Being a business owner, you may have heard the word SEO or Search Engine Optimization before.
You may have associated it with something that is overly complicated, which has led you to not invest too much time in it. I get it, I’ve been there!
The amount of information out there regarding SEO is never-ending. And honestly, you don’t need to know everything out there about it, to start ranking. Just knowing the fundamentals of SEO can do wonders, along with producing high-quality content which in return with attracting more traffic to your website. Because why have a gorgeous website if no one can see it, right?
Now you might be asking, what is SEO?
The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
It may be surprising to hear other search engines outside of Google. Since Google holds a whopping 92.18% of the worldwide search engine market share, according to Oberlo Article. That’s a BIG piece of online real-estate right there. Some of the other smaller players are Bing, Baidu, Yahoo & Yandex.
When you go to type a question into a search bar, Google will identify any keywords which will then use a set of rules and algorithms to scan thousands of websites within a second or two to find the best results for your inquiry. These would be called Ranking Factors and Google has over 200 of them when analyzing websites. Think of this as your website’s checklist. If you want to rank high in Google, you’ll want to invest time in making sure that most, if not all, of the boxes are checked. Also keep in mind that Google’s Algorithm is always changing, so important to keep up to date on their ranking factors.
SEOs two categories for ranking factors are On-Site SEO & Off-Site SEO. Here’s a breakdown of each:
On-site SEO is all of the information that search engines can gather directly from your website. Such as
- Image File Names
- Heading Tags
- Alt Text
- Meta Descriptions
- Website Pages
- Permalink Structure
While Off-Site SEO is all the stuff “off” of your website. The most important factors for off-site SEO are backlinks. Backlinks refer to the number of links that go back to your website from other places online. The more links you have will result in higher authority.
Backlinks could be from social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. They could also be from featured blog posts, such as Medium. As well as online website directories. These are just a few ideas for backlinking, but know that anywhere that is linking back to your business’s website would be known as a backlink.
At the end of the day, if you want a higher search engine ranking, have authority online is incredibly valuable.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of SEO let’s go over some simple ways that you can implement SEO on your website:
According to Perficient Article, 61% of online visitors in the United States visited websites on their mobile devices. This means that users should be experiencing the look and user experience, from any screen size, not just desktop.
I know personally, I use my iPhone to check stores or restaurants, more so than my desktop. Because so many of us have adopted this philosophy Google wants to ensure that online visitors are still having the same great experience, across all devices.
A pro tip to all business owners, make sure that your website looks the same on a desktop as it does on mobile, including functionality. You’d be surprised at how many websites have completely different user experiences across different devices.
Since we are an instant gratification generation, we don’t have the patience to wait for something. Have you ever gone to a website, and it’s taken forever to load? Instead of waiting do you usually just go back to the search results to find the next website, that’ll fit your needs?
I know that I have.
A website should load in at least 3 seconds. Having a slow load time not only hurts your search rankings but also is affecting your bounce rate. In order to help with load time, you can compress your images, I always recommend this to my clients! And to check your website’s vitals head over to Google’s Page Speed Insights to see how your website ranks!
Google cares a lot about authority, especially in 2021. Having high stared Google reviews will help boost local search rankings and it also shows great credibility which will naturally result in more clicks.
If you don’t have many Google Reviews at the moment but would like to incentivize customers to write a review about your business, you could reward them with a discount on their next purchase, enter them into a drawing or give them a small gift of appreciation. A little bit of appreciation can go a long way!
Make it Secure
Having a sure website is a MUST. So, what does that even mean you may ask?
Having the HTTPS encryption with an SSL certification ensures there’s a secure connection between your website and your visitor. It also helps to prevent data breaches or fraud. Always, make sure that you have a secure website.
Some platforms have sitemaps taken care of for you. But if not, I’d recommend installing the Yoast Plugin. It is amazing for SEO in general, but you can also submit a sitemap through it. This article by Yoast does a wonderful job of explaining and setting one up.
If you’ve made it this far, congrats! I know this was a lengthy blog post. Hopefully, after reading, you’ll have a better understanding of the basics of SEO; and what you can do to start driving more traffic to your website. So be on the lookout for more blog posts like this in the future. If you have any questions in the meantime, send us a message we’d love to hear from you!