Search Engine Optimization Basics for Small Businesses

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    If you’re a business owner looking to create an online presence for your company, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) shouldn’t be new to you. If optimized correctly, SEO can help drive traffic to your website. But do you know how it works? This article will cover the basics of SEO and why it should be part of your marketing strategy.

     

    1. What is SEO and what is it used for?

    Search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. The process is a combination of search engine optimization (SEO) practices such as keyword and phrase selection and overlays, browser and device code inspection, email newsletter batch grouping, web accessibility testing, and contributions from others on the web pages. Although many web pages rank for a given search term and may be desired by a large audience, a website cannot rely solely on organic search popularity to rank well. Therefore, search engine optimization efforts involve many techniques and work in conjunction with other website elements and platforms, such as content differentiations, authoritative websites, backlinks, and domain authority.

    The first step is to make sure your title tag is specific to the page you’re promoting. So if you’re doing a blog post about making money in your online store, your title tag will be something like “How to make money in your online store”. When readers finish reading your post, they will most likely want to know how to do what you wrote. That’s why you want to make sure your title tag is specific to the piece you’re promoting. The key here is specificity. Just like you don’t put “How-to” in a title, you don’t put “How-to” in your title tag. Make sure you give details on:
    Pro tip: Don’t use the word “guarantee.” If you’re promoting anything that may make someone lose money, such as a course that guarantees a specific amount of money, it will look like spam. So always add “at your own risk!” or “see below for more information.”
    A detailed title helps readers know exactly what to expect when they open your post.
    Second, make sure your image is the star of your post. Just like a good paragraph, your image must convince your reader that you’re a high quality authority figure by virtue of your authority in a specific field, such as finance or cooking.

    In addition to organic popularity, most search engines also assess content for additional relevance and quality. This assessment focuses on the immediately preceding phrases of the text, inter-related web pages, image use, and the address of the page’s main content element (article or webpage). However, no simple tests are perfect, and these factors affect the duration and cost of scoring an SEO assessment.

    Optimizing text on a webpage to rank for a given term is possible through the use of strings of text (tags). These tags are typically placed immediately before a given search phrase in the “text on page” or HTML source code.

    Any text added to the page (e.g., pasting content from an email, formatting HTML, or OGR) will also be tagged with a specific tag and potentially eligible to be included in the page’s rankings.
    For example, backlinks can be helpful when optimizing the text of a given webpage by including other URLs that direct readers to that webpage. The purpose of a backlink is twofold:
    Keyword selection is the process of matching a given keyword to the webpages with the highest organic search interest.

     

    2. What are the benefits of using SEO on a website?

    SEO, or search engine optimization, is a method of getting free traffic from search engines like Google and Bing by optimizing your website’s content so that it’s more likely to appear in search engine results pages. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant you want to be found by people who are searching for Italian restaurants in your area. You want your website to be ranked in the first few results when search engines are looking for a keyword like “Italian restaurant” because, otherwise, you won’t see any traffic to your site. Getting a URL (that is, the URL of a webpage), a website’s title (arguably the most important part of your webpage), and keywords are considered good SEO and are mandatory for the ranking of webpages. We’ll get into the importance of these later. Your page title is where you want searchers to begin their search on your website. It’s got to be something enticing enough that “the reader should just know right away what to expect.” (Ithy Gopnik, The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword) SEO-friendly titles include keywords such as “best Italian restaurant,” “best burgers in dia- bal,” and “best pasta in chi- da- bo.”

    The website’s URL (that is, where you want to send searchers to) is where visitors are directed to after visiting your webpage. Having a unique URL on your site is how you can identify it among thousands of other websites on the internet, thus increasing the likelihood it will be found when searching for it.

    Making changes to your site’s URL helps your website get higher rankings without you having to do much work at all. A popular trick you can use is changing the site’s domain to the exact same keyword you’re trying to rank for (ie. mysite.com becomes mysite.com + ingredients.com), making sure the “the exact same keyword” catches searchers’ eyes.

     

    3. How does SEO work to attract visitors to your website?

    As you probably know, search engines like Google use algorithms to determine which websites appear at the top of their search engine results pages (SERPs). The algorithms are designed to reward websites that create content that answers users’ questions and also ranks them higher based on metrics like the number of links to the website, the number of shares on social media, and other factors. In the last decade, there has been a lot of focus on the link building industry, but we are just scratching the surface of the power of algorithmic search and how you can utilize it to bring traffic and social clout to any website on the internet. Now that you understand the power of search engines, it’s time to put some tools in place that can help you craft the perfect SEO/SEM (Search Engine Optimization/Self-Service Online Help) strategy.

     

    4. What kinds of techniques can you use to optimize your pages?

    The best way to optimize your pages is to use the right keywords and to make your content compelling and interesting.

    The best way to track the success of your content is to use the various analytics tools that are available. Let’s dive into some tools and metrics we can utilize to improve our content to jump-start our content marketing journey.

    Content Marketing Institute (CMI): Their platform is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to make content that makes sense, with expert insight into the latest industry trends, best practices, and research along the way. You can use CMi to test influencer accounts and niche ad campaigns. You can also investigate how your writing has performed and get ready to land higher placement, or how market research and content analytics impact your strategy.

    ContentMarketing Analytics: With ContentMarketing Analytics you can view your total impressions, page views, landing page interactions, and conversion data from over 100+ marketing sources. You can also see the top performing keywords, key phrases, and images across the entire course from top publishers in your industry. You can also create custom dashboards which makes for a breeze to integrate with Google Analytics.

    Google Keyword Planner: Simply listen to the keywords your audience is searching for and see what is trending in 2021. You can filter what you want to include in covered topics, and view how often a topic is being talked about.

    SEO basics: There are a million and one things to know around SEO and using it correctly isn’t that straightforward. But it’s the beginning of the mile-high-quality-product journey we’re on today.

    Conclusion

    Optimizing your site for search engines isn’t difficult, but you need to know how it works in order to really see results.

    Interested in checking out our SEO solutions? Check out our search engine optimization services here.

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