What if you threw a party and no one came? That’s what it can feel like when you launch a website and only a few people visit. The problem might be with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Learn more about this important tool and get some SEO for beginners tips that can help you drive more traffic to your small business’ website.
What is SEO?
81 percent of shoppers use search engines like Google to conduct online research before buying. They put in a search term and get a list of links that relate to it. The results are displayed in the order of relevance. Each search engine has its own formula to determine the order.
SEO is a way to increase the likelihood that your company’s information will appear near the top of those search results. In other words, you’re optimizing the results of the search engine results. That means more people will see your information and click on the link to your website. The result is more traffic to your site.
Tips to Improve Your SEO
There are a number of techniques you can use to improve your SEO ranking. But be careful about trying to beat the system. Search engines are constantly tweaking their formulas to determine how content should be ranked. Start with these tips:
- Focus on content – At the core of every search engine’s formula is relevant content. So concentrate on providing information your customers need and want. Write for your customer, not the search engine. One great source for content is the questions you get from customers. For example, a grocer might get asked how long you can keep turkey leftovers. Turn your answer into a tip and post it on your website so others can see it.
- Use keywords – When people search for information they tend to use certain words. Search engines take those terms and look for websites with the same keywords. So use them occasionally in your content. Think like a customer when choosing keywords. What words would I use to learn more about what I offer? Be specific. “Pet store” will return pages of websites that you have to compete against. But “pet stores in Mesa that sell puppies” narrows the field.
- Don’t “Click Here” – It’s good to have hyperlinks and call-to-action buttons on your website. But avoid using “click here” to label the link. It has no search engine value. Instead, look back on your keywords for inspiration. They have higher search value and can increase your ranking.
- Look outward – Don’t just look inside your website to improve your search engine ranking. Pay attention to who’s outside looking in. Take the time to build relationships with related websites. You might feature information from those websites on your page. Often the website you feature will link back to your page. Now their visitors see your information too.
- Tag your content – It’s not just what you say that’s important to search engines, pay attention to how you say it. Organize your content using headings and subheadings to separate sections. Then use header tags to mark the headings. They’re part of the behind-the-scenes code on your website. Many programs, like WordPress, make it easy to include them. Using these tags makes it easier for search engines to find information, especially if you include one of your keywords in the header.
Search Engine Optimization can help you get more visitors to your website. Start with relevant content, then consider these tips to make it more visible to people searching for that information.