Let’s start with the fact that, apart from the odd manual intervention, a search engine is a machine – a very clever one – but a machine all the same. It doesn’t really care for what your salon website looks like, who you are or who you think you are.
It doesn’t care how good your product is or how good your customer service is – in fact, at this stage, no one on the web cares about you yet.
(Do you really care about your suppliers?)
So, to organise trillions of pages of information, a search engine has to be slick. It has an army of electronic robots that scour the web for information. An electronic ‘visitor’ comes to your website, reads the information on your web page and then sends it back to the search engine to index in its directory along with all the other pages it has information on.
It also follows the links on your website to repeat the process. It sounds like something out of the matrix – and, of course, they do quite a bit more than I have suggested here – but, ultimately, they are your friend.
But, all the while they are looking at your website, they are judging it.
They check the content on your pages; they follow links to other internal pages (on your website); they follow links to other websites; they even check the links coming into your website.
But wait… they also check beyond that – they have a look at who links to the websites that link to you and they also check the links to the websites that link to the websites that link to you.
Basically, they are checking you out – a bit like a credit-checking agency – and, they don’t just take your word for it.
They check the authority of what you say by seeing what other people are saying about you. They check the secondary websites to see the context of what they are saying in relation to you, and whether they think you are good enough to link to. What’s more, they check the credibility of the website linking to you.
So, if on your website you want to tell the world you are the best beauty salon in Manchester, Google won’t just take your word for it, they will judge you based on the opinion of the web.
And, that opinion can be heavily weighted. If a respected beauty organisation or local website with a good profile backs up your claim on their respected website, then Google will take note and give you a plus point. If, on the other hand, your proud mother writes about it on her blog, then Google won’t add so much weighting.
And Then There’s Social Signals
Social Media has taken this a step further but it’s still the unknown. How many people are talking about you and linking to you on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus? These links may help and they are definitely worth
Three Simple elements of Good SEO
This leaves us with is some very basic rules.
- Firstly, tell the search engines what you actually do in a clear and concise way.
- Secondly, encourage people (especially credible websites) to back up your credentials.
- Keep adding value to your website by adding great content that is of benefit to your audience – especially stuff that’s sharable.
And that’s it. Forget all the other stuff you hear about; these three rules will be enough for your small business website.
It sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? You may even be asking yourself why isn’t everyone doing it. Well here is the challenge. The first of these points is the easy bit… number two and three is a just a little bit harder.