So, your New Year’s Resolution is your new small business, using your passion as a means to make some money. One of your primary struggles will be getting your product or service seen by the masses. While there are many ways to do this, but one of the most important will be to get people to find you online – what happens when someone in your area is looking for what you offer? Nowadays, they’ll likely take to a popular search engine like Google to find what they’re looking for. To prepare, there are numerous ways to “trick” search engines into making your website appear higher, increasing the number of people that are likely to see your business, and thereby use you for what they need! These tricks are called search engine optimization, or SEO for short.
What is SEO?
Primarily, there are two major forms of marketing. Paid advertising involves, as noted, the kinds of things that you can pay money for. Google advertising, Facebook advertising, and paid blog postings are all examples of paid advertising. By following some rules and contributing money can work to draw people to your website and brand. In contrast, organic marketing refers to all of the ways that brand visibility can be gained without the need for paying. SEO is a prime example of this. Instead of using money, SEO is both the technical and creative knowledge that is used together to bring your website to the top in any search engine.
Confusing? It can be. There are things on your website that contribute. There are things off of your website that contribute. Both of these things matter.
Go to your favorite search engine and type in the phrase “winter clothes”. What comes up? How does it come up? Why does this search engine think that these websites are the ones that you might want to visit? What appears in the first five places? Click to page five – what appears here? SEO using the tools of the trade to ensure that your website and business is appearing where people will see it when they make a related search, instead of buried where no one will.
Why is SEO Important?
The internet is here to stay. It’s not going anywhere. As long as it’s around, users will need to navigate the depths of the web to find the information they need. This is where SEO is useful. While someone may be able to stumble upon your site through social media or by a link from another place, most people search targeted phrases to find what they need, and when you can show that you have what a customer is looking for, they’re likely to explore your offering. The more people to your website, the more likely they are to spend their money with you. But when these customers can’t find your website, you won’t get their business. So showing search engines when they should show your website to potential customers is huge for your business success.
How Do Search Engines Work?
The internet is gigantic. There are tons and tons of websites and pages that might relate to any search result. For anything that someone might want to know, search engines need to have some awareness that this information exists online and that there’s value for the person searching for it. Based on the data found on these web pages, engines make an assessment of whether or not a website is relevant to the user and is popular enough that the user is likely to want to reach it.
With more research and technology, determining what someone is looking for has been refined. There are tons of factors that a search engine looks for to determine whether or not a website has the information a user is looking for. In combination with the technological aspects that trigger information for search engines, user friendliness and customer interaction make an impact as well.
SEO is constantly changing, and engineers tweak algorithms to refine the imperfect system and bypass “black hat SEO”, or methods used to unfairly advance websites that would not otherwise appear highly on search results. Therefore, it’s never a one-time only process! This introduction to SEO only covers one small part of why this is important to pay attention to this – we’ll be covering more about SEO to come soon!