Intro to Search Engine Optimization: Why SEO is the Roadrunner and you must be wilier than Wile E. Coyote

Like Wile E. Coyote’s quest for the Roadrunner, when it comes to SEO, your work is never done. The reason? SEO (or search engine optimization) is merely a collection of tools, paired with expertise (i.e. educated guesses, trial and error) about what will attract the big search engines, and ultimately your potential customers. But since the internet, too, is a living, breathing and swiftly changing, anvil-dodging entity, so are search engine algorithms. Therefore your web presence must also evolve.

Like the Roadrunner, SEO can seem like you’re always chasing and never catching. But with a little savvy, patience and curiosity (making small but constant adjustments here and there) your Wile E. Coyote could have the Roadrunner eating right out of the palm of his hand.

In the era of Web 2.0, your website not only has to be compelling (coupled with good representation and reputation management in social media realms) but you must have a search engine friendly site. Thankfully, many of the things that make your site appealing to the big engine’s crawlers will also make it a haven for potential clients.

Search engines, customers and roadrunners love the three C’s:  Content, Code and Connections.

Content: This is Roadrunner bait. Have a fresh, constant flow of new keyword-rich information on your site (through articles, blogs, news) to entice both crawlers and customers.

Code: In the rankings game simpler is better. Clean, uncomplicated source code is key. Stay away from Flash/Splash pages and Javascript as much as possible. Remember, the more complicated Wile’s schemes were the easier it seemed the Roadrunner got around them. Be careful of WYSIWYG editors, making certain to use those that are search engine-friendly like WordPress. If you hire a web designer, make sure they work directly with your SEO team to ensure your site is clean enough for crawlers to index as many pages as possible. This also keeps visitors to your site happy. The easier and cleaner your site, the longer most users will linger (provided your content is good.) More time = more potential sales.

Connections (or Credibility): Everybody wants to do business with a credible source, especially online. Just like your mother always said, “People will judge you by the company you keep.” Your links are these connections and your credibility is judged based on these “friends.” Search engines look out for consumers by looking at a site’s credibility through relevant links and they penalize those who manipulate rankings through things like link farms. If you want to catch a Roadrunner you have to be a roadrunner (or keep company with them). This means relevant, popular and search-friendly links are important to your site’s ranking success.

Armed with the three C’s you will find yourself face to face with your roadrunners. Just make sure that, unlike Wile E. Coyote, you know what to do once you capture them.

Wile E. Coyote did indeed catch his Roadrunner, once.

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