Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to successful marketing nowadays. Small businesses in particular need to utilize SEO in order to take advantage of local customers who are searching online for a particular product or service. While many different tasks go into SEO, the top three are selecting and using the right keywords, building in-bound links, and posting on social networks.
One of the most important aspects of SEO is identifying the keywords a business wants to rank for. The best keywords are specific enough that they don’t compete with much bigger companies, yet popular enough that they will generate traffic. Businesses need to think about what their unique characteristics are and predict what their ideal customers are searching for. Using geographic information as part of a keyword (e.g. “brake service Sioux Falls”) is one of the best ways to make a keyword unique and to rank in local searches. Once a business has identified keywords, the next step is to use them effectively on each page of the company’s website in urls, titles, headers, and text.
The links that come into a website from other sites help to build a website’s credibility with search engines. Google prioritizes links from sources that it identifies as authoritative, meaning sites that get a lot of traffic and whose readers spend more than a second on a page before clicking away. One method of getting inbound links is to create high-quality content like articles and free templates or tools that other website owners will naturally want to link to. In addition, linking to other blogs or websites can draw attention to a site and often generate reciprocal backlinks.
Often, it’s a company’s social networking site that ranks the highest in Google search results. Moreover, social networks themselves are popular search engines and thus should always be considered as part of an SEO strategy. Businesses who do social networking effectively focus on a few sites that are most likely to appeal to their customers, and they post frequent, high-interest content. To learn more about how to use social networking for successful SEO, follow SEOClerks on Twitter.