Can Your Business Benefit from SEO?
As a business owner, you may have heard the term “search engine optimization,” or SEO, thrown around, but you may be unsure as to what it is or why it’s important. Essentially, SEO is the process of helping your business’ web site to rank higher in search engine results. By ranking higher, you have a better chance of being found by potential customers, and thus, receiving more business. If you don’t know much about SEO, the process can seem complicated, but in reality, it’s fairly simple.
Think of your web ranking as a popularity contest. Search engines incorporate a number of factors to determine where your site ranks when someone searches for a keyword, and the more popular your site is, the higher up you will rank. However, it should be noted that this type of popularity doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it does. In fact, your site’s popularity is not determined by how many visitors it receives, but instead by how many links it has pointing to it.
Incoming links, sometimes referred to as backlinks, are one of the most important parts of SEO. By having many backlinks pointing to your site, search engines then view you as more popular. The key to using backlinks to your advantage is to link keywords. For example, if your site sells shoes and you’re located in New York City, you would want keywords such as “shoes New York City” or “New York City shoes” to be linked back to your site. This can be achieved by writing blog articles and then linking keywords, or having news stories link keywords back to your site.
Another important part of SEO is optimizing the metadata on your page. Metadata is data that is used specifically by search engine robots that index pages on the web. These robots take a snapshot of you business’ site, and then this snapshot is stored on a search engine’s server. This snapshot contains information such as page titles, page content, and descriptions of individual pages. You can use this to your advantage to rank higher by ensuring that all of your metadata is optimized to deliver the most accurate information about your business and your site. Using the above example again, you could title your pages, “XYZ Corp. – New York Shoes and More” and add a description to each page that says, “XYZ Corp. sells the finest shoes in New York.” When search engine robots index your pages, they will know that when someone searches for “shoes New York,” your site should be included in those results. When you combine your optimized metadata with the strategy of using backlinks, your site ranks higher.
If you’re unsure of how to properly optimize your site for search engines, you might consider hiring a professional to help. An SEO professional can evaluate your site, explain the process in details and then set to work optimizing your site to achieve a higher search engine ranking.