Most people are familiar with the term SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, and understand that it’s important in the world of digital marketing. But what is it exactly, and how do you get it?
Search engine optimization means that your company’s website is written, formatted and built to put its best foot forward to search engines (the major ones are Bing, Yahoo!, and above all Google, which dominates with an estimated 75% of the market), in order to maximize the chances that your site will come up in the first few listings when a user is doing a search. In other words, the goal is that search engines will deem your site to be so interesting, high quality, and relevant that it will rank your site higher in search results. SEO does not mean, however, that the site is misrepresenting itself, or in any way trying to trick search engines into giving it a higher ranking than it deserves.
As such, SEO is a vital part of your marketing effort if you’re prospecting for customers on the web – no matter what your business is.
SEO is, as you might imagine, an incredibly complex topic, and is constantly changing as search engines evolve and become more sophisticated. But here’s a quick primer to what matters in SEO:
Some parts of the SEO equation are obvious to anyone perusing a website – others are "under the hood" and only visible to a web developer.
Some parts of the SEO equation are obvious to anyone perusing a website. These include:
Other parts of successful SEO are “under the hood,” so to speak, and have to do with the construction and architecture of your website. These items may or may not be obvious to the end-user, but are important features of the site to web developers. These include:
How visitors interact with your site is an important part of SEO, although this is not something you can control directly. However, providing strong content increases the chances that your visitors’ behavior will help your SEO. Some of these factors include:
Social media has an impact on SEO to varying degrees, depending on the platform. Facebook Pages (especially the “about” and “basic info” sections – don’t leave these parts of your Page blank!) and LinkedIn Business Pages are indexed by search engines and will come up when someone searches for your company. If you have a Twitter profile for your company, it will come up in searches for your company as well.
But your website’s SEO is helped directly when any visitor (including you) shares, recommends, “likes,” or tweets links to blog content and other pages on your website on these platforms, an effect that’s maximized when it’s done using share buttons from the site itself.
Do you need help with your site's SEO? Call Prime Design Solutions at (814) 248-3180 for a free consultation.
But the newer kid on the block, Google +, is more directly important in the SEO formula. Having an active Google + Page for your business is very helpful in SEO for your website when searchers are using Google (these benefits are not associated with Bing or Yahoo). To take advantage of these benefits, you should link your website with your Google + Page as many places as you can.
Incidentally, when you do this, your Google+ Page will be featured on the search results page when someone does a search for your company, so even those who are not on Google+ will see it (for example, look what happens when a search for “Prime Design Solutions” is performed on Google — the search results include a big box to the right of the screen featuring our Google+ profile, including our business address, map to our office, and most recent G+ update). You should also establish Google Authorship for the contributors to your blog, and Publisher for the site itself.
Competent web developers are careful to design a site in a way that maximizes SEO, but regularly adding fresh content to your website is key.By Shelley Johansson. Read about Shelley on our Meet Our Staff page or visit on Google+.