Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is the process of building traffic from organic, or free, search engine results. As you can imagine, in a world of advertising where nothing is really free, it can be an overwhelming topic to a technology novice. Basically, when you search for something on Google or any other search engine, the results returned are ranked based on what the engine believes is most relevant.
This is why your first search results usually reveal the most valuable information, and by the time you get to the bottom of the search page, they are no longer relevant and sometimes seemingly random. So what do you need to know to optimize the search results for your business? We’ve identified the top 3 tips for people new to websites on how to implement SEO. There are also free site builders on the web that have integrated tools that may aid in the tips below.
Tip #1. Make your website easy to find and easy to understand.
When I say “make the website easy to find,” it can lead to some confused faces, but it’s really very simple. First, make sure it’s published, readable, and all pages are accessible. Make it clear what you do, and – more on this in a minute – drop your keywords into the text. What does this mean? If your business is a cleaning service, you want to describe it using words like “housekeeping” or “maid”, and don’t forget your geographical location. It might not hurt, but it won’t do a bit of good if your maid service is number one Google result in the area for “buttered popcorn”.
What all of this means is that the search engine, not just the public, can crawl and search your website looking for relevant information. This brings your website to the public, or more specifically, the person who is actually searching for your business.
Tip #2. Research the most meaningful keywords for your clientele and incorporate them into your content.
This really goes hand-in-hand with number one. We’ve already begun thinking about keywords, so now let’s expand that. What words besides “maid” might someone search for? We’ve mentioned a few, but let’s think bigger. “Cleaning service” could work too, and not just “housekeeping”, but “housekeeper”.
Next, you have to put it in the right places. It should go in your title tag, text link to your site from other relevant sites, your copy, and your page links on your site. As you can see, the most difficult part of understanding SEO is really just the concept of what it is. Once you comprehend that, you just repeat a lot of related words without making it sound forced.
If you’re struggling to identify good keywords, you can check out other competitors in other locations or in your own geographical space, and see what words they use over and over. Those are their keywords.
Tip #3. Create and promote content that is easy to link and purchase.
The third tip is the hardest. You simply have to get good at networking and selling yourself and your product. You want related sites to know about yours, and you want to attract links, but marketing isn’t really the biggest challenge here – you have to create unique content that makes your site worth the link back. Create content that your colleagues will want to link to.
What that looks like will vary widely from business to business, but it shouldn’t be limited to text. Use images and videos to package it in a way that’s easy to share and link. Be consistent so that you start building a brand. Your content development and promotion are going to take the most amount of time, but it won’t be successful without the groundwork of the first two tips. Put most of your energy into the creation, but make sure you’ve got the right keywords and implementation first.
Search engine optimization sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. It’s really the planning of valuable content and how to deliver it into the hands of the people who want it. Your keywords are the easy part. Working in your keywords in a casual way is a little more difficult. But then comes networking, and it’s a challenge but no more so in this situation than it is in face to face interaction. With these three tips, you should have the number one site in your niche and area without having to pay a dime in advertising.