If you’re like most other CEOs, term “search engine optimization” will mean very little. Either that or it means expense! But it doesn’t have to be that way… If you feel like you’re standing in a dark room handing money to strangers to get you in search engines, then this article is for you.
This is an article written by a business owner for other business owners and CEOs. It explains Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) in layperson’s terms. It won’t make you an expert, but it will give you some insight into what you’re spending your money on, what you should be spending your money on, and just as importantly, what you shouldn’t.
But before launching straight into an explanation of SEO, let’s talk a bit about search engines. Approximately 75%-80% of website traffic comes through search engines. What’s more, research shows that most people don’t look beyond first 2 pages of search results. This means if your website doesn’t rank in first 2 pages of major search engines, it’s only receiving 20% of its rightful traffic… and revenue. (And remember, being ranked number 1 when you search for your company name or web address doesn’t count. You need to rank highly for words your customers use at search engines.)
The biggest concern for search engine companies like Google, Yahoo, etc., is finding content that will bring them more traffic (and thus more advertising revenue). They do this by using complex algorithms to determine whether a site is useful and should be included in their search results.
This is where SEO comes in.
SEO is art of ranking in search engines. Nothing more, nothing less.
SEO means creating your site such that search engines consider it useful. The two main weapons in your arsenal are:
·Keywords ·Links to your site
Figure out what words your customers are looking for at search engines, and use those words at your site. By frequently using keywords that are important to your customers, you tell search engines what you do. These keywords are used in your copy and in code behind page. Generally speaking, more you use keywords, more relevant you are to searches in that field.
Keywords in Your Copy
The use of keywords in your copy is easy to understand. But it’s not easy to do. You can’t just pepper your site with a meaningless array of words. The trick is using most important keywords a lot without compromising readability of your copy. It’s a balance between writing for search engines and writing for your reader.
TIP: If you find this too time consuming, a website copywriter can take care of it for you. And if you know your keywords already, it should cost you no more than normal web copy.
Keywords in Your HTML Code
The use of keywords in your HTML code is harder to understand, but it’s easier to do. There are four main places these keywords are used:
·Keywords ·Description ·Alt ·Title
TIP: When you hear people talking about meta tags, this is what they’re talking about. To see how meta tags are used in practice, go to Google and pretend you’re a customer. Search for something your customers would search for. e.g. If you’re in car audio, search for “car audio”. Click on first couple of results to bring up their website. Right-click on home page, and select “View Source”. You’ll see a whole lot of code. You can ignore most of it. What you’re looking for are following…