Why is this important?
There are millions of websites out there. Your business might be just one out of hundreds, if not thousands, in your area. Very few people will search beyond page 1 of Google, so if your website is on page 7 for your most important search terms (keywords), your website is virtually nonexistent.[/content_box][spacer height=”32px”]
[dropcap style=”dark”]I[/dropcap]magine your website is a physical, brick and mortar store. In this scenario, SEO would be the combination of store signs, product signs, street signs and other landmarks that help people find and learn about your business.
If done well, SEO is also the vehicle which sets you apart from competitors by communicating your company’s core values to your audience.
This is of course oversimplifying the term
a bit a lot, however, it helps to clarify the role of SEO in your online marketing strategy.
Most people launch websites in hopes that someone will see it. The problem is, the internet is a huge place. Some estimates indicate there may be over a billion websites in existence!
When you create a website, search engines such as Google will eventually find it and… pass judgement. Gasp!
Okay they’re not exactly passing judgement. But when you’ve had a website up for months and have yet to receive an online sale, inquiry or even a plea from a foreign diplomat in need of your help depositing $1 million…it certainly begins to feel like Google is giving you the cold shoulder.
[title type=”h6″ color=””]Good news! Google doesn’t hate you.[/title]
The problem is that without Search Engine Optimization, your website might as well be an unmarked store in the middle of the desert. No one will find you.
Similarly, if your competition is well-known and established on the web, you may need much bigger “signs” on your store and more of them.
[title type=”fancy-h3″ color=”#2b4b80″]So what is SEO, really?[/title]
[spacer height=”15px”] There are many definitions of the term all over the web. Essentially, Search Engine Optimization refers to a combination of strategies that drive your site high up in organic search engine rankings for specific keywords. For example, if you own a locksmith business, when someone Googles “locksmiths near me” and you’ve implement the right SEO strategies, hopefully your site is one of the first to appear. Some of these strategies take place on your website and others occur outside of your website.
[spacer height=”15px”] On-Site or On-Page SEO refers to the content and HTML source code of your website.
Once upon a time, search engines determined which websites appeared at the top of search results by indicators such as the prevalence of keywords on the site. This resulted in many websites that contained hundreds of redundant phrases and little value.
Today, it’s not that easy, or wise, to attempt to outsmart Google. Search engines have more sophisticated ways of determining which websites deserve to be at the top.
Although it’s still important to format your site with appropriate keywords, headers and metadata, the big picture lies in focusing on your site visitor’s experience.
You wouldn’t keep shopping at a store where it was impossible to find what you were looking for or didn’t even carry the items advertised on their signs, would you?
The same goes for your website. It should not only be nice to look at, but also full of relevant information such pictures, reviews and videos. Additionally, your website should give people an idea of who you are, what you value, and why they should do business with you.
Off-Site Search Engine Optimization pertains to all of your company’s other “digital real estate” including social media activities, guest blog posts, directory listings (citations) and backlinks.
Most of these activities involve participation on your behalf by other parties. When friends share the company blog you posted on Facebook, or other quality websites add links on their site that direct traffic to yours, these are the results of successful off-site SEO strategies.
This type of SEO is an important metric for Search Engines as it verifies your credibility and value. If other people and websites are sharing your content, it must be good content, right?
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