You know it’s essential to get viewers to your website, and you know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for driving viewer traffic. In fact, it’s a key component of a digital marketing strategy – yet SEO remains a mystery to many. Let’s explore a few of the basics.
Simply put, SEO is the process of implementing strategies and techniques to optimize a website to improve its ranking in web searches. Ideally, you want your site to appear on the first page of the search results for searches relevant to you.
A Brief Intro to Search Engines
It’s important to know how search engines work and how you can optimize your site to be found and highly ranked. Since Google controls 66% of desktop search, let’s focus on them. The company has built and refined algorithms that are both highly lauded and secretive. Google sends out “robots” that crawl websites to analyze keywords, content, site authority, and many other factors, using their algorithms to determine which sites are most likely to deliver what users are looking for. Ultimately, Google’s aim is to deliver results so refined that the first item you click on in a search is the last one. In other words, the goal is to immediately get you to the information you need.
So, to work toward achieving a high ranking in Google searches, you need to optimize your website to meet certain standards. This involves more than you might think. Many people focus on adding keywords that users might be looking for, but this is only one small step in a complicated process.
In the interest of a high-level overview, let’s take a look at three simple tips that can be considered SEO best practices.
1. Optimize Title Tags
This is where keywords are of primary importance as they convey the theme of the page. Title tags determine what shows up in a search result. The tags are generally entered via a Content Management System (CMS). Keyword descriptions should be less than 55 characters long, promoting your brand and what specifically is on your page. Most importantly, keywords should be highly relevant to your audience – consider specifically what the user is looking to find.
For example, if you want to target a user looking for senior living communities, specify this in your title tag. Then create a useful page that provides content relevant to the keywords in your title tag.
2. Create a Useful Page
Going beyond the title tags, there are a few basic characteristics that search engines look for when indexing a website into search results. Site speed, proper use of HTML, mobile responsiveness, and relevant, high-quality content are all factors that contribute to placement in search rankings. Companies who invest in modern, up-to-date websites that promote a positive user experience and provide relevant, useful information will typically achieve higher rankings than companies who aren’t keeping their site standards up-to-date.
3. Focus on Engaging, Quality Content
How can you grab and keep the viewer’s attention? Target the viewer as specifically as possible and deliver relevant content that addresses his or her specific needs. Content should be well-written and concise with a friendly, engaging “we’re here to help” voice.
A little ad hoc research can help you gauge what your competitors are doing and consider ways to improve on their approaches. Search the key terms that you’re targeting and see what’s ranking high in the results. Then review the leading sites to analyze what is working for them. Remember, search engines want to rank the most relevant and helpful content first. So engaging content that provides better information and, hence, a more useful page than that of your competitors, will be positive for not only your search results, but also for your site’s visitors.
It’s important to keep in mind that strong SEO is only the first step. Trying to manipulate content to achieve search engine visibility will only get you so far, and may even get you penalized in terms of search ranking results. In the end, the goal is not only to get viewers to your website, but to keep them there by meeting their needs and ultimately converting them to customers or job applicants.
G5 can help you focus on quality design and content to achieve a positive SEO impact. Combined with conversion rate optimization (CRO) techniques, SEO will maximize the reach and effectiveness of your digital presence to drive profit and growth for your business.
Contact us at 1-800-554-1965 to learn more.
Note: this is an introductory glimpse into SEO. If you’d like to learn more, check out The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz.