Better Website Marketing: What You Need to Know about SEO
SEO is essential for just about any business on the planet. From restaurants and mom and pop shops to big multinational corporations, every website can benefit from a better ranking in Google’s search results. But, while SEO might sound like it’s just another tech buzzword, it’s not going away anytime soon. Here’s a primer on this essential concept, that, if done right, can really take your business to the next level.
So What Exactly is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and good SEO practices allow users to more easily find your business online, standing out from other competitors. SEO focuses on helping businesses gain unpaid visibility on search engines like Google. Just about anything you do with the intent of improving how your website performs can be classified as SEO, and the end goal is often trying to get your website to be number one on the list when searchers type in a specific keyword or phrase.
Keyword Search, and Identification
Keep things long. There’s a key concept in the keyword game, known as long tail keywords, and it just may be one key ingredient in your secret sauce. While beginners may think that shorter, broader keywords and phrases will get more people to their site, which is the goal, right? It’s a little more complicated than that.
Long tail searches are very specific searches, that will attract the exact audience you’re looking for. If you’re selling chairs specifically designed for tall people, you don’t want to get the searchers looking for child-size chairs, right? If too many people leave your site immediately after landing on your content, Google marks it as less relevant, resulting in a drop in rankings.
Content is more important than you know. We live in a competitive online world, and website content does a lot more than give you or your business a place to share your musings on the world. For visitors to your website, they’ll get something to read and that gives them the chance to learn more about the industry you operate in. Content can be anything, from a great about the company page, to information about your products and services, as well as information about your location and more.
The other benefit of keeping content fresh is to keep users coming back for more information. This won’t happen overnight, but a regular blog with great industry news provides your audience with critical information and lets Google know you’re generating new, relevant content.
If you’re still not sure why you should be investing in content, Search Engine Journal will further explain its many virtues.
Again, we’re back to Google and the rankings, rankings, rankings. Developing a link building strategy is essential in setting your business up for success on the internet. You’ll want to both link to credible sources on your webpage, or get credible sources to link to your page. Traffic from other websites (credible sites, mind you), basically help vouch for you in an online capacity. And if you’re concerned about the many blog posts you have yet to write, you can still take advantage of link building without creating content.
If you’ve posted a blog post or guide relevant to other businesses, ask if they’ll link to it. This process may take some research, but if done correctly, can help bring some much needed organic traffic to your website, in a way that’s largely hands-off once the relationship has been put into place. Or, enlist the help of a small business marketing service for some extra help.
On Page SEO
Once you’ve gotten your keywords picked out, you’ll want to make sure Google understands what your website is actually about. This really consists of making sure your keywords are placed in the correct locations. If you don’t know anything about HTML, it’s a good idea to talk to a developer to get this stuff figured out. If you’ve got a working knowledge, here’s a quick rundown of the things you should get updated.
- <Title>: Primary keywords should be placed in the title tag, preferably at the front. The title tag (this is the title of your webpage) should be less than 65 characters, so the full title will be on display in the search results.
- <h1>: In your header tag (this is the title of your content pages), the primary keyword should also be featured.
- <h2> and <h3>: If you have additional headers, mention your primary keyword again, or any synonyms people might also use to search for your product or services.
In conclusion, there’s a whole lot more to learn and do, but if you’re new to SEO, getting these few steps in order can help you build up a solid online presence over time.
Derek Brown is the Managing Director of Pronto Marketing, a provider of outsourced website design and Internet marketing services to small businesses around the world. Previously, Derek was the Director of Marketing Communications for the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. and oversaw all marketing disciplines including advertising, branding, Internet marketing and public relations on global efforts.