What is Search Engine Optimization?
Explore what SEO means and how to utilize it for your websites.
How do you acquire most of your new customers?
Chances are quite a few are through the web. According to most studies, organic search results are responsible for somewhere between 70%- 94% of website traffic. This means search engines are responsible for introducing your website to the majority of first time viewers.
So, how do you get your site to the front page of search results? Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve heard the term Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. SEO is the process of generating traffic from the “free,” “organic,” or “naturally” on search engines, such as Google and Bing to increase your visibility.
(This is different from paid results, which generally show up in a highlighted “sponsored ad” area)
Successful SEO is about making small modifications to parts of your website with strategically planned keywords and content. Individually these changes may seem minor, but when combined they a noticeable impact on both your users experience and your search rankings.
Keep in mind, SEO and rankings impact new traffic, not return visitors.
First Steps with SEO
- Keyword Research
- Review of your site content or structure
- Content development
- Management of online business development campaigns
- SEO training
- Expertise in specific markets and geographies.
Selecting good keywords is just the first step to success. There’s no point in being highly ranked for a keyword no one searches. Google offers a “Keyword Tool” that lets users compare lists of similar keywords. It displays a count of how often keywords are searched while a competition column shows what words advertisers think have the highest value.
Find your niche, know your audience and consider what they search for. Then, focus your energy on those key areas. Don’t be afraid to test a few to see what works! Different calls to action, promotional offers or featured images can help attract users. Marketers have been using A/B testing for decades, so give it a shot with your online messages.
Content and Site Structure
Think like a search engine. How do you navigate through your website’s content? Are pages clearly labeled with appropriate titles?
If it’s easy for you to understand, then it’s easy for the algorithms to recognize. Relevant content, page descriptions, anchor titles, meta tags, browser titles, file and folder names and HTML structure all contribute to your SEO rankings. Pay attention to the details when dealing with location data, images, video, academic, news or industry related topics. These tactics for building lasting associations and high quality connections are ways of utilizing “White Hat” SEO.
Click the image for additional examples and tips from Google
On the other hand, “Black Hat” SEO exploits the weaknesses in search engine algorithms with tactics like keyword stuffing, link farms and landing pages to obtain higher rankings. It may boost you to the front page, but it’s not as genuine as White Hat and can be unpredictable or short lived. (insert keyword stuffing image)
For example, the word content appears on the site 28 times, and each instance of it is linked to the datsyn.com/how-it-works page.
This abuse of keywords is frowned upon by search engines. They regularly alter their algorithms to discourage such tactics, and the site that’s first one week, may end up last in the search results the next.
“Unethical SEOs have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways. Practices that violate our guidelines may result in a negative adjustment of your site's presence in Google, or even the removal of your site from our index.”
Play fair when it comes to SEO. There is no upside to upsetting Google.
There’s a lot of chatter about the impact of social media on SEO. Social media sites are indexed by Google, so create content people want to share in order to generate inbound links. Likes, comments, +1s, repins, retweets, etc., all play into the weight given to your pages.
That’s why social media sites encourage you to customize the “About” section of your profile. Addresses, cities, states and back links to your site help reinforce your position with key words or areas.
Insider Tip: Use your business’s name in your social posts. This helps Google associate the keywords you use to describe your business with your business’s name.
Great SEO works for everyone
When your online strategy is centered in creating the best experience for your users, it goes a long way. Boost your SEO by making sites interesting and easy to navigate and they will easily be found by a search engine’s algorithm. Remember, the higher in the search results a site appears, the greater chance of someone clicking through to your site and brining you new business.
Check out our 9 SEO tips and refrence them when you're looking to give your business an extra boost.
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