If you have a website, you’ve probably already given at least some thought about how you’re going to make your site stand out. Since most people nowadays will bring up a search engine when they’re looking for something, it makes sense to ensure that your site appears on page one of the search results.
There are two ways to do this:
One is to pay for sponsored search engine advertising through a service like Google Ads. In a nutshell, you decide which search terms you think people will use to find a site like yours, and you pay to get your ad shown on the search results page for those keywords. While this is an effective way to increase traffic to your site, it can get very expensive. So, unless you have a robust advertising budget, it’s in your best interest to consider pursuing more organic search results. This is where SEO comes in.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and unless you hire someone to do it for you, it can be low-to-zero cost.
SEO is a process which helps you tweak your site, so that Google (Yahoo, Bing or any other search engine) bots can find your site and rank it among the more desirable search engine results. For the sake of explanation, we’ll use Google.
There are two sides to the SEO coin, one being the human side, and the other – the computer/algorithm side. Let’s look at each of these.
The first aspect to consider is the human side. In other words, what words do you think people would need to type into the search bar to find your site? These are called your keywords or keyword phrases. It may sound simple, and it is, but this is where you really have to get it right in order to make SEO work. There are some great online tools that can help you determine what your best keywords are, but you can also hire market research firms or online marketing experts to do this part for you. The more competitive the field, the longer your keyword phrases might have to be in order to get noticed.
Once you’ve determined what your keywords are, it’s time to consider the second aspect of SEO – algorithms.
Google bots use a process known as crawling and indexing in order to gather information and rank it according to which sites are popular and will answer certain queries most effectively. Just knowing a little bit about what they’re looking for can help you improve your own search rankings significantly. Here are just a few things to keep in mind:
- Google bots like links. Your site will be recognized as more legitimate if you have links to other sites within your pages, and even more so if other people are linking to your site. This is something that works best if it happens organically, such as through mutual cooperation. Don’t forget to check the links periodically to make sure none of them are broken.
- Your main keyword should be included in the URLs of each of your pages, and it’s best if your other keywords appear within the first few lines of text on the page. It’s also important not to pepper your site with keywords, so try not to be too strategic about it because bots are smart enough to recognize it and can disregard your site for that reason alone.
- Content, content, content! The more original content you have, the more it makes your site interesting, and the more opportunity to use those precious keywords. Keep in mind that your site will rank lower if the content resembles another site too closely, so keep it original!
When it comes to SEO, a little bit of common sense can go a long way.
If you focus on building a great site that people want to visit, including plenty and frequent content, links to social media and other sites, as well as some well-chosen keywords, your site will be noticed not only by the search engines, but ultimately by the customers you want to reach.
The process of selecting keyword phrases and optimizing your website pages can be difficult, and GIANT is here to help! Contact us anytime to discuss how we can help you increase your organic traffic and improve your search engine ranking.