Search engine optimization is a process of improving the visibility of a website in search engines. It is a way to make sure that when people type keywords into the search engine, your website appears on top of the list.
Aptly named, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is quite the buzzword these days, but will it actually help your business grow? Absolutely! While there are certainly some products and services that quite literally sell themselves, SEO is still a necessity for most start-up companies and even industry leaders such as Walmart, Uber, and Grubhub.
We challenge you to visit Google and search terms like “mart,” “ride share,” or “food delivery” if only to further affirm why search engine optimization is so important. What makes the aforementioned brands appear in the top 5 search results every time? Any SEO specialist would happily raise her hand, but there are certain steps that even a novice can implement to raise a company’s rankings, indirectly lifting that ever so important bottom line.
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SEO is easy! …Kind of…
Many SEO-centered websites and professionals will explain how beginner-friendly search optimization can be. We at Element Marketing Company agree that optimization is simple to learn, but difficult to master. In this spirit, we have created an ongoing series of beginner-friendly tips for our prospective and current clients to organically engage their audience. By organic, we simply mean that there are many methods of paid advertisement that we will not address in this article. The following tips should at least get you started without needing a boatload of cash.
Whether familiar or not, we’ve all used keywords, perhaps even every day. Any time you’ve searched for a new TV on Amazon or a custom-made item on Etsy, you’ve likely entered keywords into a popular search engine like Google. In these examples, keywords could be “flat-screen televisions” or “custom blankets.” Each time you submit a search query, that search engine will log your query and find the most relevant web pages possible. Search engine optimization is all about relevancy, and it begins with those very same keywords you enter into Google or Bing’s search field every day.
Using these keywords to your benefit is absolutely essential when promoting a business. The most difficult task related to keywords is audience discovery. Who are your customers? What products and services do they need? How does that relate to your company’s agenda? And most importantly, what keywords do your competitors use?
First thing’s first. If you were looking for the products or services that your company offers, what keywords would you enter into Google’s search field? Here are some examples:
- local florists | florists near me | florists in Amityville | tulips | roses | valentine’s day flowers
- computer repair | fix my PC | fix laptop | iphone repair 29577 | android os Myrtle Beach | broken screen
Many of these keywords are extremely difficult to rank, or more specifically, some of these terms may have serious competition from other similar businesses. A Myrtle Beach computer repair shop isn’t necessarily going to specialize in fixing keyboards in Australia, so geographical information can be just as important when concerned with how your company ranks against competitors. Are these keywords mentioned on each relevant page of your website? We hope so! If not, then this is a good time to start.
More specifically, these terms should be placed in important positions called headings. Headings are normally no mystery for anyone who has ever read a book or written a report. However, each webpage you view on the internet has embedded information within its text. All text is labeled as a heading, paragraph, bulleted topics, and more. Use an h1 tag, also known as “heading 1,” for the most important information on a webpage. You should only label one sentence or term as h1 per webpage, otherwise, Google may end up being confused about the page or article’s main topic. Addressing the keywords above, you wouldn’t want a webpage about iPhone repair to be confused with Samsung repair. Naturally, the second most important information would be tagged as h2, and the next h3, etc. Other than h1, all other headings may be used multiple times per page.
<h1>Phone Repair Sale </h1>
<h2> Purchase any product and receive free phone repairs for a month! </h2>
<h3> Qualifying Phones </h3>
<ul> <li>iPhone 8 & Above</li>
<li>Samsung 10 & Above</li></ul>
Do your best not to be nervous about the tags above. Most popular websites like WordPress or Squarespace offer web editors that allow you to easily adjust which text deserves the respective tags h1, h2, h3, p (paragraph), ul (unordered list), li (list or bullet points), etc. Try to use common sense when claiming importance. Use your newly acquired knowledge to choose the best keywords for the headings so that Google can quickly and accurately find them to display your page a tad higher in your prospective customers’ search results.
If you still aren’t sure about which keywords you should use, then you are in luck! There are many free and paid tools on the web to feel more confident with your selections. Here is a short list of websites available. They have similar services, but it’s best to check each one out in order to find the best choice for your needs.
Search engine optimization can be a fickle topic, but its importance greatly overweighs its difficulty and time consumption. We can’t wait to provide more tips in this ongoing series of short articles to help build your client list and by extension, your company.