You have a website for your business, just like everyone else. How do you know if your target demographic is finding your page? Do they even know you exist? Having a website isn’t enough. Executing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) allows search engines (i.e., Google, Bing or Yahoo) to crawl the web and compile and rank the websites with the most relevant content based on an individual’s search. The website links that appear at the top, on page one, are the prime spots, where every website owner wants to be. Below we’ll go over the basics of how SEO works and why it’s necessary for your business website and ways to increase your chances of ranking on page one. We’ll use Google as our search engine of choice.
As with any business page, your website and the content on your website should be relevant to your brand. As an example, if you own a carpet cleaning company you would make sure your message is consistent with cleaning services, carpet and flooring replacement, as well as, other relevant services your company provides. Being focused in your message will establish your expertise and increase the professionalism of your website.
We know our message has to be consistent with our brand, but we also want to know what people are searching for when they need a carpet cleaner. How do we figure this out? Google Adwords, is an advertising service that allows you to determine keywords that are relevant to your specific business. When those words are searched, the ad will rank and appear on Google. But not all words are created equally or as relevant to your business. The best thing to do when determining keywords is to think like your customer. What questions would they ask for the services you offer? Going back to our example, if you use general words like cleaning or carpet, your ad could show up for customers looking for house cleaners or someone looking to buy a rug. Since, these searches aren’t consistent to your target audience, you want your words to be specific enough to your business, but not so specific that no one searches them. Instead, you could use carpet cleaning or carpet replacement services to cover an umbrella of services that your company provides in a few keyword phrases.
In knowing which keywords your customers are searching for online, and then seeing your ad, it’s necessary for your website titles and pages to be clearly defined. When Google does a search for carpet cleaning, it will scan all of the websites with those keywords. The titles of your pages describe to Google what your webpage is about. Additionally, Google can’t search photos or graphics that you may have on your webpage because photos offer no written content. You can add alt text to describe what the graphic or picture is illustrating, in so doing, allowing for additional searchable content for your page to be found.
Creating a well-functioning website takes patience and practice. Using a tool such as Google Analytics can track your ads and the traffic to your website. The analytics will report which keywords were used to find your site, if a viewer was referred to your site by a search engine, another website, etc. These insights can help save you time, money and effort, by stopping what isn’t working and implementing what is working, further helping your business and website to be more successful in ranking on the first page of Google.