For many, SEO is a mystery in the digital marketing world. The term is frequently thrown around, but never thoroughly explained. You get the gist of SEO, but still aren’t sure how to actually use it. You may be asking questions like, “Should I be using SEO? How can it help me? Is it actually doing anything for my business?”
SEO is short for search engine optimization. It’s a tool that you can use to organically grow your website ranking. For example, your target customers are looking for a green builder in their local area (Asheville, for us!). You want your website to be one of the top results when a user types in a keyword or keyword phrase such as, ‘asheville green builder’ or ‘green builder in asheville nc’. Optimizing your website language allows search engines like Google to quickly recognize your website as an excellent and reliable source. By using SEO best practices and staying up-to-date with trends, over time this will organically increase your website’s visibility on search engines and boost website traffic.
You’re probably still scratching your head, wondering where to start practicing SEO on your website. Here are a few guidelines to get you started!
On-site optimization is taking a look at your website from the search engine’s point-of-view. In other words, you can view the site’s architecture without any colors, pictures or special programmed features. Here are a few things to pay close attention to when you’re practicing on-site optimization:
- Use a simple URL — Having a simple URL structure will allow search engines to easily understand the purpose of your website page by reading important keywords included in the URL text.
- Test your page speed — This is important for more reasons than just SEO. Search engines use the page loading time as a source of quality on your website. Also, if your page is taking more than 3 seconds to load, users are more likely to leave your site before seeing it.
- Remove any broken links — Broken links create a negative user experience because your content is directing them to a page that no longer exists. Search engines will notice this and lower your ranking, thinking you are not a reliable source for the user.
- No duplicated content — Having duplicated content on your website confuses the search engine about which webpage is more reliable for the user. Search engines will penalize your website ranking for this.
The actual content on your website is vital to website ranking. When someone is using a search engine, they are likely seeking specific information or are ready to buy a product or service. As a business, you want your website to be the number one source for getting what they need during their search. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Keyword research — Placing yourself in your audience’s shoes to get a clear idea of what they would search for in relation to your website will help you curate a database of keywords to naturally use throughout your site. Ensure that your keywords are targeting specific users and not just anyone.
- Utilizing page architecture — Use titles, headers and subheaders to your advantage by naturally incorporating important keywords. When a search engine is scanning the content on your page, it reads from top to bottom: First the title, then headers and subheaders, then the body. Using keywords in the most important parts of your pages will increase your website ranking for that specific content.
- Do NOT forget meta-tags — This is an easy miss! You wouldn’t think to write a meta-tag for the images on your webpage because search engines can’t see it and who will ever know? You’re correct that search engines can’t see the image, but they can certainly read it. Using keywords that are relevant to the photo will allow search engines to see that the image content is necessary.
How SEO Helps Your Business
Now that you have some knowledge to get started on SEO, let’s talk about why it’s so important.
After all the coding is complete on your gorgeous new website, it doesn’t end there. Your website is designed to serve your business, but it can’t do it alone.
SEO is not a “one-and-done” service like many believe it to be. Rather, it’s an ongoing duty that is not only constantly changing, but requires constant relevancy. Search engines are becoming smarter. It’s important to stay on top of the best practices and trends available. By keeping up with what is working at the time, your website ranking will organically increase in accountability and credibility.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t imagine where to begin, contact the experts at Kudzu Brands today to get your SEO “growing in the right direction” and serving your business well!