Digital Marketing – The Basics Series
When you’ve invested in your website, it makes sense that you want people to see it. When your potential customers are looking for you, be sure they find you.
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website on organic (unpaid) search engine result pages. More than just appealing to the search engines, SEO is dependent on understanding what people are searching for, the answers they want, the keywords they are using, and what type of content they want to see.
SEO is dependent on many things, but the most important is determining your keywords and key phrases. When a prospect is searching for you, what words or phrases will they look up?
The success of your SEO is dependent on many factors:
- relevant content
- site optimization
- links building
- social networking
SEO is critical because while paid advertising and social media can generate traffic, the clear majority of traffic to a website comes from the search engines. Businesses have tried to “trick” the search engines, and while that strategy may work in the short term, legitimate SEO practices are the right way to go. Most search engines follow the same basic guidelines, but we will use Google’s Basic Principles as an example. (“Google it” has become the catchphrase for looking something up online after all.) Google is the clearly dominant search engine.
- Makes your website/pages for users, not for the search engine
- Don’t deceive your users
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
At the end of the day, the key to strong successful SEO is to build relevant, clear, interesting content on your website. If you are telling the story of your business successfully, your SEO will fall in line.
Tagging your pages on your website will also drive your SEO strategy. In addition, adding meta descriptions to your pages (what exactly is on the page) will give the search engines the bread crumbs needed to send readers down the right path. The following 7 tips will help drive a basic SEO tagging strategy:
- Keep titles about 55-60 characters long
- Use target keywords in titles.
- Describe your page content in the best possible way.
- Use words like HOW, WHY, WHAT, and WHERE – help people understand what they will find on the page.
- Write unique titles, no duplicates!
- Use your company name or brand wisely.
- Keep it simple.