10 Jan 0
Search Engine Optimization
Billions of websites exist in the seemingly infinite world of the internet. When you think about that, a bit of anxiety probably creeps up, especially when you want your website to be seen by your target audience. Do not backtrack though. Every business needs a website. Every website needs to utilize search engine optimization (SEO) in order for Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines to be able to crawl (find relevant information) on the website for the searcher.
Think about it from the user’s perspective. You have used a search engine before, right? When you search for the best restaurant in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, what comes up? The first two or three search results will be advertisements that people pay the search engine to put at the top. The organic search results right after the ads are what the user is looking for. Those organic results are the relevant information they seek, down to the specific details of their search, like: “who has the best sushi in downtown Indianapolis?”
So, here is the trick to SEO: You have to stand out in your category or niche with certain keywords and phrases and also make your website easy for the search engines to find it and crawl for the information. Easy, right? Well, yes and no. Ok, it is complicated. Proper SEO will rank you much higher in the organic search results, and your pro can also use Local SEO techniques, so you may be found when people search locally, like being one of the top results when people search your sushi restaurant in Indianapolis, Indiana.
How Do Search Engines Find My Website?
One word: Keywords. The irony is that one word is powerful in this context, but it is the king of all things regarding the internet. When you set up your website, you should have plenty of text that tells your customer base what they can get with your company. When someone searches those keywords, your website will come up in the results, if you have the right keywords in place. Putting words on your site that you think is important will not get you traffic. You must do extensive research on what keywords are being used when people are searching for that category, like sushi restaurants. There are many websites that you can research keywords on, but again, having a professional do it is going to be best, as this takes a lot of time and effort to compile a list of amazing keywords.
Other factors matter as well, such as the authority of your page, and:
- Outbound Links- These are common links that link to another webpage or website
- Inbound Links (Backlinks)- These links are ones that link to your website from another site. These links are crucial in determining the authority of your website, and search engines will rank your page much higher with the more backlinks you have
- Alt Text- The pictures on your site need to have text that tells the search engine what it is. Millions of people search for images, your images come up in the search results, which links back to your website
- Metadata- This is data used to describe other material. In simpler terms, it is the information about your site that search engines use to sort the relevance. To make it even simpler, it is the text under the website in the search engine results
- Header Tags- These are more powerful keywords that search engines look for by hierarchy. H1, (header 1) is the most powerful, going down to H4 or H5
Search engines rank a page by the number of links it has because it is a good way for it to tell if the website is legitimate or not, so it can give the best results to the user, which is a great thing for both the webmaster and the user. The list above describes just a few very important ways to configure your website properly for SEO. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, hiring a professional is always going to be a better option, especially for the overworked business owner.