Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a time consuming complex discipline with much to learn and is frequently changing. For this reason, many business owners are intimidated by the idea of using SEO on their own websites, and consequently miss out on a fantastic way to gain traction in organic search.
As opposed to paid advertisements, which take a chunk out of your marketing budget with each ad, organic search results are free, requiring only that you put in the initial work of optimizing your site and tweaking it to remain relevant from then on.
I Know What SEO Stands for … But What Is It Really?
Okay, so “search engine optimization” isn’t the most descriptive term to a novice. But actually, the phrase does contain the seeds of its own explanation. Let’s start with the basics. Search engines use powerful algorithms to sort through vast quantities of information and return results based on the terms (“keywords”) you initially typed when you began your search. Your goal is to snag users who are searching for keywords relevant to your business by using those keywords in your content, thereby optimizing it for search engines.
That could mean in the titles of your web pages, in the subheadings of your page content, in your blog posts, in sidebars, in social media posts. As long as your keyword use is relevant and not spammy, search engines will pick it up and return your website’s pages, your blog posts and even your social media profiles to searchers.
Are Keywords the Only Component of SEO?
They sure aren’t. You can also optimize your online presence in several other ways. One main way, and one that is often overlooked, is to make sure your website is search-friendly to the robots that crawl the web. That means your text must be indexable, in HTML form, not buried in images, Flash files or Java applications. All of these are nice for visiting humans, but the search engine robots are essentially blind to them. Your link structure must also be search-friendly, with a recognizable structure and no “orphans,” or pages that aren’t linked to from somewhere else on the site.
Search Engine Optimization Increases Ranking and Visibility, Bringing New Business to You Automatically
Another important component of SEO is links. Links from other sites tell search engines like Google that your page is important, because other people are talking about it. If you have few to no links from other (reputable) sites, you are less likely to turn up in searches, even if your keywords are relevant and your site is well-laid-out. Below, we will talk about how you can start make these changes to up the SEO value of your site.
Does SEO Still Matter?
Before we do, however, let’s address a question a lot of people have been asking lately: Does SEO still matter? In this advanced digital age, where the concept of SEO has been around for many years, some are calling for an end to the optimization focus. But while some SEO strategies have gone the way of the dinosaur (think keyword stuffing and directory links), the above recommendations are still very much alive and kicking. Using good SEO can help you target prospects, bring them to you, educate them on what you do and meet their expectations of your professionalism and knowledge so that you can turn them into lifelong customers.
Getting Started with SEO
Truthfully, SEO is a difficult field. Although you can search online for tutorials and tactics, you are better off getting help from an expert who can efficiently outline a plan that will immediately showcase results, and then learn to practice good SEO once you have a solid foundation. Are you ready? Get in touch today and let’s make it happen. Simply call 770.893.2443, or connect online.