SEO – What is it and why does your website need it?
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the process of affecting your website’s “organic” (unpaid) results. Websites use SEO strategies to boost their visibility and rankings in search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. SEO is a technical, ever-changing area that businesses need to consider. You could spend thousands of dollars hiring an SEO expert, or months researching how to properly implement SEO tactics on your website — and then, Google is sure to change the rules. Instead, focus on making these small, consistent changes to your website and online presence to grow visitors and customers. As the internet continues to become more competitive, businesses who spend even a small amount of time and effort on SEO will benefit.
Where should you put your focus? Always, content is the place to put in the work. But first…what is content? As I pose that question, you may have an answer, or you may be drawing a blank or even multiple answers. In this context, content is information. Useful, relevant, engaging information that is disseminated through words, pictures or video.
Content that is fresh, concise, engaging and easy to understand will always reign supreme in the world of online business. You may need to develop, organize, clean up and redo your content several times before finding the right balance for search engines and potential customers. Your content will not only appeal to potential customers, but it also helps search engines determine how to rank your website and when to display your website in searches.
To begin writing content that will help your SEO, you need to take a few moments to think about how you search for something online. Generally, most of us use keywords or phrases. To develop relevant content, start by making a list of what each page on your website is attempting to accomplish and how potential customers are going to be looking for your product or service. Then you can create cohesive, easy-to-read content that will tell the search engines what your page is about and tell customers how your business can help them achieve their goal.
In addition to concise and engaging content, you need to keep it fresh and updated. This will tell the search engines that you are working on your site, it isn’t old or outdated, and there is a reason to keep looking at your website. Fresh content tells your customers that you are engaged and want to provide them with updated information and services. It also tells your customers that you care about what they need. A great way to keep your content fresh is to create blogs, link your social media accounts, or add videos to your site. Do not post content just to post content. As with social media, ensure that the content you post is relevant and useful; otherwise you may find your site “punished” by search engines with a lower ranking.
Another way to help your ranking is to add backlinks to your website. A backlink is a hyperlink to one of your webpages coming in from another website. Backlinks tell Google and other search engines that your website has information that other websites value. Backlinks. however, are only as good as the websites they link from. Too many backlinks from websites that do not have high search engine rankings or are considered untrustworthy will do more harm than good for your website rankings. Also, do not look to swap backlinks with other businesses just to have backlinks. Instead, look for links from well-known, trustworthy websites to benefit your customers and rankings.
Whether you used a template to create your website or had it built for you, another way to focus on SEO is by ensuring you have a sitemap and have attached Google Analytics to the back end of your site. A sitemap is basically a roadmap of your website that the search engines use. It gives a listing of each page and where it is located so your website can be “indexed” by the search engines and compiled for use in later web searches. Google Analytics tracks who uses your website, what they are looking at, how long they spend on your site, and whether they have visited before. This information becomes valuable in understanding what your customers are looking for, how you can better help them, and what areas of your site to focus on. If you are unsure how to accomplish these tasks, you can call your web developer or Google do-it-yourself instructions.
Finally, if all of this is a little more than you want to tackle yourself, hire a professional. You need to put some time, work and money into SEO to have a competitive advantage in the digital world. At Miller Davis, we can help you with some or all of these ways to boost your SEO. From creating keywords and content to rank on search engines to setting up sitemaps and Google Analytics, we can guide you through the process or do it for you. We can take over the initial establishment or take the whole process off your hands. Contact Miller Davis today to see how we can help you with SEO.
A Little Bit About… Jennifer
As a transplant from Wisconsin, Jennifer moved to Spencer with her husband, David, and two teenage daughters, Meghan (UNCC) and Dominique (recently accepted to Coastal Carolina). Jennifer and her husband previously owned a women’s clothing boutique named after her beloved English Mastiff Ruby, and she has a deep passion for Downtown Salisbury. At the end of 2017, due to David’s progressing health concerns, she chose to close the storefront and soon joined the Miller Davis team, where she continues to be a part of the downtown fabric. Jennifer’s passion lies in her dogs — taking care of them, being an advocate and fostering for a local rescue, with a soft spot for canine epilepsy.
Miller Davis, Inc.
205 E. Council St. Suite C
Salisbury, NC 28144
Toll-free in the U.S.: 1.866.463.7883