Search engine optimization; it’s an important means of getting word of your business to your targeted consumers. SEO is used to steer more people to your website and, when done correctly, improves the “quality” of visitors, meaning you’ll see more potential customers on your site rather than viewers who don’t have any interest in what you have to offer. Best of all, SEO provides organic brand exposure that doesn’t require a huge chunk of financial investment.
SEO Efforts and Your Targeted Consumers
Successful SEO results don’t always come easily. After all, this marketing tactic requires accurate knowledge about customers:
- What do they want? What questions do they have? Which answers will attract their attention?
- Which words do consumers use when talking about your business?
- What types of blogs, articles, and social media posts do your customers want?
The more you know about the people in your consumer pool, the better you can use search engines to connect your business with eager customers.
Organic Content and Relevant Keywords
In addition to gathering information about targeted consumers, you need to understand how search engines work. These tools operate very quickly to discover content or “answers” on the internet that match a posted question or “query.” All those articles, images, videos, and web pages are “ranked” according to complicated algorithms. When search results have content that is relevant and targeted to the words used by the consumer, that “organic” content appears higher on the web page.
With this in mind, one of the first steps you’ll take in search engine optimization is identifying the words or phrases that are most used by your target consumers. These “keywords” are part of the algorithm used to produce results. As you choose these words, you need to consider whether they are too broad (and will attract too many uninterested viewers) or too obscure so that no one is using the words.
Tips for Increasing Your Ranking
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve your ranking:
- Generate top-quality, fresh content regularly. Use keywords frequently throughout the page, usually in the first and last paragraph and then scattered through the rest of the content. Headers, tags, italics, and other emphasis markers can also boost your ranking. Just remember that good writing is the best way to keep your content relevant and to attract return visits to your site.
- Place keywords in the URL, title, and headings. The words should appear naturally, so they don’t stand out awkwardly. Make sure your keywords aren’t showing up too much. For example, you shouldn’t use the keyword in every heading throughout an article. For great writing, you may need content writer expertise, so your words and phrases don’t start to stick out clumsily.
- Add valuable links throughout your article. Rather than sticking with a “click here” link, choose keywords or descriptive phrases for links that direct readers to more content that is relevant to their searches. For example, when readers are on your site researching smoke detectors, you can send them to other sites with information about preventing fire or how to care for fire sprinkler systems.
- Continue to learn how search engine optimization works. Fresh, relevant content is key to your SEO success, but it isn’t the end result. You also need to know how to use titles, schema markups, citations, and other tools to make sure your business shows up at the top of the page.
Resources for Learning More
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to SEO efforts, but there are many resources available. Some of the most popular browsers offer basic information and tips for success. Some companies focused directly on SEO services are willing to help you understand the ranking system. There are several available classes online that cover basic SEO as well as more advanced topics. You can also use educational SEO articles posted online or in business periodicals.