Have you ever asked yourself what exactly SEO is? If you have a website and are trying to sell things, or make money somehow from your website then you should know what it’s all about. The term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is defined by Wikipedia as “ the process of improving the ranking of a web site in Internet search results.” What in the world does that mean and how is that accomplished, sounds like a wide-open term doesn’t it? Well SEO isn’t as vague as you might think; in fact the entire process is very focused with well proven techniques and tools.
Let’s take that Wikipedia definition and put it into other words, let’s say that SEO is the process of making your website more visible to your potential customers for your chosen product or service. Now does it make a little more sense and are you seeing the potential benefits from SEO? So you have a great product or service and want your brand to be seen by the public. One of the first and most important parts of SEO is to make sure you build a great website with tons of unique content.
Now you have a great website, which is your online shop front, you would love to use this site to sell your products, interact with your clients and spread the word of your brand. But, how can you do that if your website or storefront isn’t visible? If you sell nylon nightgowns and mother’s day is coming up, I bet you would like to at least be on the first page of Google when people are searching for that particular keyword. That’s where SEO comes in and why it’s important to make yourself visible.
If your potential customers are searching for your products, but you are nowhere to be found, then what’s the point of you even having that virtual storefront? Sure your site looks great, but you are lost on page 10 of Google, because you don’t have a good SEO plan in place for your store, you are not easy to spot. You need to make sure that your website is showing up in your marketplace. Because your marketplace is going to be full of potential customers browsing, you need to be seen amongst the other companies that will be in place selling their own products or services.
Again, this is a very simple concept, if your potential customers can’t locate your online store easily, they will not stop by and check out your products. You may have the best-designed site, but if nobody can find you, what’s the point? Think about having a great store, but it’s down a dark side alley that nobody walks through. Your potential customers will simply walk past your store. Now imagine your store being right in the middle of Main Street where all of the traffic is, SEO is the practice of taking your online store and making sure that it is in the middle of Main Street. This will make it easy to find by anyone searching for it.
SEO will drive traffic to your website, and this traffic will most likely be relevant visitors. So if your company sells men’s fur coats, SEO’s aim is to make sure that men who are actively searching for fur coats will find you. This is done by using a variety of tried and tested SEO technique, so that the right people notice your company. SEO experts will make sure your site is optimized to ensure your online presence is more visible in places such as Google and Bing, and it will be targeted to people searching in your niche.
How do we know what keywords to target for your website and what your target market is? There are several steps that make the process work well for SEO experts. Here is a brief overview:
- Competitive Intelligence & analysis – This is as simple as it sounds, know your competitors, analyze where their links are and know what they are doing socially.
- Keyword Analysis and Selection – Do research on what keywords people are searching for and select ones that you can compete for to drive traffic to your site.
- Onsite Optimization – This involves title tags, meta tags, making sure your pages URL matches the content.
- Content Creation – Creating unique fresh content that is easily optimized for the keywords that you are attacking, this is both onsite and offsite.
- Linking – Using the correct words in anchor text and knowing the right percentage of links to have on a given page.
- Analysis and Reporting – Being able to read your sites analytics and make adjustments accordingly.
- Market Intelligence – This is knowing your target market, knowing what they want and how to reach them.