Are you a small business owner in need of search engine optimization (SEO)? Do you know what that means or how to go about incorporating it into your strategy? Are you wondering why SEO is important, or if it’s even necessary or relevant to your business? Keep reading to learn all you need to know about SEO and why it’s integral to the success of your small business.
What is SEO?
When discussing digital marketing strategies and website improvements, search engine optimization (SEO) frequently comes up in conversation. SEO, in its simplest terms, involves updating and optimizing the content on your website to improve your rankings in an online search through a search engine, and increase the quality and quantity of your website traffic.
Should You Care About SEO?
The goal of your Chicagoland business’s website is to increase awareness of your brand. The way you do that is by giving visitors the information they need to know to encourage them to buy your products or services, sign up for your newsletter, or whatever your conversion goal is. Without SEO, there’s a much smaller chance that your site will show up in a search. If your pages are properly optimized, however, you’ll see an increase in quality organic (visitors who didn’t click on an ad) traffic.
For example, if you do a search for “marketing companies in Naperville” or “pizza place in Hinsdale”, the pages with the most relevant keywords that have been fully optimized will appear on pages 1 and 2, which is where you want your pages to rank.
SEO Factors to Consider
SEO tactics have changed over the years, and will continue to change as search engines update their algorithms, but some of the key steps to take for quality SEO include:
- Crawler accessible (Crawlability): In the US alone, 69% of the population has shopped online before and 25% of the population shops online regularly. These numbers are projected to increase in the near future, so help potential customers or clients find you online by ensuring your website is set up to allow bots to crawl and index it. This means that your information will show up in the search results of a search engine, which is essential for SEO.
- Keyword research: Before creating any content it’s important to conduct keyword research to help you understand what your audience is searching for. It’s also helpful to use a keyword planner to look up the search volume of different keywords. The higher the search volume, the better the keyword.
- Link building: It is important to demonstrate the quality of your content by building links to other pages on your website as well as outside sources. This will help you increase the number of times you show up in search results, which will lead to increased traffic to your website.
- Meta data: On the back end of your website, you want to make sure that every page has an optimized meta title, meta description, and alt text (the description of the images on the page). These should also include your keywords and follow the guidelines for character count.
- Mobile friendliness: Nowadays many people use mobile devices rather than desktop computers. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, search engines will favor other sites that are. This can also cause a visitor to leave your page quickly and find one they can more easily navigate.
- Page speed: Have you ever tried to open a web page only to have it take forever to load? Search engines notice this as well, and pages with faster speeds are given priority in searches.
These are just a few of the factors that go into search engine optimization. It’s important to understand both on-site and off-site tactics to ensure your website is fully optimized.
SEO the Right Way
SMBs might not have the bandwidth to focus on running their company and maintaining website optimizations. In those situations, it can be beneficial to hire a search engine optimization services provider. But be sure to do your homework first.
Black Hat SEO
Some companies may promise instant results or immediate increases with SEO services. What’s important to keep in mind is that there are black hat SEO practices and white hat SEO practices. Black hat SEO practices — such as keyword stuffing, link farming, content spamming, hidden text or links, and unrelated keywords — may get you quicker results, but they are more spammy and untrustworthy. Not only that, you will run the risk of having your website blacklisted by search engines.
White Hat SEO
At EQ Digital Agency, we follow only white hat SEO best practices, utilizing the practices outlined above, as well as focusing on creating quality content that’s written for people, not search engines. Seeing the results you want takes time and patience, but when you trust the team at EQ, you can be sure that everything is done properly to promote your brand in a way that appeals most to search engines and website visitors.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO and what a search engine optimization services provider can offer, contact EQ online or give us a call.