So you’ve finally created a website for your business. Congratulations!
Now you need to let the world know that your website and your business exists, and the best way to do that is to do some SEO work on it.
For many entrepreneurs who are only beginning to tap the Internet as a means to market their business and generate more sales, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an enigma. Some even go to the extent of describing it as some sort of magical way to make websites more visible to more people.
Of course, there’s nothing magical about the SEO solutions its practitioners come up with to get websites ranking higher in Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs.
SEO is simply an assortment of techniques that allow a website to achieve a higher ranking in the SERPs. It’s all in pursuit of the idea that ranking higher equals better visibility, which, in turn, leads to more organic traffic. With more people checking out your website, your chances of generating leads and sales for your business become better, too.
SEO is a relatively young field, but there’s already so much to learn about it. If you’re an entrepreneur new to the world of SEO, here are some basic things about it that you should know.
How Search Engines Work
Google and all the other search engines use crawlers, also referred to as bots or spiders, to comb through the code or content of billions of web pages for relevant keywords that users enter into the search field.
The content the bots find during the crawling process will then be sent back to the search engines for storing and indexing, which will prime it for display as a result to relevant searches. The search engine will rank the indexed pages according to their relevance to a user’s query and offer them up as the best answers for it.
1. On-page SEO
As the phrase implies, on-page SEO is all about the things you do within your website that will help make it become more visible to the search engines.
Creating a summary of a webpage, known as a meta description, is an example of an on-page SEO technique.
Formatting headings and the page content itself is another.
Other on-page optimization techniques you need to implement for your website include meta tags, page titles, and internal and external linking.
2. Off-page SEO
Any activity you engage in outside of your website to boost its visibility and ranking is an off-page optimization technique.
The most common off-page SEO technique is link building, where you get other websites to link back to yours.
You can also do guest blogging, where you post content on other people’s blogs, with their consent, of course.
Posting to social media is another off-page SEO technique, as is claiming listings on business directories.
3. White Hat SEO
If you want your website to rise in the search results the proper way, you have to follow all the rules and conditions that Google and the other search engines have established.
Do all that, and you will be doing what is referred to as white Hat SEO.
Improving the navigation of your website is a search engine-approved way of optimizing your site.
The same goes for speeding up the load time of your webpages.
The biggest thumbs-up, of course, would be for creating and posting original, relevant and high-quality content.
4. Black Hat SEO
When a website tries to boost its rankings using techniques that the search engines frown upon, it is practising Black Hat SEO. Google and the other search engines disapprove of unethical methods like keyword stuffing, posting duplicate content, using irrelevant keywords, misleading users with clickbait, and paying other webmasters to publish a backlink to your site in a tactic called link buying.
Search engines don’t take any violation of their rules and conditions lightly. Get caught employing any of the techniques mentioned above, and you will find your website banned.
5. The Importance Of Content Quality
The time when websites that had garbage for content dominated search results is long gone. Today, search engines, Google in particular, give a premium to high quality, relevant content. It’s now a top ranking factor in Google. As long as you post quality content, your chances of getting rewarded with higher rankings by Google are better.
Here are some suggestions on the type of quality content that you should consider publishing on your website:
Authoritative blog posts
6. Mobile SEO
Mobile users have outnumbered desktop users since 2016, so it’s natural to try to get a share of that market by making your website mobile-friendly. Google also has this thing called mobile-first indexing, where it ranks sites based on their mobile version before their desktop version.
Clearly, the world’s top search engine wants you to make your website mobile-friendly for the sake of your SEO.
For your website to be mobile-friendly, you have to make its web design responsive. When your website has a responsive design, it will render well on any device regardless of screen size.
Whether you’re surfing the Internet on a desktop computer, a laptop, a smartphone, or a tablet, web pages with a responsive layout will respond, adjust and adapt to the size of the screen and provide an optimal viewing experience with minimal resizing, scrolling, and panning.
7. SEO Is Long Term
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to give up on SEO because for them, positive results take too long.
Unfortunately, great SEO results don’t happen overnight. Four months is a generous estimate for your SEO efforts to bear fruit, and they, in all likelihood, wouldn’t even be that impressive.
However, if your optimization work is consistent, your SEO results will improve over time and get you where you want your business to be.
You have to keep in mind, though, that a search engine optimizer’s work is never done. Even if you do get the top spot on the first page of the SERPs for most of your web pages, you still have to work to keep that rank.
After all, you’re not the only one doing SEO in your niche. You have competitors, and they would love nothing more than to wrest that top spot from you through hard SEO work of their own.
There is still so much to learn about SEO, but we hope that the above tips will be enough to get you started.