Imagine an internet user (let’s call him “Ben”) searching for “squirrel feeders.” Ben’s search for squirrel feeders returns results of over 7 million hits. Apparently, like Ben, there are a lot of other squirrel enthusiasts on the internet. He clicks on the top link and gets all the information he needs. But what about the millions of other pages? Surely they must also have content that would be relevant as well? Well, that’s why SEO is important.
SEO is the term that marketers love and non-tech savvy business owners are afraid of. It stands for “search engine optimization” and references the process of a website gaining online visibility and showing up high within search engine rankings.
For Ben, it’s great news. He’s found the information he is looking for. But not for all the other websites with the content that could have also been useful. Those websites didn’t make the cut. Why is that?
To understand exactly why SEO is really important, you need to understand how a search engine works
There are two parts that are relevant to our discussion: crawling and indexing
A well-organized website that has good content will be much easier to crawl. On the flip side, a website with poor organization or one that runs slowly becomes impossible to crawl and, in turn, to index. This is the first basic requirement that business owners and SEO specialists need to pay attention to.
But let’s go beyond that. Let’s say you run a search for content related to what’s available on your website and your site isn’t appearing anywhere close to the top of results page? Well, this is probably the result of not having very good SEO.
So what exactly do you need to do to optimize your website for search engines?
Google’s algorithms take into consideration many things. Let’s start with the basics: quality content. When Ben ran a search for squirrel feeders, the top result likely had information, products, images, and blog articles (save a pin in that last one since we will explore it in depth in our next blog post).
When users look at a page and like the information that is provided, they tend to stay on it longer. This is great for a website’s SEO because it positions your website as an authority on the subject. With the internet being home to over a billion websites, quality content is a must.
Internal linking refers to links that lead users to the other pages of your site. Internal linking is really important because it shows that consumers like the information you have on your site and want to explore what else you have to offer. Search engines view this as a big plus because it reinforces your authority on a subject matter.
Site speed is all about the time it takes when the user is interacting with your website. It is essentially the response time to a user’s command. If your site takes a long time to load, chances are the user will get impatient and go somewhere else. Slow speed = low website ranking.
Meta descriptions are a summary of a web page’s content that appears in the search results, right below the search listing. Since the meta description allows about 150 characters, you need to choose your words wisely. Having a good representation of your website, along with focus keywords, will captivate potential customers and drive cause increased traffic to your site.
You’ve got the basics down. So which of your site’s pages can be optimized?
First, you need a good landing page that captures the audience’s attention. Although there is no rule for this, this is oftentimes a company’s homepage. Since this is the first page a user sees, you should consider why they are coming to your website. If you can figure out that question, you can provide the answer to it in the form of a directive.
Once you’ve got the user sucked in with the landing page, you can focus on how you present your product or service through the product page. Good SEO practices focus on utilizing the right keywords and descriptions, especially within the image captions.
If your audience isn’t sure whether they want to buy your product or service, having a good “about us” page can seal the deal. Although this page seems a bit challenging to optimize at first glance, you will soon see that industry or product-related keywords like “agency” or “bureau” fit in here more than anywhere else.
Internet users of 2018 want more information before they buy a product or sign up for a service
Google’s goal is to make the web a more experience centric place, focusing on quality. As such, it’s important to optimize your website so that it is able to reach more users. And since Google regularly rolls out updates to its algorithms that can affect SEO practices, one solution is to use a professional agency
Whether you choose to hire an agency or take a more “DIY” approach, be sure to follow our blog for more SEO tips in the future.