Your Relationship with Search Engines

Understanding Search Engines Will Benefit Your Business

You know the big names in search -- Google, Yahoo, Bing -- but do you know how they work? What is it that makes your tire website appear on the first page instead of the third when a potential customer searches for tires in your area? A lot, it turns out. It’s time to learn a little more about the relationship between your website and search engines.

Understanding the Relationship
You have a tire business. You want your website to appear at the top of search engines, like Google, so you can attract more customers and make more money.

Search engines want to return relevant websites to searchers. If someone is searching for jet skis and Google returns tire dealers, the searcher will migrate to a different search engine. If a searcher looks for a tire shop in your city, however, it makes sense to return your website as a result. Of course, a search engine needs a way to read your website and gauge its relevance and popularity to determine its rank.

Already Burned Once
Search engines “crawl” the web using algorithms, or complex mathematical formulas, to determine where a website should rank. No search engine company wants you to know precisely how its algorithm works. Back in the 90s, when search engines like WebCrawler and AltaVista were first appearing, businesses learned how to manipulate the results. You can imagine the chaos.

The giants of today have learned from the past and have safeguards that protect against website owners trying to game the system. Google will penalize and blacklist sites that use illicit means to get ahead. In 2011, for example, J.C. Penny was penalized for link scheming; the company had hundreds of unrelated webpages linking to its products. 

Opening Up
Still, there’s a lot we do know about how search engines rank sites. In addition to knowing what tactics get penalized, we have guidelines for what search engine companies want and know the importance of using keywords wisely. For all engines, two big advisable features are:

● Informative Content: Write for your visitors and give them good, informative content. If they’re on a page about tire repair services, use appropriate keywords. Discuss what services you offer instead of using the page to write about a specific brand name tire.

● Usability: Visitors should have an easy time navigating your website to find what they want, and search engines should have an easy time reading your website. Don’t hide text behind images or have dark text on a black background.

It’s important that you design your site for your specific audience. You don’t need the world to see your website. You want your potential customers to see it. You want the men and women searching for new tires or tire services. Advertise your brand names, showcase your specials, and experiment with good practices to get on the first page and stay there.

Blog post written by Net Driven.  To learn more visit, www.getnetdriven.com.