Despite numerous companies’ missions, books, articles, seminars, webinars, podcasts, and various other forms of information floating around, business, e-commerce stores, and other websites don’t seem to grasp the importance and outright necessity of search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO. So, in an effort to help you understand more about SEO basics and best practices so you can make more informed decisions about how to increase your site’s viewership and rankings, or choosing the right marketing company to partner with to handle the hard work for you, we’ve created this simple little guide.
What is SEO
As we mentioned, SEO stands for search engine optimization. In other words, it’s the marketing practice that makes your website pop up more frequently for search engine searches, such as Google, or Bing, to get more eyes on your content and products. SEO uses targeted keywords that search engines like Google scan and feedback to users when they type them in to their searches. For example, if you run a flower shop in Venice, you might want to target the keywords and key phrases (short strings of keywords) such as
- Venice florist
- Florist in Venice
- Venice flower shop
- And other similar searches and iterations
The trick to SEO that you need to look out for is how other companies and websites rank in the strength of those keywords. Broken down more simply, you need to know if other websites already made a market on those particular keywords and phrases. So, in an effort to make yourself stand out, you may try more targeted and niche keywords, such as roses in Venice, or coastal florists. Doing some keyword research (which marketing companies specializing in SEO know how to do quickly and effectively to present the data in digestible terms and numbers) is imperative so that you don’t waste your time — and likely money — fighting an uphill battle.
Is SEO really that important?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, with tons of data and examples. Say your company is presenting at a floor show. You’re going to want to stand out to catch customers’ eyes and not blend in with the background. Using SEO is like developing a great banner, looking professional, and having brochures at the ready to immediately develop credibility and trust. Not having SEO is like setting up a lemonade stand in the hallway — no one is going to be able to find you and if they see you, they’ll probably pass you by. In the simplest terms, you cannot afford to not cover basic SEO in your marketing plan.
How do I build up keyword strength?
Simply put, you would do a site audit (again, marketing companies have professionals and teams to do this properly) to see which keywords you may already rank well for and which ones you could target to gain market share. From there, you’d almost assuredly need to rework your websites content to naturally insert the targeted keywords into the web copy, add meta data to images, build links, remove any dead or useless pages, redirect to helpful pages, and much, much more. However, you can’t just add keywords wherever you’d like, Google and other search engines caught onto that long ago and penalize websites that add keywords without helping inform the customer.
Also, things don’t just stop once you’ve added some keywords to your site. Plenty of sites are still competing for those top spots in search engines and will constantly add pages to get more instances of keywords and key phrases locked in, so you’ll need to as well. One of the simplest methods to achieve this is to start a blog for your site where you can write about helpful topics and educate your readers and have more keywords involved to, as we mentioned earlier, build trust and credibility.
If you’re just starting out on your SEO journey, or are years into it, you likely still can be doing markedly better and are only hurting your website and business by not doing more. However, SEO is a full time position in and of itself (remember how we said marketing companies have teams dedicated to it?). Some businesses can handle development, sales, marketing, advertising, SEO, and every other facet of owning and operating an enterprise on their own, but it’s excruciatingly long hours. More often than not, it’s better to parter with a marketing company that knows what they’re doing, can demonstrate their value and how they’ll improve site visits, viewership, and conversions, and help your business grow. That’s where we come in.
We have a team of pros who know the ins, outs, and advanced levels of SEO and marketing as a whole. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do and how we can increase your site’s engagement and conversion rates.