Search Engine Optimization Basics
Have you ever tried to search for a site on Google and end up not finding the site you’re looking for? When you search for a marketing company in Lawton, Oklahoma, do you know why you land on our website and not the attorney’s office down the street? The answer is “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO. SEO is three little letters that make a big difference in how much traffic your website is receiving.
In today’s age, your internet traffic is just as important if not more important than the actual foot-traffic into your business. Here at LMG, we specialize in SEO to ensure your website is getting the traffic it deserves. There is a lot of information you can learn about SEO and it can be a great benefit to allow a professional that is familiar with code to do SEO for your website. Today I’m going to keep it simple and give you some insight into five basic areas of importance anyone can understand when it comes to SEO. Since the majority of internet searches today start with Google, I will be using Google in my examples.
1. Your building quality matters
Your website is like a building and just as people don’t want to be inside a building that is poorly built, they don’t want to be on a website that is poorly built either. Just like buildings too, you tend to get what you pay for. There is a reason you can pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a website. They aren’t all created equally. Your site speed, a safe connection, ease of navigation, and how fast your pages load are all factors that influence bounce rate or how quickly someone leaves your site. The faster users bounce, the less Google trusts your site and the further down the search results list you’ll end up.
The content of your website is of extreme importance. If your content is outdated, incorrect, or a cookie-cutter of another website, your website will be bumped down the list of search results displayed by a search engine. How clearly your content is written also matters. If you’re a nutritionist and you write the question “How many carbs should I eat?” and give a clear answer to this question in a blog post, Google could display your website directly under the search bar when users google that question.
3. Mobile Responsiveness
If your website is not optimized for mobile viewing, you have a big problem, because the majority of web searches today are conducted from a mobile device. If your website is not optimized for mobile, it will not even be displayed in the search results when a mobile user tries to search for your website. One can see if a site is mobile responsive simply by trying to view the website from a mobile device. When you view a non-mobile responsive site on a mobile device, it is very difficult to navigate. You will have to use your fingers to pan around the pages instead of experiencing them automatically resized to fit your device’s screen.
4. Age isn’t just a number
You may have a beautiful, wonderfully functioning site with all the right content but you aren’t getting the ranking you deserve in the search results list. Give it time. We would trust that a 40-year-old was an expert on a subject over a 4-year-old, right? Google works the same way. The more often people click on your site after their keyword search and the lower your bounce rate, the higher you will rise on the search results list. Good SEO is not something that happens overnight. It usually takes about one year for a brand new business with a new website to achieve good ranking results.
5. Internal linking
Something you may have noticed is that bloggers tend to link back to other blogs on a similar topic that they mention in their other blog posts. This is not just done for your convenience or for organization. When you link back to a topic, that gives Google one more reason to put your site on the search results list.
6. Keyword phrases
You may be wondering what key phrases are going to help someone to land on your site. Begin by making a list of relevant words that are important in your industry that need to be mentioned in your content. Do a Google search and see what other key phrases you see appearing often in your search. And lastly, check to see if your competitors are high ranking when you search specific key phrases. This is an indication that you for sure want to include key phrases in your content.
7. Off-site directories
How your website ranks is also important in off-site directories. Off-site directories are like the yellow pages of the internet. When you go to Google for example and type in the name of a business, a list of the closest businesses to you with a map marking their locations appears. This is Google’s directory. Other popular directories include Bing and Yahoo. You want to ensure your business is listed in these top directories as well as other directories which are commonly searched in your industry. It is also important to make sure your business is listed only once in each directory and that the way it is listed is exactly the same in each directory down to abbreviations or complete spellings in the address. If you are a locally owned gym in your city and you are not even showing up when people search for a gym in your city or worse, gyms in a neighboring city are ranking above you, you know you need to reach out to be listed in the directory or discover what the problem is.
The marketing game is ever-changing in this technology age, but everyone can learn a few basics to help them get an edge up on their competitors. If you’re struggling with SEO, or notice your website is not ranking where it should be, we would be happy to assist your needs further. Click here so that we can reach out to you soon.