SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
Before we delve into some SEO best practices, let’s play a quick game: think of the businesses in your city or region that would be successfully optimized. If you answered “Google and Facebook”, you’ll be right. (If you’re a founder, its probably a good idea to start with those two. Know how other small businesses fared over the past few years in the face of social media initiatives from those platforms.) For those of you not willing to answer that question — consider the top four results on Google search for your city. Do you have a website? If not — get it in order high-authority domains and structure it in such a way that Google knows it’s a location-based business.
As a bonus, search engines that know about your company allows your potential customers to correlate your business with your products and services. (Presumably, they already know a lot about what you do otherwise they wouldn’t place your business in the first spot and there’s a good chance they’d never take you seriously as a competitor.)
Know your SEO best practices
These SEO best practices can be broken down into four categories depending on the type of content you’re producing on your website. We’ll cover those four in more depth and illustrate how they can enhance your user experience.
While it’s true that location-based marketing attempts to correlate your business with customers who work in the same geographical area, it doesn’t mean you need to place your website’s primary navigation on the same page as your primary contact information. That’s one of the first things you need to straighten out if you’re not already doing it.
On your homepage, you can provide an overview of what your business does, provide information to better enable context to finding what your business offers, such as a “about us” page or highlighting the most interesting aspects of being your business. If you’re blogging, make sure to have a clearly navigatable blog included on your profile, as that page is the first step people take when searching for your business.
Your site should have a phone and contact form. If you’re specializing in organic conversions (i.e., conversion from one lead generators or customer touchpoints to another), make sure your front page contains a How-To Guide on promoting as well as a link to your sales page where clients can contact you for more details.
These SEO best practices can take your website from being a contender in search results and into the ranks of first-line search results.
But how do you actually do SEO?
SEO is more than doing research and writing content that’ll draw in some links. It’s also about “optimizing” the relevant parts of your site’s pages so that they perform well in search results, which leads to conversions and engaged customers. We’ll explore how to get started SEO-style and explain the core elements you need to implement and maintain through ongoing efforts.
The basic elements of SEO
There are three areas of your website that you’ll need to optimize and optimize for search engine optimization:
- The pages on your website’s static pages. These pages include blog posts, product descriptions, guides, and other pages typically found in your home or footer. They become part of your site’s when they are linked to from various pages on your site, and they generally attract more attention and interaction than other pages on your site.
- The pages on your website’s dynamic pages. These pages are pages that are created with content that can be changed and updated as Google finds that need for information. New pages may be added to an existing page or may be created in response to a question or a new opportunity. These pages are called “articles,” “content modules,” or other terms that describe the page types that function as SEO-friendly landing pages.
- The pages on your site’s pages that have content that can’t be updated or changed. These pages are called “outlinks.” They don’t usually get linked to from static pages like blog posts. They usually attract links only when people directly ask for a specific type of product, and then people will actively search the URLs associated with those product listings.
When do you need to use each of these sections of your site to perform SEO?
The process can be overwhelming, but here are five steps to follow to produce websites that will generate the best results in Google: There are a lot of things you can do to improve your site and boost your SEO, including adding useful content, adding relevant keywords, writing an optimized title and meta description, and tweaking your site’s URL for added authority. For advanced or seasoned SEOs, style guides are a great place to start. All of these tips are meant to aid in building and maintaining a workflow that results in great-looking, user-friendly sites that capture the attention of Google search engines.