All business owners should create a strategy or plan that includes ways to make sure their company shows up in the search engines. This means that they should pay attention to and put effort into Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Even if you are just starting out online, there are many SEO for beginners resources available to help you get started. Your goal is to improve the visibility of your website in search engine results.
What is SEO?
SEO is the sum total of activities search engines use when determining the relevancy of what people are searching for on the web. There are 3 basic factors used to explain what SEO really means. They are:
- Organic results that show up when someone is searching online.
- The quantity of people finding you online and clicking through from search engine results to your site.
- The quality of the relevant sites referring traffic to your site is also important.
As technology changes, so do the mechanisms of search. In order to improve the quality of search results, the engines are continually changing their algorithms getting rid of less effective factors, making improvements to current ones, and adding totally new ones.
Website optimization refers to the process of making sure your on-site content is updated, adjusted, and appealing to search engines to increase the chances that your site is found by those looking for you. Because Google processes more than 60,000 queries per second and is continually making changes and updates to the behind-the-scenes algorithms, you need to be sure that your efforts align with the latest changes and trends.
Even if you have content on your site that was search-engine friendly when it was created, it is more than likely outdated and no longer effective. The good news is that you can re-use and re-optimize your old content to drive more traffic to your blog.
- Use less competitive and more specific long-tail keywords.
- Change your headlines to include power words.
- Make sure your meta-description is key-word rich and persuasive.
- Be sure that your content answers your visitor’s questions and meets a specific need.
Use Relevant Keywords
Content that you publish on your site that is relevant and helpful to your visitors but is not using specific keywords, may never be found. You can use one of the free tools to help identify the right keywords to use such as Keyword Planner or Google Trends. It is more difficult to rank for highly competitive generic keywords than it is to rank for less-common more specific long-tail keywords. Be sure to use your target keyword in your meta-description, page title, first paragraph, image alt-tags, as well as a few more times on the page. You want to avoid what is referred to as “keyword stuffing” which is a clear indication to search engines that you are trying to manipulate your rankings by overusing them on a page. And don’t forget that even though you are setting up your content to please the search engines, your ultimate goal is to get the humans using search to find your content to read it and take action. Write persuasively and logically, be clear and concise, and be the solution to someone’s problem.
If you are searching online and land on a website, what do you do if the page takes too long to load? You leave and move onto the next site, right? That is exactly what the visitors to your site will do if it takes too long to load. You want to be sure that your website user’s experience is smooth, relevant, and fast. Slow loading pages cause visitors to leave your site quickly and increases your bounce rate. This is a sign to Google that your page content is not relevant and will get your site pushed further down in the search results.
Until recently, page speed was only a ranking factor for desktop searches. But Google very recently announced that starting in July 2018, page speed will also be a ranking factor for mobile searches. Most people are already spending much more of their time on their smartphones where page speed is about to become even more important. Google’s “Speed Update” is a new ranking algorithm designed specifically for mobile search. According to Google, this update will only affect a small percentage of queries and that only those page that deliver the slowest experience to users will be impacted, giving webmasters some time to prepare. You can use tools like PageSpeed and Lighthouse to measure how fast your site’s pages load.
In order to increase your chances of getting found online by the right people at the right time, you will need to keep up with the latest changes in SEO. It is important to keep up with your competitors and not fall behind to generate more traffic to your site and increase your bottom line.