SEO is a marketing term you’ve probably heard of so much that you’re sick of it. It can seem like a vague, unreachable concept for small businesses, but don’t let the words of others scare you. Optimizing your business for search engines is easy and necessary if you want your company to flourish. So, here’s an easy guide to what SEO is and why your business needs it.
What is SEO?
SEO is how Google and other search engines characterize your company’s online presence. It considers how relevant your business’s content is to someone’s search so that everyone can find what they need more easily. However, search engines have gotten a lot smarter, so SEO doesn’t simply include keywords anymore. When search engines determine relevance, they also look at factors like visitor dwell time, readability, usefulness of content, engagement, and more. So, piling on the keywords may, in fact, hurt your company’s SEO and the ability for your business to be seen.
Why does my business need SEO?
If you want to be the go-to place for someone when they need the product or service you provide, you must be able to optimize your website for search engines. Most people now search for what they need on the internet and consider only the first few results. Making your webpage SEO-friendly can help push your company’s online presence to these first few positions. Therefore, you can increase traffic to your company from people who don’t know about you through their online searches. Proper SEO practices can also allow people who have heard of you learn more about you more easily.
How can I make my business more SEO-friendly?
Most website-building tools like WordPress, Wix, and GoDaddy are built to help with SEO while you take creative license on how the site looks. However, to optimize your content:
1. Don’t load up your website with keywords
As we’ve said before, packing on the same keywords into your site over and over again can actually hurt your SEO. Google can judge the amount as well as the intent of certain words on your site. So, overusing phrases can make it harder to rank higher.
2. Vary your phrasing
Switch up words and phrases when describing what you do. Additionally, be specific, but not too specific, about where your business operates. This way, you can use Google’s location functions to appear more readily to potential customers in your area and create less competition when appearing for a keyword. For example, a restaurant in New York will have a lot more search results than a Mediterranean restaurant in Queens – meaning that there are tons more people that may appear ahead of you in search results.
3. Make things easy to read
People skim. So, make the content of your website easy to digest. Give online information about your company in short bursts and use header tags to break up long walls of text. Make only the points that you absolutely must, but make it flow naturally.
It may seem counterintuitive but shortening and breaking up your content can help visitors stay longer on your site (remember dwell time?) and help Google better categorize your content. Header tags give Google an idea of the main ideas of your page, while shorter sentences can present your content as easier to read.
4. Make your webpage easy to navigate
Website menus can be a great way to divide a lot of necessary content into separate pages. However, it can also make finding needed information more difficult. Again, if people can’t access the information they need quickly, they’ll leave. So, the combination of shorter dwell times and Google not being able to index all of your content as relevant can drive down your SEO.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t ever use webpage menus – quite the contrary. Just make sure that they are concise and that each drop-down contains the necessary information on its list.
5. Make things mobile-friendly
Now that smartphones are widely accessible and popular, more people access the internet through their phones than through any other media. So, making sure that you and your company’s online presence is easily accessible through this small screen is also a vital part of becoming SEO-friendly.
The format of your business’s mobile-friendly website will and should look a little different from the desktop version of your site while keeping your company’s branding. Links or buttons must be able to be tapped with a finger instead of a mouse, and your content’s text must be large enough to easily read on a smaller screen.
Again, there are now several tools on web building websites that may easily convert your site into a mobile-ready version. Nonetheless, it’s important to check that the mobile site is working correctly every so often.
6. Periodically check your website speed
People don’t hang around waiting for websites to load. So, your business webpage needs to load properly and in a timely manner for interested clients to even want to learn about your company. If people continually click onto your site, then click off in a short amount of time, Google thinks that your site wasn’t relevant to their search and, you guessed it, pushes your site further down the list into non-relevant results.
To avoid this, check your site’s loading speed periodically. There are free tools all over the internet where you can input your URL, and the page will give you the average loading time for that URL. If your site is loading slowly, check for:
- Images that are too large
- Too many plugins installed in the back end of your site
- Broken links
These are some of the best things to adjust if you want to speed up your site.
SEO can be a major factor in the amount and type of traffic your business receives. While the process may require a lot more thought in the content you upload, it can be pretty easy once you learn the concepts.
Similarly, insurance can be easy once you learn about the concepts of the coverages you need. That’s why our agents are here to give you free quotes on the business insurance you need while acting as trusted advisors for your company. To start your free, customized quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with our specialists today!