With staggering numbers of people worldwide using the internet, it is now estimated that there are roughly 5.5 billion searches performed on Google per day. For businesses and individuals working toward establishing and sustaining a solid online presence, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has undoubtedly become a necessity. By definition, SEO is the process of organically maximizing the number of visitors to a website because the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
However, as with many factors within constructing a powerful website, one must have a well-informed approach to performing SEO or risk spending time and money without reaping the benefits in terms of the desired high rankings and high visibility. The first step to website ranking success is knowing what SEO is, how it is used by Google, and why your website needs it. The second step is knowing the right way to perform SEO versus undesirable SEO practices.
Here, we will break the SEO process down in a way that is easy to understand, so that your organization or business can start to see great results in website rankings!
Where It Came From
OK, super quick history lesson. In the 90s, search engines like Yahoo, Dogpile, and AltaVista were on the rise. In an effort to generate as much traffic to their site as possible, website owners realized they could force higher rankings in search results by adding unrelated keywords, “stuffing” keywords, and incorporating hidden text and hidden links. This became known as “Black Hat SEO,” the bending and breaking of rules just to get more website traffic. Users were excited that finding information on the web came with greater ease, but there was a problem with quality and accuracy of the results .
Hence, in 1998, SEO was introduced. Google was created and stepped in with a technology that ranked search results based on the quality of a website as a whole, not just the quantity of keywords stuffed on a page. They established criteria to ensure genuine and accurate results for their users. Therefore, in order for a website to be at the top of search results, it had to meet verifiable criteria. Google’s original goal was, and still is, to “reward high-quality sites, and to keep search results authentic,” also known as “White Hat SEO.”.
Why Being on the First Page of Search Engine Results is Key
The competition is high—data has shown that the first five Google results get 67% of all clicks. The goal of best-practice SEO is to get your website to the top of a search engine results list, without any “Black Hat” factors.
Crucial Criteria for Optimal “White Hat” SEO
Let’s face it, not many of us go further than the first page of Google results, which is why SEO is crucial for your website’s visibility. There is no way to absolutely guarantee that you’ll be the top result, but Google uses an algorithm to rank your website, so taking these steps is your best chance to get your website to appear on the first page—or better yet—in that number one results spot in Google, there are some essential elements that must be incorporated into your website.
- Domain age and registration length
- Keywords appearing in domain, tags, titles, throughout pages
- Meta descriptions
- Content length
- User, and mobile-friendly layouts
- Links to and from other sites to enhance your site reputation (backlinks)
- Updating your website frequently (by adding new content, blogs are great)
Since websites will only rank at the top if they abide by Google’s search engine guidelines, it is imperative that your website be set up to meet all the criteria set by Google for optimal SEO. Remember, SEO is about your online presence as a whole. Using paid ads alone won’t get you to the top, since only 15% of traffic comes from paid ads.
It has been said that “if your blog post, article, or product is on any page of the Google search results other than the first, it’s the equivalent of it not ranking at all.” At Brockett Creative Group, our Google Certified experts certified in optimal, White Hat SEO have been getting our clients on the top of the results list for almost two decades. Let our team take your website to the next level, contact us today for more information.