SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a multilayered practice to enhance volume of quality traffic to your website. It is the first step toward digital marketing.
An SEO integrated online marketing strategy brings clarity and precision to your marketing efforts.
SEO has multiple variables which act at different layers together to bring out visible result. Basically, it tries to make your website appear in the first page of organic search results by increasing your page rank.
Many small business owners use SEO to achieve higher page rank in organic search results and avoid spending huge money on advertising.
What SEO Is All About
Well, SEO is not rocket science but it is not that uncomplicated either. I will try to make it less uncomplicated for you.
When we type anything in any search engine it replies us with numerous SERPs (search engine result pages). Websites appear one after another according to the level of their relevancy to the query typed in the search box. The website which appears at top of the organic search results gains the highest page rank. Organic search result is unpaid and comes after advertisements.
Improved page rank ensures enhanced traffic volume but are you actually getting the right kind of traffic? Are those visitors really interested in your product? Has search engine successfully identified you as who you are and what actually you sale?
It may happen that you sale red shoes but buyers who are searching for red dress or red bags often end up clicking on your website. The point of fact is you are not getting quality traffic. Only people who are searching for red shoes are your quality traffic.
When quality traffic clicks through your website it results in conversion (sales).
SEO is an all encompassing approach that tries to increases your website’s relevancy, usefulness, architecture and authority through improving and adjusting certain variables.
Which Search Engine Should I Zero On?
As we all know, Google is the most popular search engine in the world. According to the latest statistics of www.netmarketshare.com , it holds 74.06% of the market share. So, concentrating on Google would be enough for you. Microsoft’s Bing is the third most used search engine after Chinese search engine Baidu. Yahoo comes at the fourth place.
How Search Engines Work
Before indulging in how search engine optimization happens, you need to know how search engines create SERPs.
- When someone types a query in the search box, automated robots, called ‘crawlers’, start finding out billions of relevant documents in the entire web. Bing’s crawler is called ‘Bingbot’.
- Across the globe, search engines maintain various data centers, which store massive amount of data. These data storages help crawlers to bring information to search engine and create a web page index.
- Using mathematical equations or algorithm search engines find out useful web pages in terms of their relevancy and popularity. According to algorithm the best pages with highest page rank appear in the first page.
Every search engine has its own algorithm that works differently from the others. Algorithms work on certain variables to determine page rank. These variables are called ‘rank factors’. Rank factors influence visibility of the web page.
If you are a small business owner, do not get agonized about those 200 odd rank factors, rather, you must know the fundamental factors of search engine optimization.
Building A SEO-friendly Website
Pillars of any SEO campaign-
- Relevancy– Relevancy is the key. Relevancy of any site can only be built through relevant and useful content; it must cater the need of your target audience.
- Popularity – There is no dearth of relevant pages in internet but search engines prefer websites, which have previously satisfied visitor’s requirement. Popular websites have following qualities-
- Ability of attracting higher rate of visitors
- The contents make the visitors spend considerable length of time on the pages and site
- Ability to make the visitors pay repeat visit
- Authority- Authority of a website gets established when it-
- Carries relatively huge number of incoming links
- Gets mentioned in social media and important and influential websites (Government, education institutes, news organizations, industry websites etc.).
- Architecture- An SEO-friendly website is user-friendly, robust and fast for making a strong web presence. The content should be of high quality and must adhere to the demand of the potential buyers.
Why Should Small Businesses Think About SEO?
For small businesses, SEO is a less expensive alternative for building brand awareness among potential customers. Every small business goes through different hurdles, biggest among them are building trust and reputation. SEO can ease that a little for you .When your brand appears in the first page of reputed search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, people tend to start having trust in your brand. SEO can do the following things for your business-
- Drawing more customers
- Establishing brand awareness
- Beating competitors
- Increasing conversion rate
- Channelizing traffic for other online marketing campaigns
Basic SEO Factors For Small Businesses
For small businesses, required SEO is less complicated. SEO is done on three levels- i) On- site SEO, ii) Of-site, SEO iii) SEO and Negative SEO. Each part has its own set of variables.
- Content Is The King- Any online marketing practice is incomplete without high quality content. If your content is relevant then search engines won’t recognize it. On the other hand, only a useful content is linkable and would generate repeat visitors.
- Keyword Selection- Your keywords should be relevant to the words that the potential buyers are typing in the search box. If budget is constrained then keywords do not have to be very competitive for small businesses. The first 10 websites in the organic search result are your competitors.
- Page Titles Should Be Relevant- Each page should have unique titles along with relevant keywords. The length of the title must be under 70 characters.
- Meta Description- A 156 characters long meta description comprises of relevant keywords along with alluring calls to action. You can also add phone numbers or promotional offers.
- Header Tags- If possible use <h1>, <h2>, <h3> header tags. These tags must have strategic and meaningful keywords in them.
- URL- Your URL should be short and crisp containing rich keywords. Keywords always have to be relevant to the content and strategically placed. Avoid using symbols and numbers in page titles.
- Easy To Crawl Website- In an easy-to-crawl website, search engine crawler or spider crawls easily. Crawler has to recognize on-site variables for further indexing.
- Speed- Unless your website loads fast, the search engine won’t recognize it as user-friendly.
- Social Media- Do your website link appears in social media channels? When your website gets referred in social media and gets shared by popular individuals or organizations, they strengthen your reputation. Search engines will not ignore your website if you have strong reputation and popularity.
- Backlinking- When reputed, trustworthy and high quality websites mention your website link, it reflects that you are getting good backlinks. Organic backlinking benefits both parties but reciprocal backlinking doesn’t. Backlinking is more beneficial when it comes from different types of quality websites.
At the initial stage, you can ask your family, friends, customers and suppliers to link your website to their social media platforms or in their own websites. You can also ask relevant bloggers to link.
- Trust Issues- Your website appears trustworthy to the search engines when visitors pay you repeat visits and spend a good length of time.
- Optimization of Anchor Text- The visible hyperlinked clickable text is anchor text. Branded and relevant anchor text easily catches the attention of the search engines. It is important that relevant anchor texts should appear naturally in your website.
Negative SEO is an unethical practice where someone deliberately tries to drag down your page ranking. It is mostly done by off-page SEO, for example- building unnatural links or spam links, scraping content and hacking. However, there are controversies regarding its efficacy.
SEO does not reflect the result instantaneously to your page rank position but slowly with the rise of number of visitors, your rank will improve.
SEO does not bear fruit over night. The secret behind a successful SEO campaign is proper knowledge, well conceived strategy, considerable amount of time and money.
If you would like more info about our SEO services, feel free to contact us directly at 203.414.9692
Wieting Design | Search Engine Marketing Fairfield County CT
Wieting Design is a full-service, graphic and website design agency based in Fairfield County, CT and serving all of Connecticut (CT). We are committed to sharing our experience and expertise in website design, graphic design, social media marketing, search engine marketing (SEO), and video production to help build powerful tools and campaigns that work for your Connecticut business. Whether your objective is to grow your reputation, create client loyalty, drive traffic to your website or set up a marketing strategy, we will adapt our approach to get you the results you need with the services we provide.