First of all, what is search engine optimization?
Search engine optimization is making your website more accessible to the search engines so the people who are interested and looking for your product or service can find you. There is a way to structure, code, use text and images on your website so you are more easily found.
- Keyword Research – Finding keyword phrases people would use to arrive at your website. The best ones have a decent monthly traffic and are not very competitive. Not competitive means a low number of other websites are using these same keyword phrases.
- Descriptive meta tags which include these key phrases (the information that shows up in search for each page)
- Keyword phrases included on your images, text headers, and text.
- Sitemap Submission to the major search engines (this tells the search engines the pages on your website, and to index those pages)
Once it is optimized, how can your website go up further in search, so people can find you?
It is not enough to do search engine optimization to your website to get much higher rankings, although it is a very good start. It is possible to come up on the first page if your business is a smaller niche. But if you are in a competitive field with many other types of businesses such as yours, it will be very difficult if you do not have a decent amount of backlinks going to your website.
You can do this by:
- Content marketing – blogging one or more times a week and sharing your articles across social media and article websites. When the search engines see your page content is being shared and a link is pointing back to your website, it counts as a point towards ranking.
- Submit your website to local directories. These submissions will show as a link back to your website. I have used Mozlocal with good results.
- Have a resource page on your website to exchange website URLs with other businesses.
Yes, this all takes quite a bit of ongoing work.
Sometimes when I optimize the pages of a website, the effect is immediate and it starts getting traffic right away. This might be because the site is older and already has quite a bit of other websites pointing towards it. With the newly optimized pages and backlinks already in place, it was just a simple fix to begin getting traffic.
If you have a new website and are still not seeing any traffic after optimizing, writing and sharing blog articles across the web, you can try an AdWords campaign, and/or a Facebook or LinkedIn ad. It is quite likely this will get you the traffic you need right away.
Search engine optimization is a must for every website, but there is more to it than a done once and forget about it deal. It takes carving out weekly time to dedicate to marketing each week.
Spring in the mountains…
If my article on search engine optimization made you want to fall asleep, here are some pretty photos of spring in the Asheville area.
A walk up the magical mountain neighborhood filled with fairies
Baby geese feasting on buttercups
I think this is a blackberry bush, not sure, but the flowers smelled so good I had to stop and take a whiff.