SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most effective ways to promote your business online and attract potential customers looking for your services and products. Many businesses are intimidated by SEO because they don’t know how it works or think it’s too complex to implement themselves. While there’s some truth to that, if you can follow instructions you can use SEO as part of your marketing strategy to grow your business even if you don’t want to do all the hard work yourself.
An Introduction to SEO
If you don’t have an online presence, your business is missing out on an enormous opportunity to expand and grow. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a proven way to increase your visibility and attract more customers—and it’s vital that you tap into SEO in order to maintain a competitive edge in today’s marketplace. This quick introduction can help you determine if SEO is right for your business.
Understanding Search Engines
When you search for something online, you can have a hard time getting past page five of Google results. Getting your company and its products at or near the top of that list is critical to growing your business. An effective way to do so is through search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization consists of strategies and tactics that help your business reach top rankings for high-volume keywords—keywords with a lot of search volume. Search engines constantly change their algorithms in an effort to filter out spam and keep consumers happy, which has made it necessary for businesses to hire professional SEO marketing agencies if they want their online presence to grow. Without SEO, your potential customers will likely never find you.
The Purpose of SEO
The idea behind search engine optimization (SEO) is pretty simple: Websites that appear higher in search results get more traffic, and more traffic = better rankings. The purpose of SEO marketing is to get your website ranking highly for specific keywords and phrases relevant to your business. SEO isn’t a silver bullet—there are no guaranteed SEO tactics that will skyrocket your site to page one—but it can be an effective way to drive more traffic to your site. SEO works best when you combine it with other forms of online marketing, such as social media and paid advertising on sites like Facebook or Google AdWords.
What are Keywords and Tags?
The first, and most basic, part of SEO is understanding keywords and tags. Keywords are words or phrases that describe what a page is about—if someone uses your keywords in a search query, you want to show up on that person’s screen. Tags are similar to keywords in that they help searchers find your website (and so boost traffic), but they have different functions from site to site. In some cases, tags (as well as titles) play an important role in how Google’s algorithms rank websites; in others, tags are used mainly for internal navigation. Either way: If you want more people looking at your business, you need to know how tags and keywords work together!
On-Page and Off-Page Optimization
One of the most important factors in search engine optimization is on-page and off-page optimization. It’s basically a process where a webmaster improves various aspects of their website to make it more relevant to certain keywords. It’s sort of like improving your resume when applying for a job – you are trying to make yourself more relevant to an employer by emphasizing your strengths, minimizing your weaknesses, and removing unnecessary information from your resume. By doing that same kind of thing with your website (making it optimized for certain keywords), you can give search engines clues about what content should be displayed when someone searches for a specific term.
Off-page optimization (sometimes referred to as link building) is similar to on-page optimization in that it’s a process of creating signals to search engines about your website and its content. Instead of doing something like optimizing your copy, however, you are instead getting other websites (and their owners) to link back to yours. Search engines view these incoming links as votes of confidence and reward high-quality websites with more relevant results when someone searches for something specific. As such, it's very important that you focus on getting quality links from relevant sites rather than just any old link – these are links that can improve your rankings significantly.
Does My Website Need On-Page Optimization?
If you’re looking to hire an SEO marketing agency, one of your first questions might be: does my website need on-page optimization in order to drive more traffic and generate more leads? The answer is yes. Let’s take a look at some reasons why. Companies all over the world are relying on SEO agencies to help them win in a crowded marketplace. If you want your business to stand out, it's important that your web presence stands up as well. In addition to achieving top search engine results, SEO helps businesses increase their brand recognition and visibility, gives consumers a reason to engage with their business on social media, and also builds trust and credibility by targeting potential customers directly. More than anything else, though, it boosts organic traffic and leads.
If you’re still not convinced that SEO is beneficial to your business, it’s time to think about customer experience. Ask yourself, would my customers prefer to see a search result at or near the top of their list or on page 13? The answer is a no-brainer! The truth is that customers will always click on page 1 results. That’s why you should trust an SEO marketing agency with your website optimization strategy and start seeing results today.