The days are gone where we opened a directory book found in a phone booth or living room side table to find the phone number of a local restaurant. We no longer need to make reservations by thumbing through a yellow book. The Information Age has brought most of Western culture into a space of massive exposure and convenience.
The Internet has brought millions of people together and has provided a source of knowledge and intrigue. How many times have you typed into Google a question like, “How to take care of a cat?”, and hours later found yourself scrolling through pages of “The Best Uses for A Tire Iron”. We’ve all been there.
Why Use SEO?
Search engines are our new confidantes. They are our go to for self awareness and brand awareness. Businesses have especially taken up real estate on virtual advertising and target marketing throughout Google, Bing, and the like. But how are these businesses found by potential customers and clients?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and it’s counterpart Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are the methods behind the internet madness. SEO is the process that allows businesses (and organizations) to be found high on the search engine results pages. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s discuss the basics.
What is Organic (Non-Paid) SEO?
Search engines pick up context clues and technical elements of each individual search. Organic results, also known as non-paid, is the information that appears due to the relevance and keywords used in the search.
If you were to type into Google’s search bar, “Chipotle Boynton Beach”, a list of results will show the different Chipotle restaurants within a 20-25 mile radius.
Organic marketing generally takes more time to execute, but has longer lasting results and highly optimized information.
What is Non-Organic (Direct) SEO?
Direct search engine marketing is similar to organic, but yields faster results for businesses that pay to be advertised on page one. By promoting their services or products through paid advertising, businesses are able to reach customers quicker, but at a cost. Some advertising options are Pay Per Click, Pay Per Lead, or Affiliate Marketing which are all highly profitable. Each render specified results and can benefit businesses and customers alike.
The reason I am pointing out the difference between organic and direct marketing is to help you and your business understand the importance of search engine optimization. Internet users typically respond to the top 5 search results when looking for information, with 70% focusing only on organic sites. So, how do you get your website to be on top of page one do you ask?
How Does My Website Attract More Visits and Customers?
Glad you asked. There are some search engine basics that will help any website owner that is not skilled in the SEO craft be seen easier online. Let’s start at the top:
No, you don’t have to be a coder to develop a savvy website for your personal or business. Believe it or not, nearly half of U.S. small business owners don’t even have a website! There are several website hosts online that are as simple as drag and drop! Weebly, Wix, and even Wordpress have become highly functional and useful when it comes to user-friendly website designs. Make sure to also ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
Create Unique Content
Content is king, as they say in the SEO world. By creating unique and authoritative content (meaning do NOT plagiarize), you will provide your website visitors with information about your services and products that they won’t ignore. Face it, the internet is to find out about MORE. Whatever that ‘more’ is, make sure you are inviting your potential customers into your world by using descriptive and educational topics.
How does Google know what you are looking for when you type in the search bar? Simple. The phrases you use when typing in, say “bounce house rental” signals to the search engines that you are looking for a rental place for a bounce house. A list of ten different websites appear but none of them are near you. Revise search: “bounce house rental near Boca Raton”. Aha! You found one a few miles away.
Keyword targeting helps search engines interpret what you are looking for. By including content on your website that specifically uses keywords such as “bounce house rental”, “bounce house repair”, and even “bounce house for sale” helps Google show you the top sites that can provide those services. So, in conclusion, use keywords in your content (on each page) that directly talks about your specific business services, products, and information.
Add Photos with Descriptions
Photos are a necessity when it comes to converting online visitors into paying customers. Photos help break up the text on your service and product pages. Even if you don’t have photos of your own, there are plenty of online stock photos you can use for free or charge. Photos tell stories, so don’t underestimate the value of adding descriptions for each photo as well.
Usability and user experience can drastically increase search engine rankings. By applying some of the SEO basics written in this article, you can be on your way to reaching a larger market than you ever imagined. The internet is a vast source of possibility. Don’t back away in fear or doubt of you capabilities. We have only scratched the surface on search engine optimization and marketing, but there is always more to learn. To sum up what you have read, these are simple suggestions:
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