Online marketing is one of the most lucrative ways to expand and grow your business. Almost every business, whether big or small, make it a point to have a website up and running.
So how do you make your business stand out in the market? Knowing about Search Engine Optimization or SEO is crucial if you want your website to rank higher on different Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
The reason behind why you want to rank on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search portal (there are far more search engines than you may think!) is that it is the single best way to bring in targeted traffic that can lead to leads and conversion on your webpage.
SEO makes use of relevant keywords, on-page SEO as well as off-page SEO (aka link building) with the aim towards ranking on SERPs. Most people only browse through the first few pages of the search results, and the only way to ensure that you have consistent traffic is if your website appears within the first few pages.
What is SEO, and why is it important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Just like the name suggests, it involves developing your website in such a way that it is designed to rank higher on SERPs. You should note that Google is the most widely used search engine in the world. Ranking within the first few pages, ideally, the first page of Google‘s search engine can pretty much bring you traffic regularly.
However, search engines like Google mainly see organic search queries which bring in organic search results. Organic here means free, so the search queries being placed into the search engine by the customers are being collected and collated among Google‘s web index, and the most relevant data is then provided to the user.
In a great article by Neil Patel, he speaks about in your efforts to rank high on Google’s search engine, your website must feature quality content, useful backlinks, the authority on social media and meet various other requirements, all of which fall under the broad umbrella of SEO.
What is on-page and off-page SEO?
The meaning behind SEO is to convert traffic into actual purchases that can help your business thrive and grow. In order for your website to rank high on SERPs, you need to focus both on on-page SEO as well as off-page SEO. I strongly suggest following Brian Dean and read his content daily, he is a legend in this field.
On-page SEO is that part of your businesses’ search engine optimization process that is completely within your control. These include the content you put on your website, the keywords you use, the URL structure of your website, as well as other technical terms that are mainly aimed at building a quality website. Remember that when it comes to search engines, quality content is more useful than quantity.
What Google’s search engine algorithm gathers when you place a query is the kind of content that people are likely to find useful instead of simply information.
That means that academic information or articles are found after websites that feature content that people can easily read and gather information from, such as blogs or how-to’s. Adding extra pages on your website that people don’t visit can actually lower your ranking on SERP‘s.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, includes SEO management through social media channels where you can promote your website by creating sharable content, or through reviews made by customers and other content that links back to your website and increases your authority within your business domain.
What do you need to know to build your own optimized website?
Before you focus on Search Engine Optimization, you have to ensure that your website has been built to be both user friendly and informative. You can always hire a web developer if you are unsure about this part of the process because a good foundation is absolutely necessary before you can start building your SEO.
Once you have a website that meets your standards, then:
- Keyword Research: Keywords are based on both customer as well as market research, so gathering your data is crucial if you want to know which keywords to use on your website. You can easily do this by looking for the keywords or hashtags that people use most commonly when it comes to your niche. Additionally, there are tools that are used to figure out what keywords people are using and their search volume per month.
- Backlinks: The more backlinks you have, the more relevant Google’s search engine algorithm will find you. But these backlinks have to be relevant and quality backlinks. To obtain this, you must build connections with others, expand your social media influence and interact with authoritative figures in your field so you can develop a reputation for your business.
- Local SEO: SEO stats show that local businesses tend to perform better when they prioritize the locality they are selling in. If your main business is within a certain area, then your website and SEO should be optimized to showcase that. This helps you find your target audience and draw in people who would purchase from you.
- Content: What people find when they visit your website will ultimately determine where they go. Well placed call-to-actions, a good sitemap and navigation as well as how well you can market your product on your webpage itself will help you turn your website’s traffic into loyal customers.
This SEO guide scans the surface of the world that is Search Engine Optimization, but with this, you can get started on your journey to developing a lucrative website.