How Do I Improve My Business’s Online Presence?
5 Ways You Can Improve Your Business with Search Engine Optimization
One of the few things all marketing experts agree on is the need for proper Search Engine Optimization. What does it all mean, though? How does it work, and why do you need it? These questions are universal and an all too frequent reason for SEO horror stories from predatory companies using that lack of knowledge to gouge small businesses with little or no result. Here, our marketing experts draw back the curtain on SEO, what it is, and why you need it.
What is Search engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) is the process of improving both the quality and quantity of traffic to a website or webpage from search engines. Using complex algorithms, search engines read your website and rank it based on how well it is presented, what content it has, and ranks it based on how authoritative and relevant it thinks it is to any given search term.
On-page refers to the technical aspects you can control on your website. This includes strategies such as adding keywords to your page title and copy, using HTML code and alt tags, proper formatting for text and headers, and optimizing meta descriptions to increase ranking on search engine results pages. Keep in mind, though, that the most crucial factor is the actual content of your website. If it has too little or too much information, is hard to navigate, or has lackluster design, even the best SEO will not help.
Off-page refers to any action designed to drive traffic from another part of the online world to your website. While this does generally include paid options such as pay-per-click and social media advertising, several off-page options have no cost other than time:
- Rating sites such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, NextDoor, etc. The sites you use will be dependent on your industry
- Press Releases
- Engaging the community surrounding your industry, such as in a local forum, or event
- Working with other businesses in your industry to share your content.
- Getting into publications that center around your industry
- Using social media sites such as LinkedIn or Facebook, especially since Facebook also has integrated reviews
1. Improves Clickthrough Rate
By correctly using keywords, alt tags, meta descriptions, etc., you can achieve a better Google search ranking. In turn, this improves the traffic coming in. The two types of keywords to keep in mind are long-tail keywords and location-based keywords. Long-tail keywords are phrases that are more specific and longer than common keywords. For example, if someone were to search for “boats,” they might be looking for an item, photo, or video – but people searching for “boat mechanic” are far more likely to be looking to have one fixed. Location-based keywords are in the same vein. If your boat repair company is located in San Francisco, you would include the keyword “boat mechanic in San Francisco.”
2. Provides Long Lasting Results
While paid online advertising can be essential to give your business an extra boost, the results only last as long as you’re willing to pay for them. By implementing SEO correctly and occasionally updating as needed, your website will continue to show up in searches without much effort on your end. In general, it is recommended to check the relevance of your keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions every six months or so to make sure they are still appropriate.
3. Improves Business Credibility
When searching for something on Google, users tend to trust search engines to filter out undesirable results and provide them with the best quality possible. So subconsciously, we think that the top results are generally the most credible and trustworthy. Another way SEO can boost this credibility is through optimizing your Google My Business listing. By having as much relevant information as possible and by including reviews, you appear much more reputable.
4. Improves Brand Awareness
As prospective customers continue to look for specific products and services, they are likely to perform many different searches. By incorporating more than one relative keyword for your products or services, you will likely appear more in their search results, reinforcing your brand and building trust in your company. If they continue to see your name pop up, they are far more likely to remember you the next time they need a product or service that you are selling.
5. A Lower Customer Acquisition Cost
In the world of small business, marketing is all about the acquisition cost. If you’re consistently making a $400 average ticket, but it’s costing you more than your net margin to acquire that customer, you’re not making money. Properly implemented SEO will reduce your acquisition cost by ensuring that every non-pay-per-click option is as effective as possible to drive maximum relevant traffic.
In short, having a strong SEO strategy will improve your business in many far-reaching ways. It can seem like a daunting task but is crucial to ensuring your business’ success at beating out the competition.
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With effective SEO, you can continue to do what you do best, and let us do the rest.