In August, Matt Cutts of Google posted a video in response to the myths and mysteries surrounding SEO and Google’s view on SEO techniques. It is a great explanation of what Google likes to see and what it doesn’t like for SEO techniques. There are a lot of SEO techniques that help websites and a few that don’t.
In this video, Cutts defines Search Engine Optimization simply as “trying to make sure that your pages are well represented within search engines.” Ways that good SEO companies or individuals make this happen are:
According to Google, the top thing your website needs to do is allow search engines to crawl the site and read text, links, content, meta data and keywords. If a search bot cannot read what your website is all about, how can it place you properly in searches. This means that you need html link, you need enough content and keywords, and you need to have it formatted so that Google can read it. An example of Google not being able to crawl your site is a site built in Flash – which is like a movie. If you compared a movie to a book, Google spiders could read a book, but Google would not be able to watch a movie. Anything embedded in Flash, including page link, content, and more is not accessible to Google crawlers.
The Right Keywords
It is always important to recognize how your potential visitors search for things. They may not use industry jargon, so if your keywords just reflect industry insider language, you will be missing keywords that will get you new visitors who don’t know you yet. Also using the keywords that are reflected within the content of your site is really important. If you use keywords that don’t really appear in your content anywhere, they’re not considered relevant and won’t show up in searches. On the flip side of that, if you aren’t thorough enough in your meta data, search engines may skip of your site as not relevant enough to the search terms. Finding the right keywords is a process.
Cutts talks about having the right design as part of your SEO process. This relates to crawl-ability as well as user-friendliness. If your users have a hard time navigating your website, there is a very big chance the search engines have difficulty too. You really have to start with proper design.
A faster site is better. Cutts mentions in this video that Google “uses speed tools in determining ranking”. Speed is just as much about SEO as it is about making sure your users have a fast experience. Download time is determined not only by the size of images and the coding the site uses but also the server speed and configuration. Great SEO will optimize the hosting server as well as the site.
Does you site have content that converts? This is a big question for ongoing SEO. Once your site is fast, friendly, looks good, etc, is the content compelling enough for conversion, and does it boost search placement? In our company’s experience, this is the one area that our clients really could use the most help and yet it’s the toughest for them to commit to. Yes they know their business and should be able to write about it, but writing for SEO and site conversion is an art and when done right it is money well spent.
Black Hat SEO
One of the reasons Cutts published this video is to arm you with the right kind of knowledge about SEO. Many SEO people have been called “snake-oil salesmen” and the like because there are bad SEO techniques. Black Hat is the industry term for these techniques and they include things like keyword repeating, sneaky re-directs, malicious linking to viruses and things like this. A famous black hat SEO situation involved JCPenny’s website during the 2010 holiday shopping season. There were many back door linking techniques used to give the site dominance of search engines, and when Google discovered it, steps were taken to correct it.
If you’re thinking of hiring for SEO, do your research. Make sure who ever you’re thinking of can show you specific site examples that show actual results. Be wary of guarantees, because Cutts even states that “no one can guarantee where Google will place a website”.
For more, visit our website or call for an appointment to discuss website SEO options for your website.
Posted In: SEO Fargo, search engine optimization fargo, search engine placement, website design secrets, website marketing
Tags: , Search engine marketing, search engine optimization, search engine placement, SEO Fargo