It’s revelation time. I’m about to tell you the real secret behind SEO. The secret to all of the mystique, all of the myths, all of the things people claim to know everything about it but can never quite explain.
Whenever I speak to someone about their website, and the success of their website, I explain SEO to them. Pretty much everyone I have done this for has responded with the same thing. They tell me they’ve never heard SEO explained like that before, and that it all makes so much sense. It’s so easy to understand.
So are you ready? Here comes the totally secret meaning to SEO, how and why it works, in a very straightforward way.
SEO, right, is about giving people what they want. You see, when people use search engines, whether it’s Google, Yahoo, Bing or something else, they’re looking for something. They have a need, whether it’s for a product, service or question they want answered, and they’re using a search engine (usually Google) to find the answer.
The search engine has one job. In order to ensure people come back and use that search engine again (because that’s how search engines make their money, by people using them) they need to make sure they answer the question posed by the user. They need to offer them the website that best answers their question. If they don’t do that, the user may switch to a different search engine to find the answer.
Now, here’s where the clever SEO part comes in. If your website has the best answer to the question posed, better than any of your competitors, it’s more likely to be offered up by the search engine as the answer. If it doesn’t answer the question at all, it won’t be offered up. It won’t rank. It won’t be found.
So, what is SEO? SEO is making sure your website is the most relevant website for a particular search.
For example, if you’re a plumber working in Chester, there’s no point having a website with five pages consisting of a homepage, contact page, about us page, services page and testimonials page. None of that information is going to help a potential customer searching for the cause of a particular flashing light on a Worcester boiler. Only by having a page of content that explains that error, what could have caused it, what the repercussions are of the error, how to fix it, and whether or not it can be fixed are you likely to see that page returned by Google when someone Googles the problem.
Look at your products or services. What problems do they solve? People search for problems, not solutions. They don’t know the solutions until they find you. By talking about the problems, you’ll be found by the people who are experiencing those problems. Then, and only then, will your website be truly working for you.
This means a plumber working in Chester should have hundreds or thousands of pages on their website, not five. Obviously, this SEO still requires a little technical work to ensure the content is added properly, is searchable, features the correct markup and a ticks a host of other boxes. The essence, though, is in providing the answer to the questions.
What questions are your clients and customers asking? Does your website feature the answers? If it doesn’t, add them.