In this second installment of “Winning with SEO,” Austin Coulson, internet marketing guru at ACU Web in Riverside, CA, presents an overview of how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works. (If you missed the first one, it’s back here)
Yes, Google and the other big search engines are mysterious black boxes, taking in information and spitting out lists of websites , but some of what they do is not mysterious, and that’s where this video starts. For example, having quality relevant content that other people also think is quality is a fundamental need for a website you want discovered.
Keep watching these videos for more information and activities for making your real estate website more optimized, and if you have any questions, please post them in the comments!
Last week, we gave you an introduction, told you about our channel, why we think it would be interesting, and how we think we can help you. Covered what SEO is, which is essentially practices that help you push your website up on Google. Today, we’re going to get into a more specific thing, how SEO works. And at the end we’ll give you an activity. And every week, we’re going to give you some information like that, and an activity that you can take and do yourself to push your site up on Google.
So, how does search engine optimization work? It’s a mystery. I mean, there’s a million pieces that even a professional like me – I’ve done it for 12 years – there’s always something new they’re always changing. But, like anything, there’re core concepts and core parts that are always true and you can always use them, and they’re simple, and that’s the kind of stuff we’re going to give you here on this channel.
So, how SEO works. We’re going to use Google as the search engine example. They’re still the biggest, and that’s where everybody focuses anyway. Google will start by looking at your website. If you want to be known as “the commercial real estate guy/gal”, just to use something as an example, commercial real estate. They’re going to come to your website. They’re going to essentially read through the pages and determine if this is a site about commercial real estate. So that’s the first check, all right. You did that, where you’ve focused on your topic, how to decide that topic, themes and stuff like that is actually something we’ll get really into in an upcoming episode, but for today let’s just assume you’ve made it all match and there’s a theme, and it’s going to be commercial real estate for today’s example.
Google’s read through your site, ok. You are a commercial real estate person. That’s what you want to be known for. Your blog talks about that, it talks about industry trends, it gives examples. The properties that they find on your site are commercial properties, they’re not residential. So there’s a consistent message that this is a commercial real estate website.
Next, it wants to know, do other people agree with you? You want to be known for commercial real estate, but do people agree? Are you good at commercial real estate? Do other people say that you’re a commercial real estate person? So it’ll go out, and it’ll start spidering the internet, crawling the internet, looking at thousands and hundreds of thousands of websites, and when it comes across a site that refers to you as the commercial real estate person, that’s a vote of confidence. That’s that site raising a hand saying “that’s the person to talk to if you’re looking for commercial real estate information.” Information’s really what Google cares about. And every time it finds it, like I said, that’s a vote of confidence. So that’s one big piece, and they call those “links.” Now, you used to be able to build millions of links through cheap services, and you would fly up to the first page of Google. That’s not the case anymore. So, in a future episode we’ll also talk about how to get quality backlinks, focusing on quality over quantity.
So those are backlinks. We’ve talked about the website, and having a consistent message. And we’ve talked about links, people voting about it. Then the other piece, which you’ll get great information on Tech Tuesdays about, some of the social stuff. You know, he talks about Yelp, LinkedIn, these other places. Google is reading those sites too now, and considering them when ranking a website. They want to see good reviews, you know. Do you have one star, which is not so good, or do you have 5, you’re amazing? Then you’re the good guy to talk to. Do you have lots of comments where people are saying positive things about you? They actually read the tone, the inflection, the attitude of messages now, and comments, to see if there’s a positive dialogue now about you or your company, or not. So it pieces all of those together, and decides, is this the guy we want to show? Because when Google puts you up on the top, they’re basically putting their name on the line, because they want people to like their results (so they click more ads and make more money). Are you the guy that we want people to see? So, once they determine that and they put you up there, you’re going to do great, but you’ve got to work towards it. And again, this channel is going to give you steps to do that. So hopefully now you have a picture of how SEO works. I’m sure you’re going to have a ton of questions, and I’m happy to answer them if you put them in the comments below.
And next episode, we’ll get into keywords. When I talked about the theme of your website, this all starts, the beginning of all SEO, is the keywords. “Commercial real estate” is a keyword. If that’s what you want to do, then we need to find commercial real estate keywords and focus on those.
So tune in next week, and we’ll give you more activities.
But first, I should give you an activity for this week. Do some research. Look at, if you’re the commercial real estate guy, Google “commercial real estate” and your city. Look at who’s showing up. Look at their website. What are they talking about? What are they doing? And just get an idea. You don’t need to take notes, you don’t need to make lists, just get a feel for who’s out there now and what are they doing, what are they talking about? Because in the future that’s going to be very important, and we will get into competitors and how to really break down what they’re doing down the road. So again, tune in next week, we’ll get into keywords. Have a feel for your competitors, what keywords they’re using maybe, once you get an idea of what that is, and we’ll go from there.