What is SEO?

For many small business owners SEO is very mysterious and could stand for “Something Extremely Obscure”.

Simply put SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of improving the visibility of a web site.  It helps increase the traffic the site receives from search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.

NOTE: SEO focuses on organic search results not paid ads.

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) And Why Is It Important?

Why Is SEO Important?

SEO is important because many of your potential customers rely on online searches to help them find the products and services that they are looking for.

You want to make sure that when they do an online search related to your products or services, they will find your website in the search results.

And because most internet users will not look beyond page 2 of the search results returned, the higher your website ranks in search engines, the greater the chance that your site will be visited by a potential customer.

According to comScore, Google leads the search engine market at 67.3%, with Bing at 18.2%, and Yahoo sites at 10.8%.

Since Google has the greatest share of the search engine market, any algorithm update is influencing SEO. Websites are now ranked through a combination of relevancy and credibility.

 

Increase Relevance By Using:

1| Quality content

2| Solid keyword research

Knowing your target market will help you focus on what matters to that audience, target the right keywords and create great content.

Google is looking for content that answers what people are asking for.

 

Old SEO practices such as keyword stuffing (using words or phrases that are popular but not relevant for your product or service) are no longer valid and acceptable and Google might penalize you for it.

Check those Webmaster Guidelines for best practices to help Google find, crawl, and index your site.

 

Use keyword research to find what are the words or phrases your target audience uses to search for your products or services.

For example, if you are a plumber, when a potential customer is searching online for your service what words does he/she use? Plumbing Services or just the word Plumber and what other keywords are associated with your service?

Once you know those keywords, use them in the title tags, image alt tags and body of the text within the first couple of sentences of your blog post, again near the end, and perhaps once more in the middle.

Search Engine Algorithms consider word ratio so focus on creating great content that is relevant to your customers so that once they find your website, they can engage.

Great tool to use Google Keyword Planner

Related Post: What Are The Benefits Of Blogging For A Small Business?

 

Website Credibility

When reputable and relevant websites link back to your site, it tells search engines that your website is credible.  But buying links from a link network is another good way to get penalized by Google and have your site buried to page 100 of the search results returned.

Reputable and relevant sources may include but are not limited to: Chambers of commerce or business association that you belong to. Google places. Non competing websites such as bloggers.

Use internal links that point to other pages on your website such as related post.

 

Optimize Social Media Channels

There is a tremendous amount of content being shared on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.

With search engines  increasingly factoring social link signals into their algorithm. If you’ve resisted jumping on the social media bandwagon, it’s time to reevaluate that decision.

Related Post:  10 Steps to a Successful Social Media Strategy

 

In Conclusion

SEO is a marketing tactic that you can use to improve your online visibility and increase the number of visitors to your site through organic search.

As with any marketing tactics, it requires time and nurturing to make it successful. Use tools like Google Analytics to find out:

1| Where your web traffic comes from

2| Who is visiting your site

3| What pages do they view

4| What is working and what is not. Don’t forget to make adjustments …

Know your target audience, create great content on a regular basis and the SEO will happen.

Happy Marketing!

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