Understanding the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important for a small business owner. SEO is a set of strategies and practices aimed at improving the visibility and ranking of your website or web page in search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal is to “show up” in the top results when someone is searching for what your business offers. This is a first step that can help you move that traffic to leads and ultimately sales. SEO involves a combination of technical, on-page and off-page optimization techniques to make a website more search engine-friendly. It’s important to learn and have a basic understanding of SEO. Implementing this knowledge can help increase organic (non-paid) traffic to your site by making it more relevant and attractive to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
5 Key Aspects of Understanding the Basics of SEO
Identify the relevant keywords and phrases that users are likely to search for when looking for information related to the services and/or products your business offers. If you are unsure of what those may be, you can use a Google search to help identify what people are asking for in relation to what you offer. You will use those keywords in the next step.
Google matches pages, not sites, to search results so optimizing various elements on your website pages is very important. Areas of focus are the use of relevant keywords in titles, headings, meta descriptions, content and images. A good tool to help with this is Yoast. You can add the plug in to your website to help guide you through all the areas of your pages. It is also important to make sure your pages are mobile-friendly.
Develop high-quality, informative and engaging content that speaks to the needs and interests of your audience. This can include blog posts, articles, videos, infographics and more. Use this to help guide, educate, entertain and engage your audience. Keeping your content fresh and up to date is very helpful in that search engines really like and reward this. Added bonus is you can repurpose these pieces of content to other areas including your social media platforms.
Off Page SEO
This element comes from sources outside of your website and pages. Acquiring high-quality and relevant backlinks from other reputable websites is seen as “votes of confidence” to your audience. This indicates that your content is valuable and authoritative. Backlinks can come from many sources. This includes being mentioned or linked back to by business vendors/customers, business partnerships, community support, testimonials or charity work.
User Experience (UX)
Create a positive user experience on your website by making it easy to navigate. Provide clear calls-to-action and ensure that the content is well-structured and easy to read. Regularly check your site for any information that is outdated, broken links or any information that is no longer relevant.
SEO is an ongoing process. You will need to regularly monitor your website’s performance. This includes tracking changes in search engine rankings and analyzing user behavior to make informed decisions about further optimization strategies. Successful SEO requires keeping up with industry trends and adapting strategies accordingly. It’s important to note that while SEO can greatly improve a website’s visibility, it’s not an instant solution. It usually takes time to see significant results. So have patience with the process. And of course SEO should only be a piece of your marketing strategy, not the whole marketing pie.