Being a successful business owner requires reaching out for guidance. We love it when small business owners ask questions because it shows they are ready to learn how to make their business thrive. Some questions we hear frequently are, “What is SEO?” and “Why does it matter?” If you’ve ever pondered these questions, keep reading to learn how search engine optimization works and what it can do for your business.
What Is SEO?
SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization, which is the method of increasing traffic to a website via the organic rankings of a search engine. So, for example, let’s say you sell fresh-squeezed orange juice in Florida. When people use a search engine to look for fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice, you want them to see your business.
Since most people don’t click through more than a page or two of search results, you need to ensure your business is near the beginning of their search results. Moving your business higher on the results page is called search engine optimization since you are optimizing your page so that search engines will display it first. There are numerous ways to improve your website’s ranking, but first, you’ll need to understand how search engines work.
What’s the Secret to Search Engines?
If you type a term into a search engine like Google, an algorithm scans all the pages it can access to provide the most relevant results to your query. The pages it displays are the ones the algorithm has deemed best based on your search terms. While Google doesn’t make the precise workings of its algorithm publicly known, there are hundreds of components. Here are three factors that are critical to boosting your Google ranking:
The Page’s Relevancy
Google looks for relevancy, which means pages with content similar to the search terms. Search engines prioritize relevance to make sure if someone is searching for “fresh-squeezed orange juice,” they aren’t given results to sites that teach you how to fix a leaking showerhead.
Unfortunately, your page has to be more than simply relevant to earn a high-ranking position. The sheer volume of websites on any given topic requires the algorithm to be more selective to provide users with quality results.
The Page’s Authority
One of the many incredible things about the internet is simultaneously one of its most dangerous flaws; anyone can make a website about any topic. You don’t have to be an expert to pose like one online, so Google wants to know that your page’s content is trustworthy and correct before sending traffic your way. Google judges if a page is authoritative by the number of backlinks.
Backlinks occur when other websites link to your page. Typically, the more backlinks your page has, the higher it will rank. However, not all backlinks carry the same rank-boosting power. Backlinks from well-known websites will vouch for your industry authority much more than backlinks from smaller sites.
The Page’s Usefulness
Google measures a page’s usefulness by how other internet users interact with the page. If a page consistently receives clicks and users linger there, Google will elevate its ranking, even if it isn’t as authoritative as other pages. It’s worth noting that there is a difference between useful content and high-quality content.
Your page can be full of educational materials and fact-checked information, but that doesn’t automatically make it helpful to users. If it is difficult to read, poorly designed, or has some other factor that causes users to bounce away from it, it won’t be considered useful, which will hurt your ranking.
Elements of Search Engine Optimization
Designing an SEO-friendly website isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. If you want to make sure your page consistently ranks high on various search engines, each of the following factors needs attention:
There’s a reason why the phrase “content is king” is constantly recited; it’s true. When you create valuable content that solves consumers’ problems, you’ll watch your ranking climb. Consumers come back to websites where they know that quality material is posted frequently.
HubSpot found that businesses that consistently share informative and helpful content receive 350% more site traffic than those that don’t publish informational content. Good content will help bring customers to your website, and great content will keep them returning.
When you use frequently searched words on your product pages and in your content, customers will be able to find you more easily. However, choosing the right keywords requires some legwork, as you’ll want to research which keywords are pulling your target demographic and are relevant to your product or service.
While it may be tempting to choose keywords with the highest number of searches, it’s essential to remember that the more people are searching for a keyword, the more competition you will have in your battle to rank on the first result page. When you are new to the SEO game, it can be better to opt for more specific terms. Even though they have lower searches, they’re still driving traffic, and you’ll have a better chance of being seen by consumers.
When consumers come to your website, what’s their experience? Having a website that’s easy to navigate encourages people to stay longer. You’ll want appealing fonts and graphics, quick loading time, and a mobile version for on-the-go browsing.
You’ll also want to think about how easy your site is for Google to “crawl.” Crawling is when Google goes through your site to determine where it should rank in the algorithm. You’ll want Google’s artificial intelligence to be able to navigate from page to page easily, which means you’ll need to have well-formatted links connecting your pages.
Having reputable sites link to your pages shows search engines that your pages contribute value. Some individuals try to game the system by purchasing thousands of random links, but the quality of your links holds more power than the quantity. Links should be relevant and attached to the appropriate anchor text. To build a solid amount of backlinks, you’ll need to find suitable sites and offer them valuable content in exchange for a link.
At Anthem Software, we know that you may not want to spend your time experimenting with algorithms or searching for backlink opportunities. That’s why we offer marketing services designed to take you from asking, “What is SEO?” to running a website that consistently brings new customers to your business. Schedule a free consultation with Anthem Software today, and let’s talk about how we can make your website SEO-friendly.