The goal of pretty much every website owner I know is to be ranked number one on Google for their preferred keywords and key phrases — but to someday, possibly claim that number one spot, you’ve got a lot of work to do. You’ve got to maintain the site, update it with new, valuable, and relevant content, market the site, and optimize it.
There are three basic components to a well-optimized website:
- Search engine friendly, user friendly, smart design
- Compelling content that gets visitors to take action
- Optimization to maximize your website’s effectiveness
At Bourn Creative, we’ve got you covered with drool-worthy search engine friendly design, and hopefully our blog has helped and provided resources to create compelling content. Now it’s time to optimize your website and all the content in it.
Over the next several posts, I am going to share several different ways you can naturally optimize your website for organic search and I’m going to show you EXACTLY how to implement each step, including:
- How to Optimize Website Content For Search Engines And People
- How to Optimize Images And Photos
- How to Optimize Website Links
- How HTML Page Titles And Meta Descriptions Are Used
- How to Use the HTML Title Tag For Search Engine Optimization
- How to Use the HTML Meta Description Tag to Improve Your SEO
- What You Need to Know About The Meta Keywords Tag and Using Keywords
- How to Optimize Blog Posts For Maximum Results
- How to Create Content That Attracts Ideal Clients Who Don’t Yet Know You Exist
- And More!
But First, What is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?
Simply put, search engine optimization, also known as SEO is the practice of getting found online. It encompassed everything you can do naturally or organically (unpaid) to help boost your results in the search engine results pages (SERPs) so more people can find you.
Why Search Engine Optimization is Important to The Success of Your Website
Most of all major website traffic comes from search engines — especially traffic from new visitors that have never been to your site before. If you don’t show up in the search engine results pages when someone searches for a keyword or key phrase associated with your website, you’re losing opportunities to connect with those who are looking for what you offer.
After all, no one can hire you, buy from you, or learn from you, if they don’t know you exist!
Many elements of search engine optimization, like writing an HTML title for a page or an HTML meta description, alone can seem insignificant, but when you combine them together, the results can be pretty powerful!
While SEO is important, please heed my words of caution:
While every little bit of optimization helps and makes a difference in the success of your site, there is no guarantee that optimizing your website will put you in the first spot on the Google search results page — or even on the first page for that matter (even Google says this publicly). And, even with an expertly-crafted HTML title tag and meta description tag, there isn’t a 100% guarantee the search engines will use the ones you write and not make one up on their own.
Important Things to Note About Organic Search Engine Optimization
- The experts at Google (and all reputable search engines) tell websites owners to create content for your users first and foremost, and search engines second. Never should a search engine come before your user in priority.
- Search engines are looking for the same thing your visitors are — appealing design, simple navigation, smart site structure, valuable and helpful links, valuable and relevant content, etc.
- The goal of a search engine, especially Google, is to provide the searcher the best, most relevant, helpful, useful, informative websites possible based on their search query — Weird, obscure, or too clever headlines don’t help.
- Don’t put your eggs all in one basket. One optimization strategy won’t do a lot of good all alone. While optimizing your site will definitely help, you also need to constantly publish new optimized content, create social proof, build authoritative and quality links to your site, work to improve your site, and more.
- SEO is not only about inbound links or backlinks, your outbound links are important too! Who you link to makes a difference because the search engines want to make sure that if they send someone to your site, you’re not sending them somewhere totally irrelevant.
- Don’t forget about internal links! Internal links — links between pages of your own website — are important because they help both visitors and search engines find and access more pages on your site.
- Don’t get caught up in search engine optimization as the “get found magic pill.” You should never put more effort in optimization than in improving your website, refining your content, and testing/tweaking your conversion points.
Avoiding The SEO Smarm
Before I dive into learning SEO and optimization best practices, I want to make sure we’re on the same page about those “SEO Experts” who email you.
Just because you received an email with your website URL in the subject line or in the actual email itself, doesn’t mean someone actually looked at your website, cares about your website, or really knows your missing out of a hot keyword opportunity or that your rankings can be increased.
- Usually these emails are generated automatically by a computer program or pieces of software and they are sent to millions of people around the world, with the hope that a few will say yes.
- Any service provider guaranteeing you a number one ranking or page 1 ranking without a continuously ongoing plan to keep you there doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Think about it — every person who does what you do in the whole world wants that same spot and they’re all trying to get it too. If you’re lucky enough to score top ranking for a hot keyword or phrase in your niche, it’s going to take work to stay there — otherwise someone else will take it from you.
Any service provider guaranteeing you a number one ranking or page one ranking without doing any research or confirming the keywords or phrases that you can compete successfully on, doesn’t know what they are doing or they just want your money.
Anyone can earn a top ranking on Google for a keyword or key phrase that no one is searching for — that’s easy! But who cares about that? And, with focused effort most people can make it to page one for a long tail keyword phrase, but staying there for more than the blink of an eye is a whole different story.
If you’re going to hire an SEO company to help boost your site’s visibility online, you want to go with the company that:
- Works with you to research keywords and see where you can be competitive
- Provides a keyword research report and a recommended package focusing on specific terms
- Provides recommendations and guidance on how to use the selected keywords in content, blog posts, guest posts, links, and more
- Includes continuous reporting, stats, and course-corrections in their package
- Has a plan/option to continue with them to monitor and maintain any high rankings achieved
- Doesn’t just talk about keywords and links, but actually creates a plan to improve your site and make it more appealing to search engines through content, blog posts, landing pages, and more
- Doesn’t pitch, sell, or recommend bad, frowned upon, or blackhat practices (some still do this)
So remember, nothing about your search engine ranking can be guaranteed and your site’s position and rankings, along with everyone else’s changes every day. But with consistent effort, and by taking advantage of every optimization opportunity you have for your site, you’ll already be way ahead of the competition.
What About You?
Did you find this post helpful? Do you have questions about organic SEO or natural optimization of content? Have you received those sleezey emails from SEO companies?
We would love to hear from you in the comments below!
- What Is Organic Search Engine Optimization / SEO
- How to Optimize Website Content For Search Engines And People
- How to Optimize Images For SEO
- How to Optimize Links For Improved SEO
- What Is An HTML Page Title And Meta Description?
- Writing an Effective HTML Page Title
- Writing an Effective Meta Description
- Why Keywords Still Matter In SEO
- How to Optimize Blog Posts For Maximum Results And Visibility