Nowadays, anyone who needs fast access to information is likely to turn to the easiest way to get it – using the Internet! Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are available 24/7 to answer just about any query people have. For savvy entrepreneurs, this fact reveals one important thing: the need to be right where the customers are! A company selling car parts can expect huge sales turnout and client inquiries if their business website is the first thing to appear whenever someone looks for car accessories to buy online. But how can a web page appear on the first page of search engine results pages (SERP’s)? Clearly not by chance or accident, but through the wise implementation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques!
What is SEO?
SEO may sound like a big and technical word for those who have not heard about it before, but it simply refers to the organic or unpaid methods used to increase the visibility of a website online. Every website should aim to be on the first page of a SERP because according to a study by an online advertising network Chitika, most users only go through the first page of the Google’s search result. This 2013 research revealed that 95% of users only browse the first page of the SERP. Thus, the probability for your site to be discovered by a user greatly decreases if your webpage is at the bottom page of the search engine list.
How are websites ranked?
Search engines discover web pages through a search bot which is also referred to as a spider. These spiders crawl web pages and then assess the quality of a website through a process called indexing. A Google or Yahoo ranking is achieved if the search engines see that your website provides the best information for a certain search term or keyword. Each search engine platform (Google, AOL, Bing, etc.) has a unique process and requirements when indexing and ranking websites. For this reason, it is a must for SEO experts to gain knowledge about the algorithm of various search engines.
What are the best SEO practices?
To land on the first page of search engines, efficient on-page SEO and off-page SEO tactics should be in place. On-page SEO refers to the enhancements you make within the website (web design, adding meta and title tags, etc. ) while off-page SEO refers to promotion activities outside the website (link building, guest blogging, etc.). Both of them are necessary to build a good reputation for your website.
Search engines algorithms may differ in assessing the quality of websites but there are several factors that all search engines deem valuable. The factors presented below mostly comprise the best SEO practices that web developers should follow in order to improve online ranking.
Content is king.
The ultimate goal of search engines is to deliver the most relevant content to users. After all, instant access to useful information is one of the reasons the Internet is such a huge success. So work on creating unique content that people are searching for. If your website provides valuable information that is not available anywhere, users are likely to come back to your site and share your content.
Keyword research is a must.
You want to help the spiders understand what your website is about by stuffing your content with the right keywords. These are the search terms that people input on a search engine. You want to know these keywords so that you can incorporate it into your content and meta tags and increase the possibility to rank for it. Luckily, many online tools are available to do keyword research. Still, caution is advised when using keywords as using too many or too little can result in a low Google ranking.
Improve user experience.
Your website may be crawled by a bot but you should design and build it with potential users in mind. It pays to be mindful of elements that can drive a user to leave your site. Some things to avoid include slow-loading web pages, bland web design, and confusing content. To keep web visitors glued to your site, make an effort to make your website fast, appealing and informative.
Even online, building good connections is vital for success. In SEO you do this by associating yourself with reputable sites through link building. The number of quality websites linking to your web page will increase SEO juice which leads to a higher page rank. Link building strategies include building social media pages and guest posting.
Finally, one important thing to remember about SEO is that it is a continuous challenge! Even when your website is at the top position in Google, it is not advisable to altogether stop your SEO efforts.
You have to keep track of Google algorithm updates, keep on posting useful content and build good links. If you are not consistent and vigilant, competitors can steal that top spot anytime.
Do you want to build a website that will complement the marketing strategies of your business? Our team at Birch River Design Group can customize an SEO package that fits the unique needs of your firm. Contact us today to learn more about our SEO services!