What is Search Engine Optimization?

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This lesson is about “What is Search Engine Optimization?Master Class 2 Module 6 Lesson 1

How to move from the virtual “cheap seats” to the “skybox.”

HOW TO GET REAL RESULTS?

You’ve just spent a bunch more money on SEO services.

• Your hopes for quick results have once again have come up short.

You keep thinking there has to be a better way

But where do you start?

How do you get real results with search engine optimization?

DON’T WASTE TIME AND MONEY

Understanding the benefits and limitations of SEO are important because it saves you from wasting money and time on things that don’t help and could even harm your online ranking.

THINK IT’S TOO COMPLICATED?

Many business owners throw up their hands with search engine optimization and think it’s just too complicated to understand.

OVERVIEW

In this lesson, we’ll walk through the basics of search engine terminology and show you an uncomplicated framework that can help build traffic to your website.

• You’ll review what search engine optimization is and how it can be used to improve your site ranking.

THIS LESSON’S OBJECTIVES

Over the course of this lesson you’ll:

  • Define search engine optimization and what it means your business
  • List the main ways that search engines determine if your site is valuable and relevant.
  • And itemize several ways that savvy business owners use to increase traffic to their site over time.
YOU CAN DO THIS!

Each lesson includes the three styles for adult learners with:

• An Audio File

• A Written Transcript

• And a Practice Guide that gives you “hands-on” training customized to your own business.

WHAT DOES A SEARCH ENGINE DO?

Before we start with search engine optimization, let’s get an understanding of what a search engine does.

When you type words or phrases into the search box, the search engine returns what it thinks is the most relevant information about your search.

  • These are called “natural” or “organic” search results.

The search engine also returns results for companies that have paid to have their sites show up when a series of words are entered into the search box.

  • These results are called “paid placement” “pay-per-click” or “ads.”

WHAT SEARCH RESULTS ARE RELEVANT?

As of this writing Google is the search engine leader with over 70% of the all search results being run through them.

  • So how do search engines like Google and Bing decide what results are most relevant to a searcher?

Large search engine companies like Google have thousands of computers that systematically scan web pages for text and other factors such as in-bound links to web pages.

  • Then they process that data with proprietary algorithms to decide what search results to return when someone enters a set of words into a search box.
CRAWLING SPIDERS AND BOTS

This systematic scanning of the web pages is called “crawling.”

  • The software is known by terms such as “spiders“robots” or shortened to just “bots.”

Google and other search engine companies are constantly updating their technology to improve the connection between the results searchers want and the results they get from the search engine.

  • In other words, the search engines are starting to think more like humans in what they view as the “right” information.
GOOGLE NEEDS WORDS

But even though Google and others are constantly evolving to think more like people, they still need data to make that happen.

  • This is where the whole industry of search engine optimization came in.

SEO = GIVING GOOGLE WHAT IT WANTS

Simply put, SEO or “search engine optimization” is a process to improve the visibility of your website to a variety of search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

  • This is done by “getting inside the mind” of search engines.

The goal is to provide what they are looking for easily and in the right amounts to directly affect your site ranking.

PAGE 1 OR BUST

Let’s face it, today we all have very short attention spans.

  • So, if you don’t show up on page one above the fold, most times no one’s going scroll down to your listing, let alone page back to find you.

Think about your own web searching behavior.

  • How often do you deeper than page one when you search? Maybe you do; maybe you’ll pick up one extra page, but probably not beyond that.

If you are like most of us, it’s front page and that’s it.

  • Working to get that page one above the fold ranking of 1, 2, or 3 placements is the whole goal of search engine optimization.

WIZARDS IN CUBICLES

In the early days of SEO, people tried all kinds of tricks to fool the search engines and improve their site rankings.

  • Many of these techniques didn’t add any value to the searcher’s experience, but they did fool the search engines…at least for a while.

These techniques are called “black hat” SEO and just like the old west, wearing the black hat can get you labeled as a bad guy in the mind of the search engines.

WHITE HAT = GOOD GUYS

Today the concept of “white-hat” SEO is what we recommend. This simply means being good guys in your optimization techniques.

  • Use strategies that provide value to your online visitors as well as “play nice” with the search engines.

SEARCHING FOR KEYWORDS

What does that look like?

  • One of the main ways that search engines determine if your site meets the searcher’s needs is through the use of keywords.

Google begins by looking for web pages that contain the exact phrases used by the searcher.

Then they look for pages that contain the words close together, or use synonyms for the keywords.

CONNECT WITH REAL WORDS

Remember all that keyword research you did in last module’s lesson?

  • The purpose was to show you the words that connect with both real people and search engines.

Keywords are still one of the main ways search engines decide how to rank your site.

  • Savvy business owners use that knowledge to their advantage and include keywords in their online presence to improve their site ranking.
PLACEMENT MATTERS

Next, just like people, search engines are capable of attaching different levels of importance to words depending on their placement in the page.

What does that mean?

Placement of keywords matters!

If you scream out your keywords in the headline vs. quietly mention them in the text at the bottom of the article-both people and search engines would be more inclined to connect with the keyword in the headline than the one buried in the web page.

ARE YOU A HOARDER?

Then, is your site well-organized and easy to move around?

  • Or does your site remind visitors of an old episode of “Hoarders?”

If it complicated for people to find the pages they are looking for you will not be ranked as highly as a clean, well-designed site.

RECOMMENDATIONS MATTER

Finally, are you recommended by others?

  • Google evaluates who is linking back to your site, and the quality and relevance of those links.

If you purchase a bunch of “back-links” for unrelated sites or worse…a known “link-farm” Google will punish you in the site ranking.

So take the time to develop relationships with high quality influencers in related fields for your link-building activities.

TIME TO GET REAL!

This lesson’s practice guide walks you through these concepts and how to incorporate them to optimize your web pages.

NEXT LESSON

Once you’ve walked through the basics of search engine terminology and discovered some effective strategies to improve your site ranking, we’ll go deeper into this topic with our next lesson: “Getting attention from “spiders” and people-How to do a website makeover

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