As a business owner, you may have heard about search engine optimization (SEO) to make your website discoverable for your target buyer. But many don’t know what exactly SEO entails. If you’re investing in SEO for your business, do you know what exactly what you need to be paying for to drastically improve your web presence? If not, keep reading.
First, what is search engine optimization? SEO is how easily people, or algorithms, can find your website and content with a search engine, like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. SEO is organic and does not include paid advertisements. Typically, you want to have valuable keywords in the to yield the best results possible from search engines. A website is great (and necessary this day and age). But if your content isn’t really working for your business, your website isn’t doing you much good.
It is important to make sure that content is accessible for search engines’ algorithms to categorize. Google, for example, uses a process called “crawling’ to discover new or updated web pages. After the crawlers get the webpage, the algorithm organizes the search results based on the most to least relevant sites.
Another way the algorithm yields search results is by using backlinks. Backlinks are part of the search engine optimization process as they link another website on that website’s page. Having a backlink in your content or having other content creators backlink you is a mark of trust. When people see that your website is backlinked, it gives the audience a vote of confidence that your website is reliable and relatable. It might be hard to get a backlink initially, but once your business grows, you should be able to count on backlinks as a form of trust.
Next, search engine optimization success is based on three key factors: quality of traffic, quantity of traffic, organic results.
1. Quality of Traffic
The quality of traffic is the type of people who click on the website. You want to draw in people who are curious or interested in your services, but you do not want to mislead people into believing your website offers a service that it does not. For example, if you are a Wi-Fi company, customers looking for a grocery store should not be deceived into thinking you sold groceries. The quality of traffic is crucial because you could have thousands of visitors to your website, but only a handful of them could be actual customers if your headline misled people into clicking on your link.
2. Quantity of Traffic
Next, the quantity of traffic is the number of clicks you are getting on your web page. The more clicks you have, the better your site will do, but again, the quality of these clicks is just as important. Headlines and appropriate keywords are crucial to generating traffic on your website. Having good headlines and rich, appropriate keywords can make or break your numbers.
3. Organic Results
Lastly, organic results are yielded simply from people clicking on your link on a search engine. But, in order to get clicks, you have to do the work to get ranked. The search engine will determine who is searching for your keywords and point them in the right direction if your site has the content they are looking to find. Having a robust search engine optimization program will allow your website to rank higher organically.
Now that we have defined SEO and its components, why is it essential to make your web content search engine friendly?
SEO contributes significantly to traffic opportunities, sometimes even more so than, paid promotional content, on both mobile and desktop. Essentially, more people can find and click on your website if you format it to be search engine friendly.
Finally, here are tips for making your website content is search engine optimization approved.
- Content Counts
First, make clear, concise, and thoughtful content. Do not clutter your website with information just to fill space. Make sure your content represents your business, and make your content unique. Even if your topic yields millions of search results, make your content stand out and appropriate for your exact target audience. This could mean taking a new direction with the topic, rewording the headline, or offering a different perspective. Website content should be well thought out, not rushed.
- Organize Titles
Additionally, titles should be well-organized. Don’t stuff keywords into your title because you think it might yield more search results. If you have too many keywords that are too similar, the search engine might entirely rewrite your title to fit into a different category. The search engines are pretty smart, so you don’t have to think of every keyword in the book that describes your content.
A study by the Nielson Norman Group suggests that many users only read the first two words of a headline before deciding to click on the link or keep scrolling. Those two keywords should describe as much as possible about the content. Make the first two words of your headline impactful, meaningful, and specific. Do not make your headlines misconstruing, misleading, or confusing. The average person isn’t going to click on something they don’t understand or think is misleading.
Search rankings are impacted by keywords as well. If you’re talking about alpaca farming but don’t put the words “alpaca farming” in your headline, who will know what the article is talking about? The search engine will not correctly rank your link if you do not use the correct keywords.
- Google My Business
A profile on Google My Business is critical. The free tool lets you offer your services on a business profile and puts your company’s name on Google Maps and Google Search. Having your business on Google My Business also sends a message of reputability and trustworthiness to both potential and existing customers. Also, having people rate your business on Google adds reliability to your business and gets real people’s opinions of your services. Do not be afraid to ask your customers to rate your business. As an incentive for the customer, you could offer a small discount or prize if they rate your company on Google. You should also respond to the reviews you receive by thanking them for trying your business and offering compliments or criticism.
- Language Laws
Use language that everyday people understand. Try to make your website and content more accessible to the general public and your clientele. If your topic is extremely technical, try to boil down the ideas into a headline that can appeal to a broader audience. If that’s not possible, make it as plain as possible for your customers who understand the technical language.
Search engine optimization can seem complicated but it doesn’t have to be. It does, however, require someone who understands SEO to do it effectively. For SEO, it’s worth the money to invest in a reputable marketing firm or agency that understands the key to SEO success. You’re much more likely to yield better resultsif you put your website in the hands of someone knowledgeable and equipped to take your SEO to the next level.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO for your business, contact us for a 15-minute consultation.