Graphic of "SEO" letters and magnifying glass

THE POWER OF SEO

Having a website, no matter what kind, is somewhat like opening a brick-and-mortar business. Just because you have the sign outside that first day, it doesn’t mean anyone will know to stop by! SEO is the digital version of that scenario.

SO, WHAT IS SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business. SEO can also be described as a strategic and authentic method of improving brand visibility. It is also known by the terms organic search or natural search.

INCREASED ORGANIC SEARCH TRAFFIC

Although your customers may know your domain, most still go to Google when they’re looking for something online. Learned web behavior shows us that it’s much more likely that your users will type your pizzeria name, your location, and what they’d like to do (order!) into a search engine. SEO techniques focus on matching people to sites that they will find most useful by including the words and phrases that potential customers search for in a website’s content. Narrowing in on a company’s target market increases the likelihood that site visitors will stay on a site longer to explore what a company has to offer. Longer site visits translate to increased site participation, more purchases, and more visitor exposure to banners or affiliate advertisements.

THE BASICS

Now that we understand the value of optimizing our website SEO, how do we implement it? Well, the first adjustments to be made are quite simple. Let’s take a brief look at some of its categories:

URL PATHS

It looks better navigating to “www.mysite.com/product/1/iphone-xs” than going to “www.mysite.com?/MyEspace/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductId=1”, right? If the URL is something “normal” looking, we will likely leave it, but looking so unnatural, we might even consider tampering with it. User-friendly URLs make a big difference. Also, consider having language-specific clean URLs if your website supports multiple languages.

CONTENT

SEO Content is designed to rank high in Search Engines like Google. However, even if your business is recognized worldwide, there is only so much organic traffic you can get. As a result, you will be leaving money on the table for the customers who are not searching for your products directly.

Here are some tips on how to incorporate SEO Content in your website:

Keyword Research: The mindset here is to think like the user: “which keywords do users search for when they are looking for products like mine”? Writing about topics that people are already searching for provides you with a leap start. Google Trends, SEO Moz Keyword Explorer, and WordStream are powerful tools that support you in finding the most popular keywords;

Content Organization: The content on your website should be logically organized, helping visitors to your website find other related content easily. The longer they stay on your website, the better. According to the ranking system of search engines, “thin” or duplicate content should be avoided, and tags such as h1, h2, and h3 should be chosen wisely as they impact indexing and ranking;

As well as organizing your content, sharing your content on social networks, and building links to your content (both internally and from external websites) will help you spread the word about your business.

Meta tags: Meta tags are snippets of code occurring in the HTML which instruct search engines if there is information to be shown, the type of information to be shown, and how it will be displayed to visitors.

Meta description: Google explains it the best: “it should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about.” They are like a pitch that convinces the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for;

Robots: with this tag, you can inform search engines to index or not index your page. If you don’t set this tag, the default will be to index it, but you might not want to index pages such as cookies policy;

Images: Although search engine image recognition technology has improved significantly over the years, search engine crawlers still cannot “see” the images on a page as humans can, so it is better to instruct them properly. Alt tags provide this description to crawlers of what the image is about, matching it with user searches on Google, Yelp, Bing, and other search engines.