The Basics of SEO

The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is the tactics and strategies used to improve the visibility of a website and how that website shows up in search engines when a user does a search for the products, services, or content offered on that website. SEO is a vital part of any internet marketing campaign and necessary for the growth of any business regardless of size. 

The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

Keyword Research. This is the first and most important step. The keyword research will inform every future decision. Look at it from the perspective of a potential customer. What is their search intent? It is vital that a small business owner doing their own SEO become an expert. Take whatever time you need and do whatever research you have to. There are several tools that can help in this process such as AhrefsSpyfuSEMRush, and others. Each has their pros and cons. Only use the Google keyword tool for a pay-per-click campaign with Google. It is useless otherwise.

Analyze Competition. Do a search for each of the keywords and look closely at who you will be competing with. Take note of what titles the top ten websites in your niche are using and the content format. For example, are they blogs or ecommerce? This will give you an idea of how hard it will be to rank on the first page.

On-page or On-site SEO. Armed with the information gleaned from the keyword research and analyzing the competition, prepare the content for your website. Be aware to write the content so that it sounds and reads naturally. Do not keyword stuff. Search engines will recognize keyword stuffing and penalize your website before you even get started.

On-line Presence. Create a Google My Business profile and get it verified. That verification will be your official introduction to the internet. Ensure that all information relevant to your business such as hours of operation or services offered is complete. An incomplete profile will be ignored by Google and potential customers. Repeat with Bing. Do a search for directories in your niche and begin submitting your company info to each. Ensure that the info is complete and consistent. For example, if you abbreviated street in your Google listing then abbreviate it everywhere. These active links to your website are called citations.

Load Speed. The speed at which a website loads is important for multiple reasons. The search engines see it as an important ranking signal and users tend to bounce out if a website doesn’t load fast enough. If users leave a website quickly without interacting with the content it signals to the search engines that your content doesn’t fit the query which will negatively affect rankings.

Regular Updates of Content to Website. Search engines value new content and it signals that the website is updated on a regular basis which improves the user experience. Even small updates such as adding new images is better than no updates at all. Without regular updates it will appear as if the website is stale and has no new content. 

Link Building. Backlinks are one of the most important ranking signals to search engines. They are the roads that the search engine bots or spiders travel to index website pages. Backlinks are like a referral. One website links to another website signaling approval to the search engines. The more quality backlinks a website has, the better that website will rank.

SEO is constantly changing and it is becoming increasingly difficult. It is virtually impossible for a busy business owner to keep up with new developments. If you are not 100% sure of what you are doing then it is advisable to hire a professional. Contact Louisville SEO Strategies for a  free SEO and website consultation and get started growing your business.