Welcome back to this SEO podcast. In the last episode, we went through a real brief crash course on making SEO a bit more approachable. What we said still rings true! SEO really is a lot easier to get into than people probably think.
This time, we’re going to cover a bit of introductory SEO – how do we actually optimize websites for search engines? Why should we care? How do search engines even find this stuff?
How Search Engines work
So, to start off – let’s start with the ‘SE’ part of SEO. "Search Engines". Just about everyone uses them, every day, several times a day. The most famous and common one is, of course, Google – so much so that it’s become a verb (ever heard of ‘Googling’ something?) – but there are others! Bing, Yahoo!, Baidu, Yandex search, Duck Duck Go; there are actually quite a few search engines out there. And all of them work in similar ways.
First, the engines are constantly sending out little programs called “web crawlers”, or “spiders”. These crawlers go all around the web to every website and look through the different pages. They quickly rush through the text and pick out relevant keywords and pieces of code, then categorize or index the webpage or website based on what they found.
While doing so, they sort of ‘rank’ and filter a lot of the content on the website, to see how relevant it is to a certain topic or theme. While they are all different, the idea is that they ‘summarise’ the website under a few blanket terms, and the more keywords it has under a specific topic, the better! Then, they index what they found so the search engine can bring it back up in the results later.
Someone requests that topic in the search engine of their choice and depending on how ‘relevant’ the crawler deemed a given website, it’ll show up. Once again, each search engine has its own algorithms for sorting relevancy and accuracy, but the more relevant and accurate to the search it finds a website, the higher up that website is displayed.
Using the right keywords
So when talking about SEO, one of the core concepts and ideas is to nail the keywords you have on your website, so that you’ll show up higher in the search engine results! But you also have to find a balance in the keywords – popular ones are a double-edged sword because while they are, well, popular, there are also 100,000 other websites targeting them.
Find your niche
Find your niche! If you’re a lawyer – don’t just add ‘lawyer with a law degree’! If you specialize in Patent Law (for example) then make sure to add ‘intellectual property’, ‘plagiarism protection’, and a few more perfect keywords that will help people who need you to find you easier. Though there are many patent lawyers, at least you’re narrowing it down!
Remember – you rarely find yourself looking on page 2 or 3 of Google, let alone any beyond that. So while getting onto the first page may be a bit challenging, with the right niche and good SEO, you will get there sooner than you think.
Produced by Webcarpenter SEO Company in Toronto