Demystifying SEO

In order to rank higher in search results, you have to understand SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Good news: It’s not as complicated as it may seem. Bad news: It takes time and effort. But what doesn’t, right? There are many tools out there to help optimize your page for best performance. If you want to feel overwhelmed, just check out this insanely large list of SEO tools. Alternately, you can pay a professional to handle it all at your expense. I’ve always preferred the DIY method, which offers the advantage of learning a lot along the way. With 571 new websites created every minute, it’s a competitive online world! How do you stand out from the competition? Social media is crucial to long-term success but your website will remain the most important aspect of a sustainable online business. I’m starting an online marketing business called Social Media Labs with the specific intent of helping people improve their online presence! If interested, please connect by entering your email address.

Search engines use link analysis to determine how pages are related to each other. Links help search engines find the site, calculate its popularity, learn the subject matter and, most importantly, bring visitors to you. A site with no backlinks will probably never be indexed. This is precisely why the biggest obstacle to success is time. Each link is assigned a certain weight depending on the popularity of the associated site. The more popular and important a site is, the more links from that site matter. Take Wikipedia for example; sites are linking to it from all corners of the web. The best way to improve your search ranking is by attracting outbound links to your website. Additionally, being linked to by a page with few links is better than one with many links. This is not critical to success but it is assumed to dilute the link value. Reach out to popular local bloggers and ask them to share your content with a backlink. Link building is an art. It’s almost always the most challenging part and requires creativity and hustle. Local popularity is also important. If your site sells outdoors equipment, a link from REI matters more than one from a site about meditation. Internal links also matter a great deal. This is why consistent quality content is important. Start a blog and try to write on a regular basis! Google uses an algorithm labeled PageRank to determine the overall importance of a website. How it works is well-understood but kept secret for proprietary reasons. It’s not the only algorithm they use, but it is the first and best-known. This is also combined with TrustRank. The more links you have coming from trustworthy sites (e.g. NYTimes, CNN, Time) the higher your TrustRank score will be. The best resource to determine your link analysis is Open Site Explorer. Also check out Moz Local to see which search engines your website is currently listed on.

More Resources:
Buffer / Lynda / MOZ / KISSMetrics

**You may also be interested in my blog post: Top 10 Tips to Rank in Search Results