You need to be found!
written by Stacy Rosien, SEO
You’ve invested money, resources and creativity into building your great idea of a site, yet no one’s coming. You need to be found. The concept of FINDABILITY needs a strategy as part of your company’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) program. Understanding the basics of search engine optimizing will open pathways to your site and allow your target audience to find you.
There are two key concepts to Search Engine Findability: Link Popularity and Link Relevance. Search engines want to deliver new and/or active content that their users want.
Getting attention with link popularity
Search engines use hundreds of factors in deciding how to rank a web page when delivering search results … one facet of those being by their link profile and the strength of those relationships. Remember the crazy professor from Flubber? His scientific experiments were neither popular, nor relevant (although extremely funny when they blew up!). Like your website, no matter how important the blog or topic is to you, if the bots can’t find it or people aren’t talking about it, then you’ll unfortunately never be found.
The popular kids
As the bots crawl the web in search of content users want to see, we’re faced with the unbelievable popularity of fighting against the page popularity and domain popularity of heavyweights like Google, Facebook, Youtube, etc. Almost impossible for any of us to overcome.
A strategy to capitalize on the concept of link popularity is through social media channels. Google’s algorithm ranks and elevates sites with a social media presence higher – those with an active social media presence fare much better than those static web sites without inbound links and social chatter. Your activities to engage your community through Facebook and Twitter help validate your site with Google. In the clickable url linkages you provide back to your site in your tweets, you’re providing linkage for Google (and other search engine) bots to show that lots of people are talking about, engaging and linking to the site with that active presence.
SEO Lesson: Engage in lots of social media chatter with links pointing to your site to help build link popularity for the bots to follow. Use keywords relevant to your site.
Build your street cred with relevant content
With any website, content should always be the primary focus – rich, informative, vibrant, and relative to the site concept. To search engines, analysis of a website’s content is most often the prime indicator of relevancy. Time, then, is best spent on optimizing the text on your site. As a test of the relevancy of the content, search engines also use a mix of the site’s meta information, link attributes and site architecture. The url string, the page title, H1’s, keywords, topically relevant content, inter-linking between pages all help your content pop to the bots (relevancy).
SEO Lesson: Build your site well and continue adding fresh relevant content based on your site’s overall theme. Over time the factor of your sites relevancy to a topic searched will prove well worth the effort.
Combine link popularity and content relevancy
Take it to a new level now to demonstrate to search engines that your site has the right stuff and people are interested in what you have to say. Search engines will stand up and take notice.
The role of a community manager in this strategy takes the elements of your content and builds linkages external to your site with web forums, social media channels, and other blog comments relative to the content of your site. Build engagement.
A community manager of a travel web site commenting on someone else’s blog about San Antonio (say a Visitor and Convention Bureau) and linking back to your host article on San Antonio provides that relative link building that the bots love. Content relevance (other sites validating it) and links bringing new traffic (if lots of people come, it must be of value) is a win/win for your site and your reader.
Search engines learn and appreciate that if links point to a site and traffic flows, there must be value to the content, so it will serve you up higher in the rankings than a static site with no active interaction.
SEO Lesson: As a community manager, don’t underestimate the value of external, relevant links as a means to drive the value of the site.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, but these lessons will give you a stepping stone ahead of those who have yet to learn the value of content and links.