Brigid Daly

Websites need traffic to be successful. Whether your business is a blog, online retail store, portfolio, etc., improving your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be beneficial, even essential. SEO for business growth is one of the best tools you can utilize.

The first thing everyone with a business/blog needs to understand is how important their website really is. The internet is the first place people look to find info about anything and everything. Google is often the first resort for anyone with a question, even if that person could easily ask a friend or acquaintance for the answer. Whether or not your business even crosses this person’s mind will depend on what pops up in those search results. The success of your business relies heavily on your online presence; therefore, making your website very likely to be stumbled upon is important. Marketing is important for a business and SEO allows anyone to market to a very specific and promising target audience. If you googled a phrase right now that is related to your business, do you think your website would be easy to find?

Now that we have established the importance of SEO for business growth, the question is, “how do I make my business/blog/site stand out on Google?” There are many ways to answer this question and it can become quite complicated. Luckily, there are also a few basic principles which are easy to follow and may improve your website’s visibility immensely.

Backlinks

Backlinks are very important to Google. When your page or site is linked to from other sites, it tells Google that your page is credible. Any site that uses a link that leads back to your site is good, but you especially want reputable and credible sites linking to your site. The better the site is that uses your link, the more credible your site appears to Google. To start earning backlinks, you need to make quality content. Establish yourself as an expert resource that others will inherently point to.

Not only backlinking, but internal linking is very important. If you want to build your site’s credibility with Google, you should add links between pages on your own site. By doing this you are building Google doorways to look through all of your site, not just one article, and determine the structure of your website. If Google is unable to reach other pages on your site, it will assume those pages do not exist, dub the site as untrustworthy, and your rank will lower.

If you’re curious about how your site’s internal linking structure currently looks, seoClarity, will give you a detailed analysis. To see how many backlinks your site currently has, try using Moz. Moz will tell you how authoritative your domain is, how many backlinks you have earned, and how many keywords you currently rank for.

Keywords

On the topic of ranking for keywords, keywords are the phrases people type into a search engine to find the answers they need. Certain keywords are searched more frequently than others. Ideally, you would like to rank for those high-frequency keywords. To see which keywords you rank for, you can do a search on Key Search. This site will show you what phrases you can utilize while still achieving a high success rate. For instance, you might only be able to get within the top 100 positions (10 pages!) for the phrase “Best Holiday Vacation”, but you could get in the top 10 if you instead optimize for the phrase “Best Hotel for Holiday Travel”. Basically, you want to find a balance between a relevant keyword that has many viewers and a keyword that has fewer viewers but would get you to the top of the Google rankings for people who search that word or phrase. The first has high traffic but low possibility while the second has high possibility but lower traffic. However, that traffic is probably exactly who you’re looking for—and exactly who is looking for you.

Once you have chosen the best keyword, you absolutely have to use this keyword in the title of your article and the URL. You should also sprinkle the keyword throughout the actual article, but you don’t want to overdo it. Keep it subtle. Doing this will show Google that you really are a legitimate and informative result for the specified Google search.

Content

It is important that your content is of high quality. Google tries very hard to keep articles and websites off the grid that include flimsy content, flagging them as websites attempting to get the SEO boost without any effort or value. Google’s customers are their priority so they make sure the customers get the highest quality search results. This means weeding out any websites that look like they are not posting helpful content. So, pumping out 10-15 articles of no real substance that use the keyword over and over but don’t really say anything of value is not a good idea. It is a much better idea to focus on writing high-quality content even if that means it might take more time.

Site Optimization

Be sure that your website works properly. If your internal links are broken or the HTML is creating glitches, your site will not rank as favorably as it could. This might be a job for your website developer to tackle if you are unfamiliar with the backend of the website. Site optimization is not the most important part of SEO for business growth, but it still has a heavy impact if it is neglected. Your site should also be mobile-friendly. Many search engines, including Google, will give first dibs to websites that are optimized for mobile, while the others will get the left-over rankings.

Take into account that SEO works in a hierarchy. Every aspect is important, but if your SEO is currently very poor, you should find the problem that needs the most immediate attention before delving into the other aspects. For example, your content might be superb, but no one will see it if your site is not mobile-friendly.

If your site is hosted on a well-known platform, it’s likely there are very helpful plugins which will alert you to your SEO needs. Yoast is one of these plugins that works for WordPress and is also compatible with a few other sitesWix is a website host like WordPress that has its own built-in SEO plugin for users. It’s a good idea to check with your site host to see if an SEO plugin is offered already.

To sum up, utilizing SEO for business growth is just like writing a strong high school essay: Keep it relevant and informative (keyword and content), establish credibility on your topic (backlinks), cite your sources, and make sure the formatting is correct (site optimization).

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