Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy, which focuses on the growth of visibility and transparency in search engine results. The role of this strategy is to help improve your rankings so that traffic is directed towards your small business website so that your potential customers can find you.
SEO main purposes:
- To provide high quality content, with keyword usage, so that a search engine recommends your website during the conduct of relevant searches.
- Create the best experience possible for the individual who is a potential lead for your business.
The many layers of SEO
If you consider your business website as a birthday cake, you can see how all the layers are supported and come together to complete the cake. There are the three main layers and of course the icing.
Layer 1 – the foundation. Your website platform, technical structure, mobile friendly (responsive), load time and usability are all vital to the success of your SEO campaign. If your base is not strong the rest of the layers will topple over.
Layer 2 – Content and keyword focus. Content is one of, if not the most important aspect to your overall SEO campaign. Content must be high quality, compelling, original and targeted to the keywords you wish to rank for in order to rank on the search engines and in turn drive traffic to your website.
Layer 3 – Backlinks, video, blogging, social profiles and paid advertising. This layer helps to more clearly define your audience targeting and supports your SEO campaign. You’ll want to build quality backlinks which pass positive link juice back to your site. Leverage social media to share your messaging across a boarder audience and obtain reach. Build your followers and subscribership with Blogging as well using your blog to target additional keywords you wish to rank for.
Icing –Your overall SEO campaign. This would be monitoring your campaign, making adjustments as needed, finding new and unique ways for lead generation (publishing a case study, writing an eBook, promoting a new product or service, running a giveaway or special offer, etc.) This layers plays the part of keeping all the other layers glued together to give an amazing overall presentation.
All these layers are the fundamentals of your cake, or the success of your website online.
Focusing your SEO efforts
You want the guests who try your cake to get the best overall experience. You want them to come back for seconds and maybe even thirds. For that to happen you need to focus your SEO efforts on:
- Experience – how does user navigate and experience your website
- Authority – how well do the search engines and users think of your site as an authority in your industry
- Performance – is your site optimized to perform quickly and efficiently across multiple devices
- Content – how well is your content optimized to rank in the search engines and drive traffic to your website
Just like these four efforts provide value to have your guests come back repeatedly, there are some elements which need to be avoided. These elements are like sour lemons and can not only make for a bad user experience, but they can get you eliminated off the search engine results all together.
- Purchased links – or unnatural link building
- Keyword stuffing – this is an old practice which will really harm your rankings
- Poor user experience – a site that is poorly designed, outdated, or is not mobile friendly will certainly do more harm than good
All this SEO talk can be overwhelming to most. But in this ever increasingly competitive search engine landscape, setting aside at least a small budget for your SEO efforts will be well worth it in the long run.
You can see that without SEO your business will not be visible and instead of being featured on the first page of Google, Bing or other search engines, it may be found on page 20.