We can never go back over the basics of SEO too often. Everyone is a newbie t some point and can use the extra help. See, SEO means nothing at all to someone who doesn’t even understand that you have to optimize for search engines. So let’s break it down.
SEO can be Scary at First!
SEO = Search Engine Optimization
Before SEO, the web was full of pages that search engines began to index and catalogue. Eventually algorithms were developed to try and categorize web pages so search queries could bring up relevant results. This led to many people trying to figure out the algorithms so they cuold manipulate their web-pages to rank higher – and search engine optimization was born.
Now SEO is a multimillion dollar industry. A good SEO firm can help you achieve high rankings, leading to more traffic to your site, leading to more conversions and higher profits.
SEOing your site is best done at the build stage. Trying to go back and fix omissions can take valuable time and money and delay your site from reaching its full potential.
First is content. Content can be optimized with keywords, so the search engines recognize what your site is about. It’s like overhearing bits of a conversation between two people seated at the next table in a restaurant – you hear ‘skiing’, ‘ski instructor’, ‘skis’, ‘ski lift’, and you can be pretty sure the conversation is about skiing. Your web-pages are part of a conversation on the web, and you need to make sure your message is coming through loud and clear.
Before your pages can rank well, you have to ensure that the search engines can find them, and get their gist. This starts with good content, and is followed up by good site architecture. This means internal links – you know, the blue text you click on to go to another page.
Imagine a room on top of your house, with no staircase to reach it, no windows and no door. Links are the way you get to one page from another, so a page with no links is like that room – inaccessible. Make sure all your pages can be reached by the search engine ‘robots’.
Once you are ranked, realize that a #1 spot doesn’t automatically mean you are the winner and get all the sales. Top one ranking is like being the closest store off the interstate. It can lead to a lot of traffic, but if your store is dirty and the layout makes people get lost, and they can’t find what they need and the signs are all in Tagalog, you won’t sell anything.
Conversions are the end all of SEO, not traffic. You want people to not only come in your store, but do their shopping and pay at the till. A conversion can be a comment on your blog, a download, a subscription to a newsletter, or even just the typing of an email address into a contact box.
Understanding basic SEO is key to making it work for you. Don’t let gurus fill your head with nonsense – have a reputable SEO firm lead the way, helping and educating you!