For small businesses, SEO is probably the cheapest method of acquiring new clients. SEO helps businesses build a positive return on investment, increase traffic, increase and strengthen brand awareness, and works 24 hours per day. With benefits like these that can help businesses’ profits explode in just a matter of months, SEO is something that everyone needs to pursue in order to remain competitive in their respective industry.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Put simply, SEO refers to a set of methods SEO companies use to improve the visibility of a website to the search engines. Unfortunately, many businesses today believe that since they have a website, somehow it will magically rise to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), and traffic will start pouring in. While SEO was a much simpler science during the infancy of the internet, it is becoming increasingly complex and much more competitive. In today’s environment, every businesses needs an in-house SEO team or the assistance of an outside SEO firm. Businesses that do not engage in SEO will never be the leader in their respective industries. Once a website’s visibility to the search engines increases, traffic increases, and finally, so do its sales.
How does SEO work?
Google has a top-secret and highly protected algorithm. This algorithm, composed of literally hundreds of factors, determines where each website ranks in the SERPs. Ten to fifteen years ago, SEO was literally as simple as repeating a keyword on a page hundreds of times, putting it in the page’s title, and voila – it was ranked highly in the SERPs. However, those kind of tactics are now considered “black hat” and will get the offending website penalized or banned from the SERPs. Nowadays, due to Google’s complex algorithm, no one can say with 100% certainty the exact steps which need to be taken in order to rank highly in the SERPs. And, while many companies “guarantee” the top Google ranking, most sensible companies agree it is only possible to guarantee a high rank, but not necessarily the top rank. Every SEO company has its own methodologies, but in general, most SEO companies agree on a few basic steps which can be taken to improve a site’s rankings in the SERPs:
1) Choosing the right Keywords. “Keywords” are the words typed into Google’s search box. SEO firms can help you choose the best keywords for your small business. Choosing a generic, one-word, term is often not the best strategy, as those terms are typically saturated with competition and will either take a long time or a ton of money before your site will rank highly for them. Their are always similar keywords that are not as competitive, but will still bring in a noticeable amount of business.
2) Your site’s URL and Title Tag. These both have a high importance to SEO. Your site’s url and title should reflect keywords users are searching for. If your users are searching for “advertising services,” be sure one or both of those words appear in your url. If your company’s name is “The Johnson Group,” don’t make your url thejohnsongroup.com. To help people and Google locate your services, a better url and title would be johnsonadvertisingservices.com.
3) H1 tags and Keyword Density. Google uses these to figure out what your page is about. Placing keywords in the header tags, especially H1, really stands out to Google. In the body of the text, repeating the keyword a few times is also very helpful. Don’t spam the keyword though – it’ll scare away your readers! Usually a density of around 2.5-3.5% is a good balance between readability and visibility for Google.
4) Back links and Anchor Text. In Google’s eyes, each back link to a website is a “vote” for that website. As the “votes” add up, the site’s rankings in the SERP’s increases too. One-way back links, links from other websites to yours, are the most powerful. Also, back links from a more popular site count more than links from a less popular one. Finally, anchor text, the text that is actually displayed on a link, describes to Google what the link is about and has significant weight in determining a site’s results in the SERPS.
Of course, this is just a very simplistic overview of SEO, but at least it helps to provide you with an idea of how it works. With the help of an experienced SEO firm like Devenia, your business can see its profits grow substantially in just a few months.