When it comes to search engine optimization, people often overlook the value of basic SEO in their website and digital marketing operations. And some honestly may not even understand what to do or how to get started. It is never too late to make basic SEO an integral part of the website. As the owner of a company that offers SEO services as well as web design and web hosting, let’s talk about some ways you can get started today.
What is SEO? And Why Does SEO Matter?
Basically, utilizing SEO optimizes your website content to present it or feed it to the search engine in the best possible way. For a search engine optimization campaign to be successful, it must be feeding the customer AND Google. This balance is everything.
SEO And Google
One of the reasons SEO plays such a critical role in getting traffic to a website is because it is basically the art of feeding Google information in a way that gives your business placement on the first page of Google. Google is the largest driver of traffic for a website, coming in at a whopping 80 % of all unbranded traffic coming from them.
The next highest source of website traffic can come from a social media platform like Facebook, but with a much lower yield of probably around five percent. When you compare sixty percent of traffic to five, it only makes sense to maximize your efforts in Google over other options.
Google uses an algorithm, or mathematical computation, that combines roughly two hundred or so areas of data to rank a website. Google will take a page of content on your website and run it through the algorithm for a score. If you do enough things right, the algorithm may work in your favor, but the converse is also true. It is critically important to understand how a search engine works so that you can make your website and the pages conform to their algorithm, while still representing you’re business with is best foot forward.
Basic SEO Tips
SEO is like a big jigsaw puzzle. When the puzzle is put together right, it creates an amazing picture. If one or more of the puzzle pieces is missing, it is nothing but incomplete. For the best yield from SEO practices, the goal is to do as many as you can at the best possible level because the end result is what Google will be looking at.
Some good starting tips for basic SEO are:
- Post relevant and updated content. Google is looking for websites that share relevant and new information. For instance, if you are a plumber, a blog post might talk about frozen pipes and needs to do so in a comprehensive way that helps the reader. Keep content original and do not duplicate even material from another page on your own website.
- Do the legwork to get backlinks. Google will look at how many votes a website gets and part of that process is if someone makes a link to your website. In Google’s eyes, that gives the website value. Do not fake backlinks or buy them. Backlinks from a chamber of commerce or the Better Business Bureau can be good to have from the search engine’s standpoint. If you adopt good SEO, the backlinks should come on their own.
- Create the sitemap and submit it to Google through their search console.
- Utilize outside traffic. Google will take notice if a sizeable chunk of your website traffic is coming from somewhere other than them and may reevaluate your web page. At my company, we have diversified our traffic to come from a podcast and social media platforms.
- Be authoritative. In every piece of content put together for your website, own your authority on the product or services your website officers. In addition to verbiage, becoming a member of the local chamber of commerce and participating in your community can help with this.
- Good page speed. Google is looking at the speed of your webpages. Make sure they are running efficiently, which is typically a reflection of your web hosting company.
- Understand the importance of good keywords. Google will only know what you are talking about if you put the keyword on the page. Be strategic in the choosing of your keywords because they send signals to Google.
- Create a blog. Use the blog to post relevant information that the reader can use. For example, if you are a plumber, write a blog post about an anecdotal story from a customer about a sink problem that might be more common than most people realize.
- Establish a podcast. This is fairly easy to do, and summaries (not transcripts) of them may be able to be used as blog posts as well.
Benefits of Basic SEO
While implementing good SEO practices can take time and is a long-term commitment for true success, the traffic you can get as a result of it is not something you have to necessarily pay for like in terms of ads. Other than paying an SEO professional like my company to assist you, that is really all you should be spending on it.
Some primary benefits of utilizing basic SEO include:
- It can boost your website traffic. The higher a web page ranks, the more organic traffic it is likely to get, which means more visitors to your website. Better yet, this type of ranking tends to lead to more consistent traffic.
- Driving traffic is important because it brings about brand awareness. This is key because in today’s world, people tend to do business with people they know and like over those that they don’t. Website traffic helps build an intrinsic trust factor when a user has seen you before in searches or in answering other’s questions online.
- It can help your ranking in Google Local. This means that when you do a search for a highly searched keyword and the local map pops up at the top of the results page, with excellent SEO practice your website could rank in the top three results and yield potential sales conversions. This requires a consistent strategy and long-term effort.
Basically, SEO is an investment, and it can be time consuming, but is undoubtedly one of the best things you can do to create traffic and longevity for your website.