46% of consumers start with search. We all have heard about SEO, but what is it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In layman’s terms, it is the tactic to ensure your site shows up for relevant online search terms in one of the top search engine results.
Psychologically, this is not a new tactic and has its roots in newspapers. Advertisers would pay top dollar to ensure their ad was “Above the Fold”, quite literally meaning on the front page above where the newspaper would fold over. The advantage was your ad shared the same space as headline news, people could see your ad when someone was carrying the paper or it was displayed for sale. There were obvious benefits to the added exposure.
When we talk about “Above the Fold” on search, it means before a user has to even scroll down the first page after making search. It might surprise you to know that less than 70% of Google users go to page two, and about 40% will opt to refine their search before even scrolling down the page.
Here are 6 simple steps to make sure you can be found:
- Incorporate keyword phrases in your website’s content. We aren’t just talking about titles and headlines here, but in the actual body paragraphs of the site. Incorporating that text in various areas and making it feel natural can go a long way for your SEO efforts. You may have heard “content is king”, well this is what they are referring to.
- Updating image alt text. This is an often overlooked step website developers make. When search engines are indexing the relevance of your site for certain search terms, they are looking at your code and not your site. This is an extra area for algorithm’s to figure out what your site is trying to accomplish.
- Ensure that your business directory listings are set up properly. Any site that can link back to your website is going to make it easier for search engines to find you. In today’s internet ecosystem there are a ton of free sites (i.e. Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, etc.) which can not only house your information, but link back to your site. Even if you don’t agree with a platform’s audience, ethics, or functionality, having another area for a search engine to find you should be a no brainer!
- Domain authority is whoever has been there the longest. This does play a big role in SEO. However, if you are just starting out, don’t fret. While you have a long road ahead of you, keeping your site live and your domain renewed will go a long way over time. And is a good segway to number 5.
- Update your site regularly. We’re not talking about a new layout, but small, regular updates. Replace a picture, add a new blog post, build a new page, etc. You should be making small changes almost every day, but at a minimum you should make a couple each month.
Functionality is huge. Make sure you are testing links, either off of your site or to different pages on your site. Broken links can hurt you in many ways, not to mention frustrate potential clients. Make sure you, or an associate is always testing things around your website.
These 6 steps are a great jumping off point, but are really just scratching the surface of SEO. It’s a vast online world out there, so make sure you ask a professional if there is anything you don’t understand!
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About the Author
Alex is a Senior Digital Marketing Account Manager for Engage121 and works with many small local and online businesses managing their digital marketing efforts. Alex has years of experience in SEO and Local SEO and helps our businesses get their online presence up and running the right way.