There is one marketing acronym many business owners continue to cringe over today – SEO or ‘search engine optimization.’ SEO to a business owner kind of sounds like tax season to a young 20 year-old. It’s scary because it seems confusing, it seems like it’s always working against you and it’s scary because there are a lot of parts to it and it’s always changing. Although there are many technical lists to help website managers optimize for search, these lists can be hard to read and even more difficult to implement. This post breaks down the basics of search today – what it means and some easy to understand tips you can start implementing today.
Search Engines like Google automatically scan your entire website, each page, word and image for a number of things using a search bot – search bots are completely digital and are never seen. SEO or the practice of optimizing for search, is really just the art of making sure these Google bots are happy with what they find in your website. These are the questions bots are looking to answer on your site:
- What is your website about
- Is your website easy to use on a phone or tablet
- How old is the content
- Do you use social media
- Is the content original
- Are people clicking to your website and spending time on it
- What is your website about
Google bots will scan your website for keywords and themes. Years ago, web managers would ‘keyword stuff’ or include the same keyword as many times as they could throughout their site. Search bots are smart now, when they see one keyword mentioned 15+ times on one page they won’t rank the website well. Instead, include content with keywords that are most relevant and content that can’t be found anywhere else.
Add photos, images and/or videos throughout your website. Each time you add a photo, image or video, be sure to give it an ‘alt tag.’ An alt tag is really just a descriptor to give bots more information. The more information about content on your website the better. Learn more about alt tags here.
2. Is your website easy to use on a phone or tablet
More users than not are using their mobile phones and tablets to search for things on Google. Because of this, Google wants to show searchers websites that are easy to navigate on their phone or tablet.
3. How old is the content
Google ranks websites with new content higher than websites with old content.
4. Do you use social media
Social media has a growing impact on how well your website ranks. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are considered high web authorities. Whenever your website is linked to an account with one of these social platforms, it will help optimize your website. This is because Google can gain more information about you from your social media as well as find out if people like you. It’s not just enough to have a social media, you need to be posting regularly and those posts need to perform well – meaning, visitors are liking, commenting or sharing your posts.
5. Is the content original
Google bots are smart, they know if your content is not your own and they know as soon as you post it. If you post content on your website that you’ve taken from another web page, this will hurt your SEO.
6. Are people clicking to your website and spending time on it
Easily view how many people are viewing your website by using an analytics tool. Google Analytics is one tool that is free and easy to use. Increasing activity on social media and your blog is a great way to get more clicks to your website.
Don’t let SEO intimidate you enough to not do anything. Create and publish new, unique and relevant content on a consistent basis, post it to social media and continue to engage through your brand online in meaningful ways. This is the type of activity Google wants to see.
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