That is a question I get asked all the time.
And 9 times out of 10, people ask me what is SEO with a non-descript cursory word such as F%^$# at the beginning.
So what better topic to write about as my first post for my new website ShaeBaxter.com.
(Drum roll please….) Welcome to ShaeBaxter.com, the place to be to make Google fall in love with you.
What is search engine optimization?
SEO = search engine optimization.
And its bark is worse than its bite. Really.
SEO is simply the process of getting your web page or blog post found by search engines to appear for the keywords you’d like to rank for.
For example, if you’re a health coach, you might write a post about the effects of gluten. Your keyword might be “effects of gluten,” or something similar. So your blog post would probably explain to people what the effects of gluten are as well as information about how to manage a gluten free diet.
If someone types into Google “effects of gluten,” you would hope that the search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing would return your blog post in their search results listing page for this keyword. Not only that, you would hope that it would appear in the top 10 search results.
How Google decides what pages or blog posts to return in search listings is a topic(s) for another day. (If you want to get started on finding out what Google needs and how it works, I recommend you pick up a copy of Glenn Murray’s SEO Copywriting and SEO Secrets ebooks).
What someone enters in the search query box is commonly made up of keywords. In this case, “effects of gluten” is the keyword.
But someone else may be looking for a comfortable yoga outfit. He or she may enter “how do I pick the best yoga outfit.” This is also made up of keywords. For example, “best yoga outfit” or the entire phrase “how do I pick the best yoga outfit,” can also be the “keyword” in this case.
A keyword does not have to be a single word
More often than not, (it should be) made up of two or more words. I will explain the reasons for this in a future post.
Google’s intention is to return what it considers to be the most relevant answers to a person’s query. So in the case of our friend curious to know what the effects of gluten are or the yoga person looking for the best yoga outfit, they want Google to provide them the best information that will answer their question.
But before Google can provide them with the best information and answers to their question, YOU need to prove to Google that your content is worthy of being an answer to and a great source of information to someone’s question.
Think of Google as one big library
Why does a library exist? To provide people with information. That’s what Google does. To provide people with relevant information based on a specific keyword or search term.
And it’s relevancy that is the important distinction.
It’s in Google’s best interests to only provide their users with the best information for a given search term. Google’s answers MUST be high quality because that’s what its users expect.
When someone enters a question into Google and presses ENTER, Google then returns back with what it considers to be the 10 BEST answers on the INTERNET for that specific question.
That’s a big call and a big deal if your blog post or web page is deemed worthy of a top 10 listing in the search results page.
Imagine how you would feel if you went to Google to find a specific answer on something you were looking for but you weren’t provided the answer you hoped.
You would be disappointed right?
The reason could be because the information the person is looking for simply does not exist on the Internet. Or the answer or information may exist online but there aren’t enough signals for Google to understand what the content or page is about.
So it may not be Google’s fault. But not everyone would see it that way.
Google is the largest search engine in the world
…but that does not stop people from using other search engines such as Yahoo or Bing to find what they’re looking for.
Google does not want you to do that.
So it’s up to you to help Google out a bit and make sure you provide the appropriate clues and signals within your content so Google will find and rank your blog post or web page for the search term provided.
And that my peeps is the topic for the next couple of blog posts.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
Does SEO scare the beejesus out of you? Do you write with keywords in mind or do you blissfully have your head in the sand? It’s ok, be honest about how you feel. I’m here to help.
Thank you for reading.