The last few months I’ve been involved with editing and creating websites. A theme is arising on a regular basis: simply creating a spiffy looking website and putting it out there on the web is not enough. Google isn’t automatically going to find you. You have to go out and tell Google and other search engines where you are. It’s called Search Engine Marketing. It’s also called Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

What does this mean? It means

  1. You optimize your site so that search engines will find it and it will show up more frequently in search results.
  2. You build up your site’s content and architecture so Google will “like” it and rank it higher in search results.

I’ve written about SEO for years. I assume everyone reads what I write. I also assume everyone else reads what is written about SEO online (and there’s a lot of it). It turns out these are bad assumptions. The next few posts will deal with improving the visibility of your site. (I can consult with you about your site, by the way, for a fee; email me at the contact page.) Here is the high-level overview:

Throwing keywords around in your headings and your text isn’t good enough. Google ranks sites higher in organic (not paid) search results if they are worth visiting. A site that is worth visiting, in its view, is:

  • Deep. It has lots of content.
  • Fresh. It is updated frequently and not static.
  • Connected. It has links to other sites of value. More importantly, other sites that are themselves “worth visiting” (deep, fresh, etc.) link to your site.

That’s all there is to it. Sound easy to achieve? Of course it’s not. It means you have to roll up your sleeves and create more content. You have to list your site with Google and other search engines. You have to do link-building. And you have to update on a regular basis. I’ll discuss each of these activities in subsequent posts.