Every business owner needs a website in order to thrive in today’s digital world. The problem? While some may know how to physically market their business, online marketing can be a bit of a mystery. One key focal point that some may currently struggle with is search engine optimization (SEO). If you’ve come across the term but don’t know what it is or what it is designed to do, the guide provided below will further walk you through this vital online marketing strategy and how you can begin implementing it for yourself.

How does SEO work

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the practice of optimizing your website. So that it is seen and indexed by Google (with the goal of making sure that it is one of the top-ranking results). For example, let’s imagine that you were to type “SEO” into Google right now. The first page of results is comprised of the most authoritative websites that have properly implemented the best SEO practices to rank at the top. Search engine optimization is important because it allows you to gain access to the organic traffic flowing through search engines. With the right SEO strategy, you can begin tapping into that natural traffic for your own business needs.

Of course, SEO can often sound simpler in words than in practice. How does it work?

How does it work?

SEO is comprised of a series of rules designed to help your website rank over time. Understanding how to properly implement and use this strategy to your advantage begins with understanding these basic rules. So, what does SEO look like? At a glance, some of the major components of a proper SEO strategy include:

  • Keyword Research:

Growing your traffic begins with implementing the right keywords into the content on your website. No matter what your industry, there are certain keywords that can bring in thousands of searches monthly. As you grow your ranking, you will begin attracting more attention as well and can target more difficult keywords that bring in more traffic (provided that you follow the rules listed below).

  • Design and Usability:

Your website is an extension of your business. Even if you follow all of the technical SEO tips available, visitors will not want to use a website if it looks like it’s of low quality or is difficult to use. Make sure that your website is designed to be aesthetically pleasing and easy to use for your audience.

  • Website Speed and Functionality:

Slow websites are not only undesirable but they can also impact your ranking on search engines. It is important that your website is quick and functional on all devices. Whether your audience is visiting your website on a desktop or through mobile devices.

  • On-Page Optimization:

On-page (or on-site) optimization focuses on a broad set of guidelines in relation to your content. For example, when developing web pages and blog posts, you will want to make sure that you are including your focus keyword. And writing great content that is easy to consume and includes items like subheadings, images (and alt text), inbound links, outbound links, and meta descriptions. On-page optimization can seem quite overwhelming at first, so it is a good idea to find a content optimization resource that guides you through the process and helps you better understand what your content should look like.

  • Off-Site Optimization:

Your work does not end at writing and publishing your content. You will also need to make sure that other websites are referencing your website as an authority in its space using a strategy known as link building. These strategies will often come into focus once you have established your website and are beginning to grow.

Keep in mind that this is by no means a comprehensive list of items. Instead, these are some of the key areas to focus on as you grow your knowledge and your website.

How can I get started?

As a business owner, it is always wise to have a general understanding of the topic. So that you know how it plays into your business strategy and success. However, not all business owners may want to take the time to learn SEO. And try to optimize their website on their own. The best way to make sure that your website is following all of the SEO best practices is to enlist the help of a knowledgeable marketing company that can begin helping you grow your website. With the right strategy, you can gain all of the organic search traffic that Google has to offer.