When was the last time you searched the internet for something? No doubt, fairly recently. We use the internet to find trustworthy sources for everything from the best pizza in town to pest control services. This is where your business and SEO should make a great team!
That’s the beauty of the internet. You can almost always find what you’re looking for without getting up from your couch. Businesses realize that their online ranking has a direct effect on their growth and profits and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method to improve your search engine ranking.
We’ll go over everything you need to know about SEO, so, when people look for the best pizza in town, they’ll see your restaurant!
What Is SEO?
Two parts make up SEO:
The first part is understanding what your customers (or potential customers) search for on search engines.
The second part is formulating your web content to provide the information they’re searching for. If you can figure out the specific terms, questions, and phrases that customers search for, then you can make sure your website answers them.
Why Is SEO Important?
SEO creates “organic” search results, which searchers are more likely to trust as reliable sources. “Organic” search results are results that appear in search engines without the help of paid advertisements.
That means good SEO then puts your content at the top of the results list for free! Now, when searchers see that your content is ranked highly without paid advertisement, they’re more likely to view it. Of all the searches people do, only about 2.8% of people click on advertisements.
Good SEO makes your business more visible online for a longer period and advertisements are only at the top of search engines so long as you’re paying for them. Also, a bonus to this is that the longer your content exists, and the more people who click on it organically, the higher it will rank.
Don’t forget to keep you content relevant, because as long as your content remains relevant, it will keep funneling traffic to your website!
How Do Search Engines Work?
Google describes its mission as “organizing the content of the web” and we usually describe Google as an “answer machine.” Search engines work to give people the most accurate and relevant results to their internet searches.
They do this by “crawling and indexing”, which is the process of cataloging content and ranking it for how it matches a person’s search.
When you use SEO, you’re essentially promoting search engines to provide your content as an answer to people’s searches.
How to Optimize Web Content
If you only implement one principle of SEO, it should be that you create content that serves your customers’ needs. If you try to make your content interesting, informative, and engaging, then that’s already an SEO strategy.
Of course, if you want your content to regularly rank highly for certain search terms, then you can use other specific tactics to accomplish your goals.
There’s a lot you can do to your website to make it search engine optimization friendly for your target audience. These technical factors encourage Google to rank your website higher.
- Website Speed
Google is more likely to point people toward websites that load quickly. Also, if your website takes a long time to load, then people are more likely to leave the site and find another source. (Oh no!)
- Mobile Usability
Recently, Google has changed its ranking so that websites that operate well on mobile devices will rank higher. So it’s more important now than ever to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. (Did someone say, “Can you here me now?”)
Google doesn’t want to direct its users to unsecured websites. Even without SEO concerns, it’s a good idea to make the security of your site a priority.
- Clean Code
Google, and other search engines, require your code to be concise and clear to read in order to categorize your web content. Certain code languages are simpler for Google to translate, like HTML. However, not many websites are built solely on HTML, so it’s important to make whatever language you use easy to read for a quicker translation.
Once you have the backend of your website optimized, you can now begin optimizing your content. (Which brings us to our next point.)
Make Good Web Content
Whether your business is big or small, if you hire in-house or outsource, your content development guidelines are the same for SEO.
- Titles and Headings
Google uses your titles and headings as signals to determine when relevant content begins and ends.
- Copy That Answers a Question
Google is an answering machine, the more concise and informative your content is, the more likely Google is to direct people toward it. Google also wants to see images, videos, and graphs to help readers understand the content.
- Internal and External Linking
Google relies on internal linking to determine all the different pages on your site, as well as which pages are the most important. Incorporating external links to quality sources tells Google that your content is related to other authorities on the topic and can make your search engine ranking higher!
Make sure to post new content regularly on your website, this tells search engines that you’re still producing relevant information. If you haven’t posted anything in a while, Google may assume your website is not active and they will lower your SEO ranking.
- Use Social Media
Get more SEO! Outside of your website and content, utilizing social media platforms to create buzz tells Google that your content is popular. Use your social media to generate buzz or another influential social media account.
In the end, the more information you supply search engines, the more reliable you’ll be to them, and the more likely they can recommend your website to searchers.