This article will tell local business owners everything you need to know about SEO marketing. This includes what SEO means in business, how SEO works, the importance of SEO, the different types of SEO, and some of the best SEO strategies and practices. If you have more questions about SEO or how to improve your online presence, contact us for your digital marketing needs.
How SEO works
First, let’s talk about what SEO means and what it is. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Once you understand SEO, you will be able to apply it to your own website and hopefully jump straight to the top of the search engine results page.
What does SEO mean?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the means by which websites increase both the quantity and quality of traffic to their website by increasing the website’s search engine ranking. The goal of SEO is to get higher search engine rankings for search queries and more organic website traffic.
How does SEO work?
To understand how SEO works, you need to know how search engines work to rank results on their results pages (which you’ll often see referred to as SERPs). Search engines want to select the best possible match to what their users are searching for in order to appear at the top of their search results pages. The best possible match will answer the question the searcher is looking for an answer to and will also contain high quality content.
So how do search engines choose which results to display first? Search engines crawl (which is the technical term for how they scan) web pages to find out what the website is about. They also look for keywords, meta tags and phrases that match what the searcher is looking for.
Search engines also scan websites to see how easy they are to read and navigate. The more user-friendly a website is, the higher it will be ranked by search engines.
An often overlooked aspect of marketing SEO is to remember that your content must be relevant and valuable to your target audience. The better your content, the better your traffic will be. Search engines appreciate quality content, but so do readers who will come back again and again if they like what you’re doing with your site.
What is the meaning of SEO?
Now you know a little more about SEO, but what exactly is SEO? Let’s use a real life example.
If you go to the store for milk, and you go into the store and there’s a dairy display right there, are you more likely to pick up a gallon of milk from the display? Or are you going to walk all the way to the back of the store where the rest of the dairy is and explore the rest of your options? You probably grab milk, which is your first choice, and head to the cash register.
Now imagine that your website is a gallon of milk and your grocery store is all possible search engine results. In layman’s terms, leveraging SEO means making sure your milk is the milk on display at the front of the store. From an internet perspective, we ensure that your website appears as high as possible on the SERP or search engine results page.
Did you know that 75 percent of people never get past the first page of search engine results? This means that if your website does not appear on the first page, it is as if most search engine users have not seen you.
This is why SEO is such an important marketing strategy. Without using SEO best practices for your website, you can have the best and best designed website, but it will be very difficult for anyone to find them.
What are the benefits of SEO marketing?
Optimizing your website for search engines has several benefits. Implementing SEO results in higher search engine rankings, better visibility for your business or brand, and more organic website traffic.
The best thing about using SEO to get more website traffic is that it’s free! Optimizing your website can take a bit of hard work, but if you do a good job, the traffic will come to you. An alternative is to pay for ads that drive traffic to your website.
Although ads can appear on a search engine results page before organic search results, many searchers skip ads and go straight to organic results. These searchers are looking directly for you and generate quality web traffic.
Types of SEO Marketing
There are several different types of SEO. Here we break down four different types of SEO for you: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO and local SEO.
On-Page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages of a website. The goal of on-page SEO is to improve a website’s search engine ranking and gain organic traffic. (Organic traffic is traffic that finds your website after entering search terms into a search engine. It is the opposite of paid traffic, which is generated by paid advertising.)
There are a number of components that search engines like Google look for on your website. After writing blog posts, it is important to use proper page titles, title tags and link to other related pages with internal links.
Other on-page SEO best practices include optimizing the titles and URLs on each web page, adding HTML tags (such as header, title, and meta descriptions, linking between pages, and adding images. This also includes making sure each page has a high quality and relevant content.
On-page SEO also means incorporating keywords that are relevant to your site’s topic. Keywords are words or phrases that a user of a search engine enters into the search box of a website, such as Google or Bing.
There are certain keywords that get more traffic, so if you want to grab the attention of all the people searching for that particular word or phrase, you’ll want to use them repeatedly in your content. (But you also want to use it seamlessly and not just stuff it where it doesn’t belong! Your content needs to be easy and fun for your readers as well.)
Here are some tips from Google on how to do keyword research using great keyword suggestion tools.
Off Page SEO
Off-Page SEO is everything you do to make your website look good to search engines and get higher search engine rankings than other websites. Sounds confusing, right? One example of Off-Page SEO is other websites linking to your website. When other websites link to your content, it tells Google and other search engines that your website must be pretty good (otherwise why would anyone bother linking to it?)
Technical SEO is a means of improving the technical aspects of your website in order to gain higher search engine rankings. This includes factors including user experience such as page load speed. Website optimization can also reduce bounce rates. Here are some of the important ways to differentiate your website as one that is technically optimized.
- It loads quickly for users, which is important so they don’t get frustrated and move on to a competing site.
- Easy for search engines to navigate.
- It has no (or many) dead links.
- It has no duplicate content (which confuses search engines!)
- It is safe for users.
- It has structured data that tells search engines what information you have on your site.
- It has an XML Sitemap, which is a list of all the pages on your site.
Local SEO is important for any business that has a brick-and-mortar location. Local SEO can not only increase website traffic for a business, but also your traffic! It does this by getting your business found in local search engines. If your website is well optimized for local search, a customer in your area will first find your store online and then come and hopefully make a purchase.
Good steps to take advantage of local SEO include creating a Google My Business page (it’s free!) and adding your store to Google Maps. You can also add business listings and business citations to your website.
Analyze your website’s SEO
An important step in optimizing any website for search engines is to make sure that what you are doing actually works. This is where tracking your website traffic comes in. You can track your own SEO with Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a popular service that tracks and reports website traffic for you.
You also have the option of hiring a full-service web design agency like Xekera Systems to perform a free SEO analysis of your business. Our consultants can see how you’re really doing online, how you stack up against your competition, and recommend and implement fixes that will attract the web traffic you desire.
Contact Xekera Systems today
Understanding and properly using SEO techniques can be complicated. That’s why agencies like Xekera Systems exist. If you are unhappy with your search engine rankings or want to drive more organic traffic to your website, contact us today. We are SEO experts and can help you implement all the strategies you just read about without doing any of the hard work.