Search Engine Optimization Isn’t for Sissies
More commonly referred to as SEO, search engine optimization isn’t for puppies who haven’t yet found their way around the big dogs in the pound. SEO is a serious discipline in an ever-evolving technological landscape. True, the Internet of 2016 has made web design as easy as walking a dog, but SEO should be viewed more like competing in the Iditarod.
During the Iditarod, a skilled musher must lead a team of 21 dogs on a nine-day marathon through whiteout blizzards with chill temperatures as low as -100 degrees Fahrenheit. OK, maybe SEO isn’t quite this harrowing, but there are a lot of similarities:
- Training: Just as the musher and the dogs must train physically and mentally year round for the race, someone practicing search engine optimization must always stay in top shape by taking courses and reading all things SEO-related on a daily basis. Consumer search engine preferences change as do the algorithms that run them. Keeping your website at the top of the organic rankings is a full-time job, and it’s one best suited to a dedicated and trained professional.
- Links: If each husky on the dog sled isn’t linked to each other through the harnesses, their collective strength can’t be leveraged toward the goal of pulling the sled. Search engine optimization shares this same dedication to links to pull the site to the top of the rankings. Search engines give each website value in part based on its content and in part based on the links to and from it.
Appropriately placed and labeled links should highlight the most important content of the site. Internal linking within the site should always be accompanied with external linking to complementary sites. If those sites link back, search engines consider both sites more trustworthy and rank them higher.
- Keywords and Tags: A trained dog sled team is very sensitive to certain commands from the musher. This isn’t so different from a search engine’s attention to the tags and keywords in a user-initiated Internet search. Common search terms are always changing, and the effective search engine optimization professional works to stay on top of it to keep your website at the top of the rankings. Just use keywords judiciously because search engines may penalize you for overusing them. Tags are a necessity, and their skillful placement is critical. Don’t overdo it.
- Sociability: A champion dog sled team is a social unit that knows each other well and interacts regularly. No search engine optimization is complete until it has a firm and active social media presence. While the two may seem like distinct strategies, SEO and social media should enhance and complement each other to increase your brand awareness. A strong social media presence is viewed favorably by search engines, so it can increase your ranking and drive more customers to your site. One of the most effective ways to do this is to consistently grow followers and likes. A quality search engine knows when 20,000 followers were simply bought, so it’s necessary to develop a genuine following. This requires delivering high quality content on a consistent and regular basis by trained professionals like those at Barking Dog Social Media. In other words — MUSH!
Remember, if you are not the lead dog, the scenery never changes!