This past weekend I went to a dinner function with my girlfriend’s office. She works for a big company and the company function was being held about 45 minutes away. We carpooled with some of her co-workers, which gave me time to get to know everyone. I was speaking with the wife of one of the men that works with my girlfriend, and she mentioned that she was looking for someone to build a website for her. Naturally, I saw a pitch opportunity and began telling her a little about Comit Developers. I was telling her about website design and how we provide SEO to our clients as well. At this point, her eyes began to glaze over and I could tell that she was completely lost. I asked her if she knew anything about SEO or website design. She quickly answered, “not at all.” This got me thinking, how many people know nothing at all? So, I decided that this blog will be the tell-all in simplistic and easy to understand definitions of SEO and website design. I also think it’s important to use analogies to really help explain things, so I will be doing that as well. Let’s get started.
Search Engines– Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, etc. These sites are designed to index pages on the internet and present them to you when you search for certain keywords.
Keywords– Searchable words within a webpage. Your website has many different lines of text on it, usually, and these words of text are far more important than you would think. Search Engines have “web crawlers” that are designed to go through a page and interpret the keywords on a page in order to determine the page’s purpose. If you sell shoes, your keywords on a page might be shoes, running, walking, soles, rubber, high arch, wide, etc. These words will be indexed on the search engines and when someone searches for them, your page might come up. (Depending on the rank)
Web Crawler– A website reader that interprets keywords and data on a page. This is a part of the search engine’s duties of collecting website data for storage and keyword association.
SEO– This stands for Search Engine Optimization. The words sort of speak for themselves, but to put it into perspective, this is the practice of optimizing a website to rank first on a search. Why is this important? Some of you may be asking this. To put it as simply as possible, the early bird gets the worm. When you rank first for whatever business/service you provide, you will be seen first.
Rank– Your ranking is what position you are listed in a Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. results page. So, if you search for “hamburgers” on Google. McDonald’s may rank first, then Burger King second. This means that McDonald’s has a rank of one and BK has a rank of two. A person with no prior knowledge of either restaurant will likely choose McDonald’s strictly because they are higher on the results page.
Links– Links are power. A link is a URL (A website link. www.google.com is a URL) that points to a website. What makes links important is that they help get your website listed higher in Google. Basically, the more links you have from reputable sites to your page, mean the higher your page will likely rank in Google’s search results. Keep in mind that these are inbound links. Which means they are coming from another site.
Search Algorithm– This is the way that search engines interpret what you’ve searched for and how they provide the best answer. Google, for example, has a very complex search algorithm and it’s aimed at making your search as accurate as possible. You can even search for “long tail” keywords. Which means that Google can interpret very long searches. If you search, “where is the nearest pizza place with alfredo pizza,” Google will be able to analyze that entire question and still provide you with the most accurate result. It knows that you want a pizza place near you, that offers alfredo pizza.
Now, on to terms dealing with webpages
Metadata– This is information that tells a search engine crawler what the page is about. This includes the page description and the page header. If you look at the top of this window, you should see the page title at the top of the window. It says “LOOK HERE.” Also, if you visit Google “What Is SEO And Why Is It Important Comit Developers” you should see this page first. The metadescription will be there below the link. It will say “THIS IS THE METADESCRIPTION.” All of this metadata is very important because it will help a search engine get a better understanding of what information you are providing.
HTML/CSS– This is the way that your website is built. HTML stands HyperText Markup Language. This is the coding that makes your site work. Keep in mind, not all websites are actually coded with this, but this is the most basic form of website building. If a website was a house, this is the frame. This is your wood or steel that is used to actually make the house itself. CSS is the design of the site’s looks. It stands for Cascading Style Sheets. This is the paint, carpet/tile, and anything else that makes a house look pretty. Both of these require good coding and talented coders to make them work properly and have the site rank with search engines. My coworkers, Allison and Kyle, wrote blogs about the basics of HTML, Basic HTML Coding 101 and Introducing CSS.
Please keep in mind that this is a VERY basic understanding of what SEO is all about, but I hope that this will give you a little more insight into SEO and what makes it tick. SEO is so important, far more important than most people think. SEO is what gives businesses the edge over their competitors, and it is our job to try and make sure that you keep that edge.
Allow me to point out that this takes time and that patience is important when you are trying to rank higher, but if you don’t allow yourself to become impatient and you continue to use fair and honest SEO techniques, you will more than likely reach the top. We can never guarantee a number one ranking, but we are certainly going to try as hard as we possibly can to get you to that point. If you ever have any questions or if you are interested in SEO work, never hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always excited to talk with people about their SEO.