What is SEO and how can it help your website?
Search engine optimization (SEO for short) is the process used to help your website rank higher in the search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines. SEO may seem very complex, but it can be broken into a few simple categories. When developing a good SEO strategy for your website it is important to first know the keywords you want to rank for, then build good content around those keywords, and finally to create backlinks across the web to your content. After reading through these basic steps, you will have a more comprehensive understanding of search engine optimization.
Plan Out Your Keyword Strategy
Planning is the most important part of search engine optimization. Before embarking on any kind of SEO plan it is important to first understand what keywords you want to target. Not knowing which keywords you want to rank for, is like shooting an arrow at a target blindfolded. First, we need to understand what a keyword or keyword phrase is. Let’s pretend you are a small shoe store, and we want to rank for the search term “shoes”. This is called a short-tail keyword. If you Google “shoes” there are some very large websites like shoes.com, zappos.com, and rackroomshoes.com that show up on the first page of the search results. If you are a small shoe store and your website hasn’t been up for very long it will be very difficult for you to rank in the top search results for the short-tail keyword “shoes.” This is where long-tail keywords come in very handy. A long-tail keyword might be something more specific like “size 12 brown leather boot.” These longer keyword phrases are easier to rank for, than the short keywords because they are more specific. When you plan out your SEO strategy it is important to write down a list of search keywords and phrases that you want your website to rank for. Remember long-tail and very specific keyword phrases are the easiest to rank with your website. It is important to understand what makes you different from your online competitors and write down those keywords in your list.
Create Stellar Content
Once you have a list of keywords then you will be ready for the next step of SEO which is creating content. The content you create should include the keywords from your list and it can be shown on your website in many ways. You will want to avoid keyword stuffing which is the practice of just repeating keywords phrases over and over in the content. Instead of trying to trick the search engines with keywords stuffing and repetition it is important to focus on generating stellar content that is helpful for the customers visiting your website. Creating helpful content is the most important key to ranking in the search results. Here are a few ideas for creating stellar content on your website:
- Create a blog. Ask yourself what information your customers would find helpful and then write an article providing that information. A good blog is often the go-to strategy for businesses to grow the organic traffic on their website.
- Add product details. If you have an e-commerce website with products, then try adding more information to your product pages. The more you can tell your customers about your product the more likely they are to buy the product. These products will be indexed in the search engine results and help you bring organic traffic to your site.
- Take some pictures. A picture speaks a thousand words so never underestimate the power of a good picture. Search engines index the pictures of your website and sometimes show them in the search results.
- Make a video. YouTube automatically transcribes the audio from your video into text that can be indexed by a search engine. Creating helpful videos on YouTube and sharing them on your website makes for engaging content for your customers and will help your search engine ranking.
Build Links To Your Website
After creating that stellar content on your website, you will want to create as many “roads” to your content as possible. Creating a “road” to your website happens in the form of a link. There are two kinds of links that are helpful for search engine ranking. The first is internal linking. You already have seen many of these internal links if you have spent any kind of time browsing the web. The keywords and phrases you strategically placed in a blog article can be highlighted and linked to a product. You can also link to other articles, and you can link products to other products and pages to other pages. This creates a network of “roads” that help search engines index and navigate your website. The second kind of linking is called a backlink. This works the same way as an internal link except it is placed on another website. You can partner with other bloggers or news websites to have them link to your website from their website. These backlinks are especially helpful if the website linking to yours is already ranking for one or two of the keywords you are trying to rank for. Getting good quality backlinks can be more challenging to create than internal links but are extremely helpful for ranking in the search results. Creating good partnerships with bloggers and influencers can help you with these backlinks as well as a digital marketing agency. Both internal links and backlinks are important for creating “roads” to your website and showing your helpful content to the search engines.
Building a good SEO campaign for your website takes time and hard work but it is well worth the effort when you start seeing the traffic on your website grow. Always remember to plan out your keywords, create helpful content, and build those “roads” to your website. Although there are many elements to search engine optimization for a website these three steps are the backbone for ranking in the search results. If you are interested in having an agency help you create an SEO campaign for your website, please contact our office today. We would love the opportunity to help your business grow on the web!