Video: 3 Things Search Engines Want from Your Web Site

In this video, Daniel DiGriz discusses the three primary things that search engines, like Google, want from your web site. These are also the things that make it most effective for internet marketing with site visitors.

Hi. I’m Daniel DiGriz, president of Market Moose. I’d like to talk with you about the three things that search engines are looking for in your website.

The first thing is original content. By “original,” we mean that it’s unique to your website. It doesn’t appear anywhere else on the Web. A lot of people think that it’s okay to lift content off of other sites and use that in their own sites. Sometimes, I’ll even see people make blog posts out of news reports that they found on The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal websites. The problem with this is that search engines are well aware that this happens. First, they detect the site that had that content the longest, or the first site that put it up, and they rank that site higher. After all, they’re copy-worthy. You borrowed their material. Second, they rank websites that have copied that material much lower. If your site consists largely of material that you have borrowed from elsewhere on the Web, you’re going to want to replace that with original content. So, the idea is for you as the site owner to contribute to the site’s content yourself, and to structure that content in such a way that it is effective for marketing and contains the key things that people need to make the decision to deal with you.

The second thing that search engines want is relevant content. By “relevant,” they mean the same things that consumers mean when they’re searching for material on the Web. If I’m a consumer and I want to find a mortgage broker in, say, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, what I’m going to do is type, “mortgage broker vancouver island bc.” If those words do not appear in the website that I’m looking for, the website is not going to appear in the search results, either. So, the idea is that the content you’re writing should be relevant to two things. First, it should be relevant to your industry. It should contain things like the types of services that you provide. Second, it should be relevant to your locale. No one goes to the Web and simply types in the words, “real estate agent.” If they do that, they’ll get real estate agents in New Mexico when they’re looking for real estate agents in North Carolina. Instead, they’re going to type in “real estate agent” or “realtor” and then a place name, such as the city and state. So, you want to make sure that the content that you are writing is highly localized (highly relevant, that is) to your locale, and also highly relevant to the services that you offer.

So, to recap: search engines want content that is original and content that is highly relevant.

Lastly, what Google and other search engines are looking for these days is content that is frequently updated or fresh. Back in the day when search engine optimization first took hold, it was all about simply being found and using techniques to locate your site, but there are a lot more websites now. Many of those websites – especially blogs and forums – are dynamic sites. They are updated all of the time, frequently changing and having additional content added to them. Search engines tend to rank those sites more highly these days. So, if you have the old-fashioned static site from, say, five or six years ago with about five pages – a homepage, a “contact us” page, an “about us” page, and a couple of others – then that site is far less likely to be found than any of your competitors that have a dynamic site. A dynamic site is one in which you are updating the content frequently. By “frequently,” I don’t mean once every six months. I mean more like three times a week. What I tell people is, “If you’ll spend five minutes daily or ten minutes every other day doing a 100-word update to your site, you are far more likely to get traffic.” If that update is relevant and original, it will make your website more attractive to search engines than your competitors’ static websites which haven’t changed in months. That’s why most websites these days have a blog component. Business websites, for example, have really launched into blogging.

To summarize, the three things that search engines want are original or unique content, content that is highly relevant from a search engine and a searcher’s standpoint, and also content that is frequently and freshly updated. Keep these things in mind, and your site will dominate your competitors’ sites in your particular market.

Thanks very much. This is Daniel DiGriz once again from Market Moose Internet Marketing.

Daniel DiGriz

Daniel DiGriz is a corporate storyteller and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe, which provides creative direction, marketing leadership, and campaign direction for firms that want a stronger connection with their audience. A Digital Ecologist® applies strategic principles from both natural and digital ecologies to help organizations thrive across multiple ecosystems. Daniel hosts podcasts, speaks at conferences, and his ideas have appeared in Inc, SmartBlog, MediaPost, Forbes, and Success Magazine.
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