You Don't Need a Guru for Your SEO

From a business perspective, ranking higher in Google is actually just a whole lot of common sense.

Google is just like you in your business—Google wants more business. This is important for people who run small businesses to understand. This is maybe the most important thing for them to understand (as far as business marketing goes):

Help Google, Help Yourself.

I’ll get back to exactly what I mean, but you could repeat this for any platform you use to bring in new customers. It’s the same for Facebook, the same for Twitter, the same all the world over.

Repeat this process and you’ll do better on whatever platform you’re interested in. The only variable is how easy it will be to make the relationship work for you.

How does this symbiotic relationship work exactly?

You’ve got to know what Google wants. This is the real key to Search Engine Optimization.

All these companies want more.

More profiles, more shares, more content, more eyes. That’s what they’re all after. Most of these platforms are sharpening algorithms that make their money through ads, and the algorithms work better and better at larger and larger scales.

So, Google wants more people to be using Google because, statistically, more people will also be clicking on ads—which brings in the big bucks for Google.

Google wants searchers.

So what do searchers want?

That’s the next important question, because that’s what Google has asked itself. This is a good exercise to do in your own business as well, by the way.

Searchers on Google or any search engine want to find useful information quickly. They’re going to the Google app on their phones or they’re popping their question into the search bar at the top of their web browser.

The quicker they find the information, the more useful the search provider is. Because people get pretty predictable when you compile a ton of data, Google has excelled at this quick information grabbing. And because they also run your Gmail and maybe Docs (and know all about that content) they can serve you up hyper-relevant search results.

It’s like Google is reading your mind!

Without getting into the marshes of how we feel about that, let’s understand the most important thing:

A search is most successful when the information is found on the first try.

So when someone finds your website, or blog, or photo through a Google Search—Google watches to see if that person has to perform another search or not.

If they do have to search again, then Google’s thinking is I guess it wasn’t as relevant as something elseBut if the person doesn’t have to search again then Google gives a big thumbs up and might move your business closer to the top of the rankings for a certain search.

With all this in mind…

Search Engine Optimization is about making sure that Google finds your website when it’s actually relevant for your customer. Don’t write spam. When you’re planning content or writing at your blog, make it relevant. Make it things that your customer will be looking for—read your customer’s mind just like Google is reading all of ours.

Some tips that help Google show your business in relevant ways:

  1. Get a Google Plus Page and input as much information as possible. Think about it: Google runs Google Plus, of course it will give its native content a slight advantage (as long as it doesn’t sacrifice relevance).
  2. Include your business name, address, and phone number consistently (and in the same order) throughout any blogs, websites, or social media accounts you run. This helps you show up in local searches, which Google prefers (relevant).
  3. Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools. This allows you to learn more about how Google has filed your site in its servers. You may need some help with this one, but it’s also rather user-friendly.
  4. Make sure your website is geared at solving your customer’s problems. If their main problem is needing to hire you, then make your website a one-stop shop for the hiring process. If you’re selling t-shirts, don’t make them find another site to tell them about basic sizing standards—include it.

It all comes down to being the most relevant. Most social networks work this way, but they calculate “relevant” based on how they make money. Relevant for Google means an enjoyable and quick searching experience. Relevant for Facebook may mean something more like longer time spent on the platform, more scrolling (and more ads).

When you’re planning your strategy for these platforms, just think about what makes them money and what their plan is to make more of it. If you help them make money, their robots are trained to help you too.