In today’s digitally-driven world, search engine optimization (SEO) is a compelling process that can make or break your company’s marketing efforts. While print ads and word of mouth may have been enough to keep a business afloat in the past, today, this is rarely the case.
Before optimizing your business’s online presence to rank on search engines, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of SEO and how it works. Put simply, SEO can be described as the process of optimizing websites and web content so that it ranks and appears on search engines.
Ranking for keywords that relate to your business is vital if you intend for your target consumers to be able to find your business online. For example, if you have an online retail store selling sandals in Santa Barbara, you’ll want your website to pop up when consumers search for “Santa Barbara sandals,” on a search engine.
To ensure that your retail website appears when consumers look for similar products, it’s important to utilize certain keywords throughout your website. This can be through your homepage, about page, blog, alt tags, and in meta descriptions.
Blogs are an especially useful tool for SEO because they allow you to optimize your website for a range of keywords that relate to your business. The more you utilize certain keywords on your website, the more authoritative and relevant your website will be in the eyes of search engine algorithms.
For most search engines, the number of external websites linking to your website is a key metric used to determine how relevant and authoritative your website is. This being the case, it’s important to not only focus on keyword strategies but also on backlinking strategies when optimizing your website for search engines.
The Difference Between Paid and Organic SEO
SEO efforts can be categorized into two distinct classes: paid and organic. Each form of SEO offers its own set of pros and cons and which ones you engage in will depend on several factors.
Paid SEO refers to any instance in which you pay a search engine to have your website appear when consumers type in a keyword, basically utilizing SEO as an advertising method. One of the biggest upsides of paid SEO is its immediate nature, with results being instantaneous. However, though results are rapid, paid marketing expenses can rapidly stockpile and become overwhelming
Distinct from paid SEO, organic SEO refers to any SEO efforts that don’t involve paying the search engine. However, this doesn’t always mean that there aren’t costs associated with organic SEO. If you don’t have the time or employees to commit to the undertaking, you may have to pay SEO specialists, coders, and copywriters to engage in potent SEO efforts that give you meaningful results.
Research Relevant Keywords
Before optimizing your website, it’s vital that you research keywords that are relevant to your business. To do this, you’ll want to take advantage of one of the many SEO programs or software that allow you to research the popularity of various keywords.
While some of these SEO research programs must be purchased, others are free and allow you to do basic research without paying. Utilizing free SEO research options is a great way to familiarize yourself with the process of SEO research before investing in a more complicated and comprehensive program.
Optimize Your Website
Once you’ve done your research and have some keywords you’d like to rank for, it’s time to optimize your website. To do this, start by utilizing these keywords in the structure of the website, using them as headings, subheadings, and meta descriptions on various pages.
By instilling your website with a clear hierarchy that makes ample use of specific keywords, you’ll boost your chances of consumers finding your business through search engines.
Create a Blog
Blogs are one of the most effective tools in your SEO arsenal. The reason for this is the fact that blog articles allow your business to rank for many different keywords that relate to your business. This is especially useful for rolling out new products and taking advantage of various trends in the market.
For SEO purposes, it’s best to create a blog with articles that relate to your business in some form. For instance, if you have a sandal company, creating blog articles about surfing etiquette can be a great way to get your target consumers to engage with your website.
In addition to keywords, backlinks are a key metric that search engines use to determine the authority of a webpage. In essence, backlinks are links to your website’s pages coming from different pages.
Investing in a backlinking strategy can be an effective practice to boost your business’s SEO rankings. This can be done both internally, linking between different pages on your own website, and externally, with external websites linking to your website.
Keep Track of Your SEO Efforts
While there are SEO practices that typically yield great results, SEO isn’t always an exact science for every organization. As such, it’s important to keep track of your website’s SEO data and use it for analysis, much like a controller does with financial data.
The longer you engage in SEO practices, the more data you’ll have to analyze. By utilizing the insights, you glean from analyzing your SEO data, you’ll be able to consistently optimize your website and engage in more effective SEO practices.
SEO Can Transform Your Business
In today’s digital world, search engines are an important channel to take advantage of. By optimizing your business’s website for search engines, you’ll be able to reach more consumers searching for products that your company offers. As we move deeper into the future, it’s more than likely that SEO will continue to play an important role in the marketing efforts of businesses across a range of fields and industries.