First of all, what is SEO and why would you want it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It basically determines where your website turns up when people search for your business category. Most people will only click on the first few links in search results before they make a purchase decision. If your business involves housebreaking ostriches, you’ll want your website to be at the top of the list when people search for “my pet ostrich won’t stop peeing on my shoes.” So how do you get there?
Warning: This is a long one, so hang in there. I would say “I guarantee it will be worth the read,” but that requires a bunch of fine print and I’m not sure if I’m even legally allowed to say that.
Search Engine Indexing
When someone does a search for something online, they aren’t actually searching the entire internet. You’re actually searching the search engine’s “index” of the internet—this is why searches only take milliseconds rather than hours.
You’ll want your website to be included in this index. Search engines will automatically add new sites, but you can help jumpstart the process.
- Google: Just copy and paste your website URL into the box.
- Bing (and Yahoo!): Copy and paste the URL, then click Add.
Social Media Presence
Google and other search engines like to see websites that are linked to social media sites. Sometimes just creating these pages and linking your site is enough, but a few of them require regular posting as well.
- Facebook and Twitter
- Make sure a link to your website is included in the About section of your business profile. Post updates at least twice a week to make search engines happy.
- YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Foursquare
- Just creating an account on these sites for your business with a link to your site is enough. You don’t need to post anything to gain an SEO boost.
Internet searchers use a wide variety of devices: computers, tablets, and phones with all different screen sizes. Make sure your website is able to function and look great on any device. Use Google’s mobile-friendly test here. You’ll also want to test the load time of your site to make sure smartphone users with slow data aren’t waiting forever.
Local Business Presence
You can add free listings for your business to most search engines. Make sure everything is perfectly consistent on every site, or you’ll get knocked down on SEO. For example, “123 N 1st St” is not the same as “123 North 1st Street.” Pick one style and use it on every site.
- Google Maps
- Yahoo! Local
- Bing Local
- Citysearch: This one isn’t as easy as the above. Here’s a guide.
Website Content = Organic SEO
Keep it Fresh
Following these steps should be fairly easy, and they can potentially give you big gains in SEO. Of course, you will also need to keep your website fresh with regular new content, including blog posts, videos, and social media updates. SEO is really about providing the best information to answer internet searches—so your website needs to provide relevant information that’s useful to visitors.
If your website needs an SEO-makeover, give Field Group a call. We also might be able to help with your ostrich problem.