Search Engine Optimization, that is what SEO stands for, and to many, it is something they have never heard of, or know the phrase but not what it means.
Small business owners though need to understand how important it is, and how it works, to get a much improved online presence and to see more people visiting their site.
SEO is not just for global businesses or large corporations. If you have a website and want better traffic you need experts in SEO.
Why does SEO matter?
Any business, whatever niche it is in, that wants to see growth and attract more customers should care about search engine optimization. The world we live in now is spending more and more time online.
No longer limited to desktop computers, people Google something on their phone when they get a strange rash, use their tablets to Yahoo for a business address, or a laptop to explore restaurant options for the evening.
If you have a product or service to sell you should be looking for a professional who can optimize your online presence.
In short: search is a BIG source of traffic.
In fact, here’s a breakdown of where most website traffic originates:
Image Source: backlinko
SEO is not just one thing
SEO is not just one action to take, there are several components, some are easy for anyone to understand and some a bit more technical.
There are some things a website owner can try to manage themselves, but essentially since you are going to need an expert to get it right anyway, you might as well start getting it right from the outgo.
Every part of it is about using the guidelines set by the main search engines, to list your site at searches that are relevant, and to rank it highly.
The following information looks at just a few of the practices SEO experts use. It does not cover it all but gives an idea of how it works.
Why a sitemap is important
Sitemaps are a page that helps everyone, including the search engines, navigate the website more easily. If your site is not easy to navigate search engines will not rate it well. The better they can move around the more trusted your site is. You submit your sitemap to the main search engines.
How meta titles and descriptions work
The search engines learn what a site is about from the meta titles and the descriptions. That is how they know whether it is relevant to keyword searches. When you enter in the search engine a keyword query the results come back with both meta descriptions and meta titles.
The importance of link building
Link building is quite a vital area of SEO. Creating third party links to a site in places like online business directories has two important effects. It increases direct traffic coming to your website, as well as making you more credible to the search engines, so it boosts your rankings again.
How your website performs
Having a website that does not perform well is not just off-putting to visitors, it drives away search engines too. Its performance has an impact on how easy it is to navigate your site, so it needs to be smooth and fast. If it is not its ranking will be lower as they will penalize the site.
Making sure there are no redirections
That ‘page not found’ message when you try clicking on a link is annoying for internet users, but in fact, has a more serious impact with your search engine rank. Google and the like will penalize sites that have page errors. A program used by SEO experts like Google Webmaster Tools can help to monitor them.
Duplicate content is a big problem
Another thing websites are penalized for is when they have duplicate content. Your content from one page to another needs to be different.
SEO is not always explained in simple terms but that is not a reason to ignore it. Educate yourself on the basics and its importance.
Find trustworthy and experienced experts who know what they are doing and take the time to talk things over with you.
All businesses should be spending at least some time improving their SEO if they want their business to grow online.