If you want to be found online, SEO is your ticket.
You’ve probably heard this term before. Anyone who works in the marketing field is obsessed with SEO – and anyone else thinks it’s mumbo jumbo. This three-letter acronym is tiny and yet is incredibly important to the success of any website. So what is it about SEO that makes it so important?
What is SEO?
As it turns out, SEO is actually a real thing and isn’t mumbo-jumbo. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of utilizing specific keywords to improve both the quantity and quality of organic traffic to your website.
Summary: You want to be found when people search businesses like yours on Google.
How Does SEO Work?
When you use a search engine (like Google, Bing, or Yahoo) to find something online, the results that you’re presented with are the very best that can be offered based off of that search engine’s algorithms. Those algorithms are designed to show results that match up with particular requirements, but the most important factor is whether the result is relevant to the search query.
Search engine algorithms are flooded by the information brought back to them by web crawlers that collect such data. Crawlers are especially attracted to keyword data, which helps tremendously in showing whether or not a web page is relevant.
Summary: Search engines choose websites to present to its user based on the language used on the websites.
How Can I Get Better SEO?
Half the battle of SEO is knowing the right language, or keywords, to use and where to use them. The answer is, as many keywords that make sense and everywhere you can.
Determine good keyword phrases that are commonly searched for and utilize them in your descriptions and blurbs on your website. This will help give web crawlers something to latch onto when the next person gets online to search for something similar to your business.
While figuring out good keywords for web crawlers, keep in mind that web crawlers cannot latch onto photographs. This is why a lot of photo-dependent websites have thorough titles and descriptions on their pages.
In fact, a lot of custom website-builders have a function where you can add alt text to your photos in lieu of captions. Whereas captions are visible to the reader, alt text is only visible if you hover over the image for a moment. While this may seem redundant to you, to a web crawler it’s a reiteration of your keywords, or perhaps reinforces other keywords on the page. Since web crawlers can only read the text, it’s extremely important to remember to add alt text to your photographs.
Summary: Don’t rely on pictures to help your website content get found, label everything through captions and alt-text.
Where Do I Start?
The best way to start getting better SEO is to look over your own website. Do some homework on yourself, and search terms that customers would use when looking for businesses like yours.
Then, figure out different ways to phrase the search query. Doing this will enhance the possibility of being found, as some search terms may be full sentences while others may be simple phrases or keywords. Don’t forget to add information like colors, sizes, or materials – customers are more particular than ever, and this information narrows their search results but increases your chances of appearing on the first page.
Keep your eyes on your website’s visitors and gauge what’s working and what’s not. Never stop trying though – what works today may not work tomorrow.
As long as you’re working your SEO up, you’re sure to see an increase in traffic, and make your website more likely than ever to get to the top of the results list!
Victory Harbin is one of the owners of The Social Brand and is a content strategist. She helps people be smart about using content to get the best results to grow their business.