You may have already heard about Search Engine Optimization, or better known as SEO. Due to its dynamic nature and the amount of detail and jargon that inherently comes with the practice, it can be intimidating for those on the outside now looking in.
Like most business owners, you may already be stretched too thin and don’t have time to tend to your business’s online upkeep. Understandably, running a business is a 24/7 commitment.
To put it simply, SEO is optimizing the quality of your online presence for search engines such as Google, to rank your website in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) organically. SEO targets unpaid search traffic to naturally index higher on search results so that you can be found online. But how does it really work and how can you use it to your business’s advantage? We look at it with you and your business in mind throughout this blog post!
What is SEO?
SEO at its core is a set of practices and processes that aim to improve your online visibility and ranking in organic search results. With a higher position in the SERP comes greater online traffic, and more opportunities to reach out to prospective customers.
SEO is a dynamic and ever-changing field that is as much about people as it is about search engines. It requires attentive tracking of emerging trends, algorithm changes, and technological advancements, but it also requires the understanding of your target audience and their behaviors. Having a solid grasp of these two aspects will give you a solid SEO strategy to dominate Google and other search engines.
What are the three pillars of SEO?
SEO has three distinctive segments, and it is necessary that you understand how each one works so that your website has a holistic approach to SEO. Note that focusing on only one aspect of SEO won’t give you your desired results. Each one is vital and equally important to your SEO success.
Technical SEO: This segment of SEO focuses on code and performance improvements on your website. It deals with the internal factors around the performance and crawlability of your site, including speed, sitemap, navigability, core vital updates, and having a mobile-friendly first website.
On-page SEO: It is all about the content on your webpage that affects your ranking in the search engine, including E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), all forms of content, meta tags, alt tags, descriptions, keywords, and more.
Off-page SEO: This is all about the factors that you cannot control directly on your website. These include authority backlinks, social media, domain authority, and more. This focuses on increasing the quality and quantity of off-site links to your website.
How does SEO work?
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing use bots that crawl through web pages to collect and index information. The algorithms in place then analyze the content, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query. Generally, the algorithm gives higher priority to relevant, authoritative pages that provide users with the most comprehensive and efficient search experience.
If you have already set up your website, make sure you answer the following questions first:
- Do I serve high-quality content to users?
- Is my local business showing up on Google?
- Is my website secure?
- Is my website mobile friendly?
- Does my website incorporate keywords that my customers are searching for?
If you didn’t say yes to all five (yes, even if you missed just one), you have some SEO work to do!
Why does it matter to your business?
The top result in Google gets approximately 32% of all clicks and on the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks. Less than 1% of Google users click on results from the second page.
If you are determined to adapt and stay ahead of the competition, it is critical that you create a plan to rank higher in the SERPs.
Technical SEO Tips for Businesses
- Improve page load speed
Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page for users. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions. Make sure you are at the ideal loading time which is 2.9 seconds or below.
- Check your website’s mobile-friendliness
Google now uses “Mobile-first” indexing because of the sheer amount of people using their mobile devices to search. Check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check out if your website is optimized for mobile.
- Secure your website with an SSL certificate
Having a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate ensures that the sensitive data of your visitors will be transferred over a secured network. This lessens the risk of their login details, signups, addresses, and payment or personal information being compromised. Having this certificate also shows Google that your website is safe which gives you major SEO plus points!
On-page SEO Tips for Businesses
- Identify the keywords that your customers are searching for
The best way to create content is to first know what exactly your customers are looking for. Online tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner can help you identify the approach keywords for your business. Then, if you can provide that information better than anyone else, you’ll be recognized by the search engines as a business that should appear at the top of the results. Remember that above all, your SEO strategy should be people-centric.
- Make sure you don’t have any broken links and pages
Broken links and pages are a huge no to the bots that crawl your site. That it is neglected, uncared for, unmaintained. Locate all your broken links, reinstate them or redirect them to an appropriate alternative and see your ranking improve in no time.
- Consider starting a blog
Businesses that consistently write blogs as a part of their SEO strategy receive 67% more leads monthly than those that don’t according to HubSpot. Blogging bumps up your organic search, it keeps your website updated, and it builds your business as an authority whatever industry you may be in. Always a win-win situation.
Off-page SEO Tips for Businesses
- Go after quality links
Links are basically votes or applause to your website. They’re an overall appreciation of your brand. Make your content worthy of links, and links will come naturally. To check your inbound links, you should try a link analysis tool like Site Explorer and see what, from where, and what type of links you have.
- Don’t forget your social media
Brand mentions on socials do count as links in Google’s search algorithms. A strong social presence builds authority and reputation and it gives your audience an opportunity to spread your content online and drive people back to your site. Integrate social media into your SEO strategy by creating share-worthy content and engaging your audience to talk about your business.
These tips are just the starting point of SEO and we’ll go deeper into these SEO pillars in the upcoming blogs. But for now, we hope you have a clearer grasp of how SEO works and what you can do with it to bring more wins to your business.
Making these initial adjustments to your website and consistently putting out high-quality content will steadily improve your ranking in the SERPs. After that, you can expect to see a lift in website traffic, brand visibility, and revenue. This makes for stronger growth and more sales opportunities.
But with so many other business decisions to make, conversations to have, and sales to secure, SEO might not even fit your current to-do list. But now that you are aware of how much business it can bring you, we know it’s an opportunity you would not let up.
Catch Communications offers Search Engine Optimization because we don’t just stop after creating your business a professional and well-designed website. Websites and SEO go hand in hand so, let us handle the intricacies of SEO so you can do what you do best, running your business excellently.
We serve companies across Canada and the United States. For a 30 minute complimentary consultation, fill out our contact form here or give us a call toll-free at (877) 811–1211 to learn more.