem. You do this by making your blog and content accessible to your audience as well as to the search engines. Once it has great content and is relevant, Search Engines will pick up on it.
Google is a business, they want their users to be happy with their service. If I used a taxi company and I wasn’t happy, I wouldn’t use it again. The taxi company will make sure I am happy, by arriving on time and getting me to my destination on time. Similarly, Google want you to search something and find it as quickly as possible. This is why keyword research is so important. You want users to be able to find what you offer, you want your site to have relevant keywords so that it appears when a user searches for it.
Google have just released a simplified version which is very interesting so I thought I’d share it, it’s called How Search Works and is worth a look.