Chances are, if you’re reading this blog article, you found it by clicking a link you found on a search engine. There’s a very good reason why you were able to find this article. We optimized this specific blog for your particular search query. We made sure to include the right words (in this case, we were trying to rank for the phrase or search Irvine SEO), the right amount of times, in the right places so that the search engine you typed your question into (probably Google) would choose us as the best possible answer to your request. That, in essence, is SEO.
SEO is the practice of formatting the content of your website in such a way that it makes it easier for search engines to promote you. Seems easy right? Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about SEO. Not knowing how, or why, search engines choose content makes it tough to self-optimize. In today’s blog, we’re going to address a few common misconceptions related to search engine optimization and list a few simple things you can do to ensure you rank for the terms you want.
The Don’ts of Irvine SEO: part 1
Irvine SEO companies (and other very well-intentioned SEOs) will often say you need “good” or “relevant” content. This, however intuitive it seems, is not entirely correct. The reason being, is that search engines like Google do not read or receive content in the same way that human beings do. Let’s take things back to college. During a lecture, you may ask your philosophy professor “Why was Kierkegaard such a bummer?”. Because, to be honest, he was kind of a buzzkill. Not the kind of guy you want to invite to your party. Your professor may go off on a mini-lecture about his backstory and what not – you would get a full and complete answer. That very lecture would be the very definition of “good’ and “relevant” content, correct? The answer, for a college class, is yes. But if Google was in the room, this is how they would hear that exchange:
Student: “Why was Kierkegaard such a bummer?”
Professor: Blah blah blah… Kierkegaard… blah blah blah…
It looks like Google is tuning out, right? The truth of the matter is that at this moment, Google’s algorithm is crafted in such a way that it is searching for the best, most direct, answer to your query. A SEO friendly way to answer your philosophy question would look a little like this:
Student: “Why was Kierkegaard such a bummer?”
Professor: “Kierkegaard was such a bummer because when he was a kid…”
The change is subtle, but important. By restating the original question in your answer, you’re effectively showing the search engine that your content addresses the EXACT answer to the question entered.
The job of a search engine is to find the best possible answer to the question typed into a search box. And, because Google doesn’t want to display bad answers, by entering in exact phrases that match the question, Google can confidently say you’re answering the question at hand.
The Don’ts of Irvine SEO: part 2
You may be thinking, why not fill your page with all of the right phrases so Google can see that your website is filled the brim with the right answers? Well that leads us to the next important don’t of Irvine SEO: KEYWORD STUFFING.
Keyword stuffing was SUPER popular in the days before Google was regularly re-tooling it’s search algorithm. People would fill fields like Alt-Text, Meta-Descriptions, H2, H3, H4 with TONS of different keywords. All to try to rank for as many things as possible. Eventually, there were some website for totally irrelevant topics that would rank for search terms just because they had enough of the right keywords. So a company in Indonesia could try to rank for the phrase Irvine SEO even though their website was selling canoes. This was just because they mentioned Irvine SEO 100 times throughout their website. Google caught on, and ended up blacklisting them from search results.
So, if there’s all of these things that you shouldn’t do, what CAN you do to improve your SEO? I’m glad you asked.
The Do’s of Irvine SEO
SEO, for all of its rules, is not as difficult as it may seem. To make things a little easier for you, I’ve compiled a mini SEO checklist you can use to create good, relevant, and SEO friendly content.
- Think of the exact search phrase you want to rank for
- For us, it was “Irvine SEO”.
- Incorporate the exact phrase you’re wanting to rank for in your content
- Obviously, throwing out the phrase Irvine SEO in a normal sentence isn’t very relevant, but if you were searching for Irvine SEO on Google, then a helpful article on the basic do’s and don’ts of SEO isn’t that big of a stretch.
- Make sure your page is formatted correctly
- This is a little more complicated. In a perfect world, Google would just understand the intentions of your website. This would let you rank for search terms just based on the quality of your content. Although search engines are getting WAY better at doing that, they still need a little bit of help. So, what does that mean for you? It means making sure things like your H1 tag, Title Tag, and Meta Description include your target phrase or “keyword”. Google has some very specific rules when it comes to displaying Title Tags and Meta Descriptions. Be sure to check out this super helpful BEST PRACTICES GUIDE that Moz created.
- Don’t forget about your Image Alt Text
- Search engines realizes that visuals matter. But, until computers learn how to describe images on their own and see things the way humans do, we need to help them out. By adding a relevant description of the picture in an SEO friendly way, you can help search engine crawlers understand what they’re supposed to be “looking” at.
I wish SEO was a simple as the items listed above. But in SEO, as in life, things are far more complicated than a simple 4 item checklist. In total, there are around 200 different factors that go into a search engines decisions to rank a website. Most people and businesses don’t have the extra time to dedicate to SEO, but by following these easy steps, your website can be a little more SEO friendly.
If you’re looking for a little help with your digital marketing or just feeling like chatting, feel free to reach out! We’d love to talk.
Your Irvine SEO Company.