As the leader of a new business or a small business, you might wonder if search engine optimization (SEO) is worth the time and effort of your marketing department. Can engaging in this technique really make a big enough difference in your marketing? Should you hire an SEO expert or learn about it yourself? There are many benefits to using SEO for your business. In this post, we can help you decide if engaging in the practice is right for you.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a marketing process that improves your website to increase its visibility on search engines across the internet. It relies heavily on keyword research to make sure your website shows up in results for people’s search terms. The better your website visibility in search results, the more attention your company can receive from users and consumers.
Search engines use coded programs called bots or crawlers to review all the pages on the internet and create an index. This index is what the search engine uses to find information for every query someone makes. The engines also use algorithms to pick the most accurate and relevant search results for each one. These algorithms account for ranking factors for each page and determine how to order them on the search engine result pages (SERPs). The technical side of things may sound confusing if you’re new to SEO, but there are plenty of benefits for your company.
There are three primary benefits for any company that engaged in SEO:
An increase in traffic means more people visit your website from across the internet. It can increase your brand recognition, but also conversions and sales. Keeping an interested customer base and getting them to complete desired actions online can be crucial for keeping your company in business.
Did you know 75% of searchers never click past the first page of results? For this reason, if you want people to find your website, social media, or company, try to be on the first page of results. Engaging in SEO strategies is one of the best ways to make that happen.
Getting more people to your site and appearing on the first SERP can lead to more brand recognition. When a customer notices your company, they may start visiting your website, eCommerce store, or physical store by choice. Brand recognition can also lead to creating a loyal customer base and receiving referrals from customers.
So should your business use SEO? The answer is a unanimous yes. No matter your company size, income, format, location, or niche, you can benefit from using SEO. The brand recognition benefit alone is enough to make it helpful for even the newest startups. If you’re trying to build a customer base, getting your name online through SEO is a good way to do it.
SEO can be inexpensive. You can learn how to do it in-house with team members you already employ. Some easy in-house techniques include:
These techniques are flexible and you can work on them as frequently or infrequently as you want, based on the size of your team and the time you have available. You also can hire a company like CopyPress to create SEO-friendly content for your website so you don’t even have to think about it.
If you’re brand new to SEO, here are five things you can do to get started. For a more extensive checklist, consider this one from Backlinko:
Each popular search engine has its own SEO analytics tools, and many are free to set up and use. Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Yoast SEO for WordPress are just a few. Learning how to set these programs up and what they track can help you understand what exactly you’re looking for to improve your SEO. They can tell you specific things to monitor and ways to make improvements.
Keyword research helps you discover what people are searching for and how you can rank for those terms. Using programs and systems like Google Suggest, Google Keyword Planner, and other keyword tools can help you do this. Finding the “right” keywords for your content and website can help you reach the desired audience that can benefit from your business.
Include your keywords in the H1, H2, and H3 tags. Header tags are part of the page that the bots and crawlers index and use for the search algorithms. Adding keywords there makes it easier for these bots to learn what your content is about. This isn’t the most impactful SEO tip, but it’s easy to do and can become second nature when creating content.
Images on your site can be just as helpful as written content. Because search engines can’t “see” the pictures on your website, optimize their metadata, or background coding, so that the bots can understand them. Saving your image file names with relevant words and using alt text and tags for each one can help SEO crawlers understand the photo.
Linking internally to your own website on pages or within your content helps the crawlers understand your website structure. This makes it easier to index your pages and pull information when someone makes a query. Linking to other trustworthy websites can also help your rankings. This gives your site authority with the search engine by connecting to other high-quality sites with similar information and content.
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