I was born in 1981 which makes me a very old millennial, a very young Generation X’er or the merger of both sometimes called a Xennial. During my first few weeks at Dogwood, I would listen to technical discussions wanting to learn and understand the details of what we do. To me, it sounded as if Charlie Brown’s teacher was speaking. I heard a plethora of abbreviations shoved together in strings of confusing sentences. “SEO, CPC, SEM, Redirects, Local SEO, bounce backs, title tags, headers.”

Thankfully, things have begun to clear up a bit and those abbreviations make more sense to me now. If you want to know a very simplistic explanation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), read on. You may find the digital world not so different from the real world.

Google wants you to look nice.

Think of your website as your brick and mortar store. You want things displayed nicely. Easy to see and easy to understand. Google wants your website to be the same way. Just as you would periodically redecorate or rearrange the things in your brick and mortar store, Google looks to see that your website is properly taken care of also.

Google wants you to be connected to your community.

Just as neighbors support neighbors, Google wants to see that you communicate and connect with your “internet neighbors.” You do this by linking to other websites. It also helps you appear connected when other sites link back to you. Having your social media connections accessible is important also.

Google wants you to be welcoming.

When people visit, do they stick around, or do they walk right in and then back out? Google wants to see that people come in (click into your site), look around and visit a while (take an action) before moving on. Is your website easy for others to use or do they click on it then immediately move on to another website?

Google wants you to go the extra mile for those with impaired vision.

All of the beautiful images and logos that you have on your site need to have “alt text,” which is a description of what is in the picture or logo. You do this in case a person with impaired vision is using a screen reader to navigate your site. That way if they click an image an accurate description is read to them. Make sure you show them hospitality.

Google wants to make sure you meet basic needs.

Just as you would make sure the air temperature is comfortable and the lights and plumbing work in your store, Google wants to know that your site provides those basic needs.  Does your page load quickly so users don’t sit and wait? Is your security up to date on your site or do they get the dreaded “This site is not secure!” message when they arrive? Are your links and pages working like they are supposed to?

In summary, Google wants us to be connected but they want us connected in the right way. When you make the effort to take care of people that visit your site, welcome them, give them worthwhile information, and connect to your community, Google is more likely to help direct people to your site through organic searches. Sounds like what everyone wants right? If you have questions about SEO and are wondering if you would benefit from being an SEO client, contact us!

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