Demystifying search engine optimization
If you are an entrepreneur in 2014, you probably run a website. Having a quality Web presence is an excellent opportunity to build your business, but how do you ensure your website is seen by your potential customers? The answer may be search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engine optimization is a method of increasing the number of visitors to your website. SEO is less intimidating than you may think. Try using the following techniques to increase your website's ranking in search engine results.
Develop unique headings and titles and subtitles for each of your website pages. Not only do you need to hook readers, but search engines read these as important information.
Page titles appear in search engine results. Content titles are what appear at the top of your page's content. Both are useful to readers and to search engines.
- Anticipate which keywords are searched the most. Free analytics tools are available to help with this.
- Keep your target customers in mind when writing your website text.
- Keep keywords relevant to the content. Don't overpopulate your website.
- When hyperlinking text within your content, use terms that capture the reader's attention. Hyperlink to related product pages or complementary businesses.
- Work on getting links to your website from external sites — ideally these should be sites that rank well within your industry or region.
A link saying "click here" isn't as valuable as a link saying "learn more about product x". These are called “long tail” links, and are easier to read, both for your visitors and for the robots that crawl the Internet and move your website ranking up.
Above all, focus on the quality of your content. This will help your website stand out from your competitors' and lead others to link to your content naturally.
Other helpful hints:
- Keep images to a minimum as search engines have difficulty reading them.
- Research which social media platforms have an impact on your SEO.
- If you are not comfortable with the SEO process, consider outsourcing the task to a professional.
SEO is an ongoing effort, but the more you work at it, the better your website will be. Keeping the information on your site useful and shareable is the key to improve your website's ranking.
Find more information on the Website analytics and performance management and Internet search tools pages.