As a business owner, you’ve probably heard about SEO and its importance in driving organic traffic to your website. But with so much to worry about when it comes to operating a business, you might not fully understand SEO and its importance.
To make it simple for business owners to learn about SEO, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things you need to know about this marketing tactic. This can help you have informed conversations with marketing consultants and SEO specialists.
1. What Does SEO Stand for?
Let’s start with the basics. SEO stands for search engine optimization. The term literally means making your website easy for search engines to read and understand. It is a non-paid tactic that is different from paid search campaigns.
While it might sound simple on the surface, SEO is a complicated strategy that includes creating a list of focus keywords for your website and optimizing the various elements of that site for those keywords.
2. Pay-per-click Ads Are Separate from SEO
Some business owners get a bit confused about the difference between SEO and pay-per-click ads. These are two distinct marketing tactics, each with its own set of benefits and challenges. While pay-per-click ads can help your SEO strategy from the standpoint of delivering traffic to your site, they don’t do much else to improve your search rankings. Total page visits and time on site can affect your SEO and pay-per-click ads can bring quality traffic to your site to improve those metrics as you work to build your organic traffic.
3. Keyword Strategy Is Essential
Before you can optimize your website, you need to choose keywords that fit your content and marketing strategy. The right keywords can make all the difference in the success or failure of your SEO strategy. The goal is to find niche keywords that your competitors aren’t yet ranking for while also working to build your ranking for existing, high-traffic, high-competition keywords.
4. You Can Overdo It on Keywords
When SEO strategies were in their early days, there was a tactic called “keyword stuffing.” Basically, website managers used the keyword as many times as possible on a page. Today, search engines are much more sophisticated. Their algorithms look at the context and can tell when a keyword is used in an unnatural way. Too many keywords on a page can mean you’re left with poor SEO results because search engines know your content is unnatural or poorly written.
5. Always Include Alt Text on Your Images
Alt text provides search engines with further information about your photos. Search engines cannot read the contents of photos without this helpful text. Plus, alt text makes it so that individuals with low vision can still browse your website and understand its contents, including photos. Additionally, if a photo fails to load on a webpage, the alt text provides context for those visitors to know what should be there.
6. Backlinks from Other Sites Provide Credibility
When other respected websites link to yours, it provides your website more credibility. It’s like getting a referral from a friend. Knowing that your friend had a good experience with that company makes you feel comfortable and confident in using that company. The same is true for search engines when trusted websites link to your website.
7. Backlinks Are Important but so Are Internal Links
Internal links – links from one page on your website to another – can boost your SEO. Make sure that the text that you’re linking is relevant and uses keywords that relate back to that page. The more details you can provide search engines of the relationship between your website pages, the better.
8. A Social Media Presence Can Build Your SEO
Generating quality content on the main social media platforms can also give your SEO a boost. That’s because that content reiterates your keywords and helps search engines know that this is the area of focus for your website. Plus, you’ll be generating valuable traffic to your website to further build those analytics.
9. Updating Website Content Is Important
Stagnant websites tend to not perform as well as those with regular fresh content. A simple way of keeping content fresh is to have a blog on your website. That’s probably why you’ve heard so much about blogs and their importance in your SEO strategy.
10. Hiring an SEO Consultant Greatly Improves Results
Business owners have many things to worry about and improving SEO can consume tons of time each day. Instead of trying to do it all yourself, hire an SEO consultant. New Light Digital is a full digital marketing agency that provides expertise in a variety of areas, including SEO. Request a quote to learn more.