What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the techniques that are used to help a website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This helps your website be more visible to people that are looking for relevant products, services, information, or your brand on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
SEO affects your website's search results visibility by optimizing a website’s pages, conducting keyword searches, and earning inbound links. Successfully leveraging SEO will help drive more traffic to your website and ultimately increase revenue and sales.
Importance of SEO
There are approximately 3.5 billion Google searches conducted each day by customers trying to find businesses and offerings that will fit their needs and wants. These online searches can generate a lot of highly targeted and intent-heavy customers to your website with the right SEO efforts. Customers and potential customers may be searching for a variety of items that are related to your business and having a highly optimized website will help these customers to click and visit your business’s web pages.
Optimizing your website’s SEO and ultimately ranking higher on a SERP is also crucial because it enhances your business’s credibility. Most consumers won’t search beyond the first page of a search engine because these sources can be viewed as less trusted or credible. Therefore, customers will almost always click on the top searches that appear.
Standard SEO Practices
Here are a few standard best practices for how to improve your SEO efforts and get your website ranking higher on a search engine results page.
1. Gather SEO data
The first step to beginning your SEO tasks is to conduct research and collect relevant data on your website. Utilizing website analytic tools, such as Google Analytics, will allow you to learn more about your website’s visitors and their behaviors on your site.
2. Technical SEO
This is the process of optimizing your website to assist search engines in crawling and indexing your pages to improve the website’s ranking. To be eligible to appear in search engines, your website must first be crawled and indexed. Free tools can be used to see how engines are crawling your website, such as the “Crawl Stats” report in Google Search Console. Also to ensure that all of your website pages have been indexed and are appearing in SERPs, there are free website audit tools such as Google Index Checker.
3. Conduct keyword research
Keyword research is the process of discovering valuable search queries that your target customers type when searching for products, services, or information in search engines. Having the right keywords on your website’s pages is the foundation of SEO. Providing useful and relevant content on your website that your customers are going to be searching for is the key to being visible to your target audience.
4. On-page SEO
The content on your website can be designed to help your website rank higher in SERPs. Content that is created for targeted online searches will boost website traffic. On-page SEO can include relevant blog posts, interactive tools or experiences tailored to your audience, or keyword-optimized product or landing pages.
5. Internal links & link building
Web pages that have internal and external links will boost your website’s authority with search engines. Therefore, you can optimize your website by adding relevant and authentic links to your website pages and utilizing link building. Link building, also called inbound links, is the process by which other websites have links to your website. Search engines view these links as “votes” to your website from other websites and this enhances your website's credibility and helps search engines identify your web pages.
Understanding SEO and finding ways that your business can leverage these best practices will greatly assist your website in ranking higher on a search engine and increasing your online traffic.