Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a key part of ensuring that your business gets found online. But what, exactly, is SEO? What does it require from you, the business owner? And what’s the pay-off for putting time and effort into doing it? In this article, we’ll cover the basics of SEO for small business, and set the stage for the rest of January, when we’ll dive into more detail about SEO as it pertains to specific techniques.
What is SEO?
SEO is an aggregation of techniques used to improve and promote a website to boost traffic from search engines.
Why Does SEO Matter?
Search engines are the primary driver of web traffic, and the most common way that consumers connect with new businesses online. While search engines are pretty smart (and getting smarter all the time), they still need some help when it comes to serving up relevant data to searchers. If your web content isn’t optimized to help people performing searches related to your business, you’ll miss out on valuable traffic to your website, listings pages, and social media channels.
What Does SEO Entail?
There are a variety of ways you can optimize your website and online content to boost your visibility to search engines. Some of the primary tactics include:
- Optimizing your website’s design, information architecture, and browser compatibility to make sure your content is easy to access on a variety of devices and platforms
- Including appropriate keywords in page titles, headers, text, URLs, and image tags
- Making sure your contact information (address, phone number, and email) is included on each page of your site
- Adding meta descriptions and a robots.txt file to your website’s backend
- Creating and regularly updating your business listings on all major search engines—Google, Bing, Yahoo, CitySearch, Yelp, etc. (Good news: SinglePlatform gives you the power to manage all your listings in one place!)
- Getting links back to your website or listings (by submitting links to relevant websites and sharing content on a blog or social media channels)
- Using analytics to track and improve your overall SEO performance
What’s the Benefit of Improving Your SEO?
The bottom line is that the time and effort you invest in SEO will help more potential customers discover your business online. The more you optimize, the better chance you have of being discovered. The better your website and listings experience is for viewers, the more likely they’ll be to take the next step and become a customer.