If you are a website owner, you’ve probably heard the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or someone has mentioned to you that you have to do SEO for your website. And now you might be asking yourself, how is SEO going to help my business? This is an excellent question. In this blog post, I will provide an answer to your question and explain how SEO can help your business grow by attracting more visitors to your website. I will give a couple tips on how to apply SEO effectively.
Search Engines: How do they work?
Before I go any further, let me briefly describe how search engines work. This is crucial to know before diving into SEO. Search engines are designed to help people find the information they are looking for on the Internet. There are 4 basic tasks performed by all search engines:
- Search or “crawl” all websites across the Internet.
- Store a list of keywords and where to find them.
- Allow the user to search using a mix and match of keywords.
- Provide user fast and relevant results based on rankings.
Having this knowledge on how search engines work will help you apply SEO to your website effectively. In essence, search engines depend heavily on keywords and relevant content. Later in this post, I will cover what elements of your websites search engines look for when crawling your site.
The major search engines are Google (#1 search engine in the world), Bing, Yahoo and AskJeeves. Although, many people will be surprise to know, YouTube is also a search engine and it’s one of the top search engines today.
What is SEO anyways?
SEO is the process of improving your website’s ranking among search engines for relevant keywords. In a nutshell, SEO is optimizing your site to show up in the search results of search engines. This goes back to our previous discussion on how search engines work. Optimizing your website with relevant keywords that are specific to your industry will enable search engines to give you a higher rank. Thus, it will be easier for people to find your website in the search engines and as a result your website traffic will increase. More traffic means more leads, which can later become paying customers.
Research Your Customers and Market
When done the right way, SEO can help you boost your business sales by attracting quality leads to your website. Start by researching your customers or prospects. What are they’re searching for? What are they commenting in regards to products and services that you’re providing? Find out what their needs are. Having a good understanding and in depth knowledge of your industry will also be extremely helpful. These are some of the fundamentals when it comes to effective search engine optimization.
Once you’ve researched your prospects and you have a clear understanding about their needs, you need to start thinking about specific keywords or phrases related to those needs. Now you can shift your focus on keywords and phrases to use in your website.
Let’s say you own website for your transportation company that’s based in New York City. Someone might be searching for the following keywords:
- Transportation company in New York
- Luxury travel in New York
- Limo service New York
- Town car service New York
- Airport travel New York
Pro Tip: You can use Google Trends and Google Keyword Tool when researching keywords. These are free and helpful tools.
When you use these phrases or terms in your website, search engines will find your website as more relevant and are more likely to return your site in the search results.
Applying SEO to My Website
Applying SEO to your website covers many different areas, which it would be impossible for me to cover in a single post. However, I will cover some of the simplest ways to improve your website SEO today. I will cover other tactics and techniques in future posts.
Geek Alert: I might be getting a little technical here, but don’t worry your website creator knows what these are. You just need to have a basic understanding.
As I mentioned before, here’s a list of specific website elements that search engines look for. You apply relevant keywords that you found from your research to these elements.
- Alt Text – this is the text that you add to any images. Visitors can’t see this text, but this is visible to search engines. Always make sure you input an alt text that describes your image.
- Meta Tags – Meta tags describe your website and it’s the information that search engines use to display in the search results. Also, you use Meta tags to include your keywords in your website.
- Titles – a title describe each page. Make sure it’s no longer than 64 characters.
- Links – add links to point to other pages within your site.
- Website Content in General – more on this below.
Going back to my previous example about your transportation company, one of your website titles might be “We provide transportation services in the New York City area”. You can also add the same phrase in your Meta tags. So, if we examine this title, we can see that we are using three keywords from the phrases that people might be searching for.
Keep in mind that you want to use all your keywords in your website content, but it is more important to provide relevant and useful content. You don’t want to overuse your keywords to the point where your sentences don’t make any sense.
Also, you can be blacklisted by search engines for having too many keywords or “stuffing” keywords. Your website might be seen as a spam website when “stuffing” keywords. It’s vital to use the right balance between your keywords and site content. By creating valuable content your website will rank higher in search engines because they will see you as an authority in your industry.
Search engine optimization is a vast subject and there are various techniques you can use. However, the fundamentals are to research what your target audience is searching for, gather relevant keywords, modify your site using Meta tags and write valuable content. Also, make sure you measure your results and make adjustments as necessary. These techniques are easy to implement and will lay a solid foundation for your website SEO.
Lastly, it’s important to note that SEO takes time, effort and dedication. You might not see the results right away, but if you are consistent and keep tweaking your site for SEO you will reap great results. Get started applying these new concepts to drive more traffic to your website. Give your website a boost with the techniques mentioned above. I will cover other basic-to-advanced tactics in future posts.
Is your website optimized for SEO? We can help you get your website optimized so that you can be found in all search engines. Give us a call now, click here to get in touch with us.