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MarketingP.S. Magazine

What is Search Engine Optimization and Why Is SEO Important?

By March 20, 2016 No Comments

 

You’ve worked hard to develop a website that represents your business, but without putting an effort toward search engine optimization (SEO) your site may not be attracting the visitors you want. What is SEO, and how can implementing best SEO practices increase website traffic?

What is SEO?
In a nutshell, SEO means maximizing the tools at your disposal to attract traffic to your site using unpaid or “organic” means. It is an active process to improve both the quantity and the quality of a website’s traffic.

What can I do to attract visitors to my website?
The word “active in that sentence above was an important one. Think of your website as a living, breathing entity that needs to be tended. It is not something you can build, launch into cyberspace and allow to just exist without giving regular care attention if you expect it to thrive. SEO in an ongoing process – not something that is done once and considered to be complete.

First, consider the programming of your site. Is it responsive? A responsive website provides an optimal user experience on any platform. Is your site just as easy to navigate and use on your smartphone or tablet as it is on a computer? If not, your site needs to be updated – stat. More and more web traffic is via mobile device, and if those visitors have trouble using your site they will leave and find that information somewhere else (most likely from a competitor’s site.) Having a responsive site also helps people find you in the first place because some search engines rank these sites higher than static sites in query results.

Next, think about the questions people ask that your site can answer. People use the Internet to type questions and topics into search engines. What keyword searches can and should lead them to your site? Which, if any, already do? Identifying keywords and using those strategically throughout your site (including copy and URLs) helps search engines match you to the people seeking information.

Update often. Sites that aren’t being regularly updated with new information will not rank and high in search results. Use a news section or blog on your site to add features at least once a week. Link those stories on social media sites to drive additional traffic to your site. In addition, special events and honors can be temporarily highlighted on your homepage and linked to more information. The key is to provide relevant new information on a frequent and regular basis.

Write for people and for robots. What? That’s right. The content of your site needs to include information people want to read. This improves the chances it will be read and shared on social media, thereby increasing your reach. What do robots have to do with anything? Search engines have crawlers or “bots” that automatically scour the web to retrieve and categorize information. Your content and URLs must contain the words people enter into search engines in order to appeal to the bots, but you can’t just “stuff” keywords into your work. Keyword stuffing can actually cause your site to be penalized by search engines, so write naturally but focus on subjects and information your audience seeks. Ideally, content such as blog posts should be 300 -600 words in length. Bots may not recognize shorter articles as new content. Longer articles tend drift from the subject of the search.

Think about links. When a reputable website links to your content, that is like an endorsement that wins you credibility points with search engines. That credibility to search engines improves your rank in search results. Conversely, if a website with a bad reputation links to your website, that can hurt you.

This SEO stuff seems a bit overwhelming. I need help!
We get it. With near-constant reports of changing Google algorithms and new technology to chase, keeping up with SEO is a full time job. How can you possibly keep up with updates, figure out what people frequently search, tie in relevant social media, track results and more?!?!? Werremeyer can help.

With top-notch interactive specialists, social media gurus, and web-oriented writing backed by the latest research, Werremeyer’s team can be your web and SEO team. If you need help starting from scratch with an all-new optimized and responsive website or want help with SEO coaching and ongoing maintenance to make your existing site more effective, we can develop a plan to improve your website’s traffic. Contact us today to get started.