So, you have heard the term. You’ve seen it thrown around the web. You know it’s a hot trend. But just what is SEO and how can it help your business?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s a fancy-sounding way to help customers looking for a widget find your widget, on your site, as easily as possible.
Most consumers using the web to find a product or service type keywords into a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or MSN. The search engine then crawls the web and returns results listed in order of relevance. Most users click the first few links, and few will venture beyond the first page.
That is where SEO can help. Properly used, SEO can help land your site on the first page of results for targeted keywords, increasing the chances that you site is clicked and that your product is purchased.
So how does it work? Well, it’s simple: magic. (Long pause) Kidding. Actually, there isn’t any magic to it at all, just tons of research, good strategy, and implementation.
Keyword research is the, well, key. What search words are your customers using to find products like yours? Through a ton of analytic tools, such as the ones available through Google, you can compile a list of words and phrases that are used to find specific products like yours.
Once you have your list, analyze it. What words being searched does your business specialize in? Sure, you make car parts, but that’s a pretty broad topic with lots of competition. It will probably be tough to secure a good ranking for something like that. But maybe you are the number one muffler dealer in Bloomington, Indiana. That’s a market you can hope to dominate through SEO.
Next, comes the nitty gritty work: creating a search engine friendly site. The best way to do this is to make sure your site has tons of relevant information. Don’t just create pages to make a larger site, or to push keywords out into cyberspace, but put together pages with content-rich information that actually help searchers by delivering on what your keywords promise.
Finally, you must have patience. Don’t get down if the day after optimizing your site, you don’t rank on the first page of Google for you keywords. Give it time to have your site found and linked to. Trust that by doing your job right in research and creation, you are in the best possible situation to reach those clients who are searching for you.