Beginners SEO Guide

Need help with your online presence? SEO is the answer.

By making some SEO tweaks on your website and applying some techniques the search engines love, you can help your site be found by potential customers who are using search engines like Google and Bing to look for a business like yours.

Your customers and prospects use the internet daily to find the products and services they need. If you can’t be found online, they will have no other choice but to buy from the places they can find online – your competitors!

However, giving your business an online presence is more than simply putting up a website with your company’s address and phone number.

Even an informative and engaging website along with a Facebook page is not enough on its own. You need to make sure the people looking for your product or service can actually find it.

Combining SEO with good online marketing strategies can go a long way in helping any small business to stand out from the online crowd, and help to send traffic and customers to your website.

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to take your business online!

You’ve built your website and you’re ready to start taking orders and getting new customers, but where are all the people you thought would be knocking on your virtual door? Perhaps they have gotten lost? Or is it that they would be on their way to you… if only they knew you existed!

If you are not clued in on Search Engine Optimization, then unfortunately it’s going to be the latter – they simply can’t find you!

Search Engine Optimization, (SEO for short), is the process of improving the ranking of your website on the major search engines.The higher a website’s ranking, the nearer it will be to the top of the search result listings.

Every search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo! etc) has its own ranking algorithms. These are complex rules that determine how to rank your website for a search query. The search engines never make these algorithms public and regularly change how they work, so SEO can take a little guesswork.

When someone types an query in the search box of any search engine, it is the job of that search engine to provide the most relevant websites for whatever query the searcher has asked.

As an example: you search for a big brand such as “Apple”. As you would expect, will show up at the top of the list. This website takes the number one slot in the search results because they have their SEO in place, as well as the fact that search engines most often rank big brands higher automatically.Plus, Apple have probably paid more to be there.

But what happens when you use the search term “music”? This is a much more generic term and can throw up thousands, if not millions, of results. How do Google and the other search engines determine who should be top of the pile?

Well, apart from the sponsored links from advertisers who have paid to have their ads displayed, (these are usually featured at the very top of the page), Google finds the most relevant website based on the work that has been carried out.

Not only does it mean that the keyword “music” has been used well within the site, but that the website is known, trusted and has lots of links from other websites pointing back to it. SEO can be quite a complex task, but when carried out well it can give you great results.

Using Keywords in SEO Website Content

One of the most important considerations in SEO is your website content. It needs to be well written and needs to target your relevant keywords in a natural way.

A word of caution though: If you litter your website with too many keywords, Google will penalize you by moving you down in the rankings. Never try to cheat the search engines. They are clever and can tell the difference between keyword stuffing and well-written content.

As an example, let’s say you have a website that is all about wine. Naturally, when people search for the word ‘wine’, you want your site to come out top in the search engine results. You might be tempted to write an article, which mentions the word wine many times, in order to get your site ranked highly by the search engines and so appear at the top of the search results.

It doesn’t make good reading and it certainly won’t show a natural use of the word wine, and by overusing the keyword ‘wine’ will guarantee that Google and the other search engines will penalize your site by dropping it down the rankings.

So how do you go about optimizing your site for the best search results? First, you need to determine what key words or phrases your potential customers are most likely to type in when searching for your particular product or service.

Let’s use the example of a jewelry store in Wisconsin.

The keyword would not be ‘jewelry store’. It is just too generic. There are thousands of jewelry stores out there, far too many for your customers to be able to find you. Most likely, they will be searching using the phrase “jewelry store in Wisconsin” or something similar in the search engines. So give some thought to what terms your customers might use to find YOU, (normally your product or service + your town or city.

Come up with the two or three most obvious keywords for your business, then use these within your website content. The basic rule would be to have your main keyword near the top of your web page or in the first paragraph of content and then use it a couple of times more throughout. Add your secondary keywords in the body of your web page content. Search engines will then be able to read these keywords on your website and send you potential customers who are looking for these phrases. Just remember DON’T to overdo it. Use them in natural manner.

When Designing Your Site Keep Your Customer In Mind

It is so important to provide informative and valuable and content for your visitors, Google rewards websites that provide good, helpful content, related to whatever line of business you are in. But Google wants to be sure your site is respected and an authority on the subject you deal with before it sends anybody your way.

So if we use an example of say, a jewelry example again, you could provide an article or two about jewelry design or what the birthstones for each month are. You could go a step further and create a video showing how best to clean your jewelry safely, or what different diamond cuts look like. The idea is to create information that is going to interest your target audience.

How to Get Effective Results Fast

The quickest and best way to get more exposure for your business and turn that trickle of web visitors into a flood of sales is to hire a SEO or Search Visibility Specialist. SEO has a steep learning curve, which really can demand a lot of time and effort, time that will take you away from the running of your business.

An SEO consultant, on the other hand, can carry out all the hard work and monitor your site to ensure you are getting the best exposure.

You need a company who you can trust. A company who knows exactly what they are doing and who will get results.

We have helped many local businesses to be successful online and get many, many more customers than they would have if they remained offline.

Why not give us a call for a free consultation. We have so many ideas for businesses like yours.

Susan Walsh