The success of your business’s online presence doesn’t stop at building a website. It also needs a high level of visibility online to make it easier for customers to reach out to you. That’s where SEO comes to play.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing tactic that improves your website to increase your ranking in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. This way, you’ll drive more traffic, and customers looking for the same product/services you offer can easily find your business, resulting in more sales.
Understanding what it takes to optimize a website can be overwhelming and daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! Here, we’ll dive deep into what business owners must know about SEO. Read on.
How Does SEO Works, exactly?
Search engine optimization is a strategy for optimizing your website content for search engines. It improves your organic visibility to ensure that your website’s position ranks higher on the search engine results page. So, for example, people search for a specific keyword that links to your products/services. If your website is optimized, you will hold the top spot in search results, making it the first thing people visit. That’s because most users never go beyond the first page of SERPs.
As you know, Google is the largest and most popular search engine. According to NetMarketShare, Google captures almost 85% of mobile traffic, which makes it the most practical option for organic and paid searches. But for it to be effective, Google’s top recommendation is to provide high-quality and fresh content, especially on your homepage.
So, if you want your website to garner traffic on Google search results, it is not enough to create content; it must be great content. That includes keywords, backlinking, user experience, etc.
Local SEO for Small Businesses
For small businesses, it is necessary to start with local SEO first because it is the easiest to rank. To give you an idea, local SEO improves your website’s presence in specific areas. For example, if you search for “the best Japanese restaurants” on your mobile phone, instead of redirecting you to the ones outside your city or country, Google will show locally-owned restaurants in your area. That’s the power of local SEO. It allows the business to be seen and noticed by relevant audiences.
You can start by utilizing your Google My Business because it is an easy way to show on Google Maps. Since local SEO focuses on local business competition and local directories, these search pages use relevant keywords from your profile to list you among other businesses in your area.
While it provides many benefits, local SEO has limitations, such as being restricted to your physical address. That means that the farther people are from you, the lesser your business will appear in their search results. Still, that won’t change the fact that by using local SEO, your business can rank high on local searches, and you will be able to target relevant customers.
What Are the Most Important SEO Strategies To Increase Rankings?
Now that we understand how SEO works, it is now time to know the SEO strategies you can use to increase your website rankings.
When creating content, the first step is to make sure you appear on people’s SERPs when they search for a specific topic. How? Through conducting keyword research.
Keyword research helps you target the right keywords to include in your content so you can rank higher in those terms. You can also work around those keywords to present new content ideas. When producing SEO content, it is crucial to include relevant keywords in the title, the body, and the meta tags. Some tend to overstuff their content with keywords. That’s the one thing you need to avoid. Remember that readability and accessibility are still essential in content optimization.
You can use various tools online to make researching easier, such as Semrush and Google Keyword Planner.
Backlinks are a crucial element of SEO. It is when other websites use links that direct traffic to your site. It could be referencing your website for information or recommending you to their audience. Google’s algorithm favors websites that exude expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. So, if many websites link back to your site, you have a high chance of ranking better on SERPs.
As mentioned, Google requires websites to produce high-quality and fresh content. People use search engines mainly because they want to know about a specific topic. Your job is to provide valuable content for your readers with all the information they need to keep them engaged. That’s because Google measures the action and time readers spend on a website. So, if you are able to keep the readers on your page, you’ll garner more traffic and a better ranking.
You must also update your content regularly and consistently to stay relevant. It helps give you authority in that field while improving the quality of your content, making people trust your business even more.
Meta descriptions are the small blurb underneath your website on the search results page that provides users with information and a summary of the content. There are no rules regarding the length of meta descriptions. However, Google truncates it to 155-150 characters, so it’s best to keep them between 50-160 characters only. Still, it must be descriptive and include the necessary keywords to increase interest and clicks on your website.
One of Google’s primary considerations in website ranking is page speed. If your website takes too long to load, users will leave even before reading your content instead of keeping them engaged. Remember that a slow website may negatively affect your ranking on search engines. That’s why it’s vital to work on optimizing your website for it to load quickly. This way, you are helping your website be more user-friendly and garner more traffic.
Believe it or not, mobile optimization contributes to your SEO rankings. Most people nowadays use their smartphones to access the internet. Given that, you should create a website that adapts to the screen size of a mobile phone, so you can build a responsive web design that is faster to load on mobile devices. Search engines are very particular about separating the mobile version from its desktop version they penalize websites that are not mobile-responsive.
To increase your website’s rating, you must improve user experience (UX). You must ensure that all of your website’s pages are easy to navigate. You must also format all your photos and videos in a way that is faster to load while still maintaining high definition.
Moreover, SEO content needs to have a call to action on your website. This way, visitors will know what you want them to do and gain some action from them. Additional strategies to enhance user experience have previously been highlighted, such as speeding up your website and making it mobile- and desktop-friendly.
Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Using SEO Strategy
While business owners know the importance of SEO strategy to increase online visibility, some skip over the most crucial ones. Here are some examples:
- Business owners expect instant results after publishing content online. Google algorithms require some time to verify the relevancy of freshly released material on a webpage. And the material you provide should be reputable to attract organic customers. It may take several months before you start to see any changes.
- Business owners tend not to include backlinks in their content because it can be time-consuming and challenging. Including a few credible backlinks will drive customer growth and acquisition.
- Business owners usually go overboard with using keywords that already compromise readability. Try to incorporate keywords a few times so that they will fit naturally in your content.
- Business owners may overlook the importance of optimizing images. Alternative texts are essential for SEO because search engines use them to process images.
- Business owners tend to forget to share their websites on social media platforms. Social media is a powerful tool to drive more traffic as viewers can easily share the content on your behalf.
Sure, there may be mistakes when starting, but following various strategies can help increase your online visibility and reach relevant customers. Remember that your page must have the right keywords and enticing metadata. It should also be regularly updated to stay relevant and includes backlinks and optimized images. Lastly, your website must have a fast load speed even when using mobile devices.
Business owners must always be up-to-date with SEO practices as it constantly changes and evolves. By understanding what you should know about SEO, optimizing your business website will not be overwhelming anymore and can bring in more customers and lead to higher profitability.