Let me give you a little bit of background to better explain the ‘real deal’ behind ranking well
Whatever you are used to calling it – ranking high, getting listed higher, being at the top of the page, coming up first, they all mean the same thing – when somebody opens Google (or whichever search engine they use) and type in a word (or string of words) and hit enter and get a list of results, the bottom line is, you want your business to come up first or very close to it, right?
That takes Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short.
Let me clarify real quick, when I say “the top” of the page, this is directly under the 2-3 paid ads at the very top of the page (as well as the sidebar on the right of the page). We will discuss these in a separate article, but I will tell you this, paid ads do not get close to the number of clicks that organic listings receive. Most people realize these are paid ads and skip right over them to what’s called ‘organic’ listings. This is where you want to be!
Let me rain on one of the biggest myths I hear about this subject. No, it does not cost money to come up at the top or even #1 on the list of organic listings on Google or any other search engine.
So what does it take to rank at the top of the list in organic listings if not money?
I wish I could give you a simple list of 10 things to do to insure coming up high and bringing in tons of traffic to your website, but it isn’t that easy.
Let me back up a little bit. Search Engines are in the BUSINESS of providing the ABSOLUTE most relevant (you’re going to hear that word a lot), most current, most accurate, information in the world based on what word or string of words you type in.
That’s what they DO.
Google is better at it than anybody on the planet – they had revenues of 29 billion dollars (that is 29,000,000,000.00) in 2010, and 97% of that came from advertising revenue on its various properties, including YouTube, plus partner sites through its AdSense product.
If a company does ANYTHING that brings in 29 billion dollars in 12 months, you can rest assured they are going to work very hard at staying competitive and ‘doing what they do’ better than anybody else.
As a side note, Microsoft is losing almost a billion dollars a quarter on its search engine, Bing. The total amount spent so far amounts to 9 billion dollars trying to be competitive with Google.
So now we know search engines make tons and tons of money selling advertising on their sites, and we know the reason people come to their sites is for relevant, accurate information about anything and everything under the sun. But what is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the art of making sure your website is easy for search engines to FIND and easy for them to understand what you do, how you do it, how long you have been doing it, and why you are the absolute best choice for them to show their users.
Some are common sense items. Some are very technical. Some are industry specific. Some are time consuming. And some of those items are very easy.
At Saw Web Marketing, we have a list of over 100 different items that we address to increase our clients’ chances of being attractive to search engines so that when somebody types in “transmission wichita ks” or “puppy training” the search engines see that you do this and that YES, you have the most relevant, most up-to-date information, presented in a format they can understand, and (it’s not as easy as I make it sound right here) presto, you are #1 on Google!
Earlier in this article, I mentioned the rules change constantly regarding SEO. That’s not quite accurate. The rules don’t change as much as they evolve over time.
Google has a secret algorithm. This is a very complex mathematical equation which takes into account over 200 different factors that experts agree (nobody really knows for certain) determine the order of organic listings.
This algorithm changes on a consistent basis for two primary reasons, in my humble opinion (plus they actually make sense).
1- To prevent spammers, con artists, and morons from just following a handful of the most important attributes of SEO to get a solid ranking high on the page and the traffic that comes with it and then bombarding visitors with ‘free offers’, pop-ups, or a ton of links that have nothing to do with what they actually searched for. How long would you use Google if this happened every time you searched for something?
You can see why Google is extremely motivated to prevent this.
2- Because society is changing so much, in so many ways, at not just a fast pace but an ever-increasing faster pace! How we connect, how we shop, how we share, learn, and even communicate with those closest to us has been radically affected by technology in a wide variety of ways.
There would be no way Google could provide the highest quality, most relevant, most timely, accurate leads that it does without taking into consideration video marketing (which is exploding right now), or smart phones, or social media, the speed with which a site loads, or how many people link to a site and share its content – all relevant factors in a good SEO campaign.
Was this post helpful in explaining what Google does, how they make money and why its so challenging to rank at the top of the page? Please share your comments below!
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Have an awesome, profitable week and God Bless!
Matthew (hire me)