Welcome to your digital marketing class! This is a chance to learn about what’s going on in this new frontier of marketing, without having to worry about paying tuition for the class. In fact, you get this information totally for free! Aren’t we kind?
In all reality, we’re going this because Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is insanely important for modern businesses. So much so, that we talk about it all the time. Seriously. Take a look at our list of blogs. I can promise you a lot of them are about SEO. I should know. I wrote several of them and helped edit the rest. But we do this for good reason! We genuinely cannot understate SEO’s importance. But in order for you to understand that we should explain what Search Engine Optimization is.
Lesson #1: What does SEO mean?
Search Engine Optimization: just another phrase with massive words that you have to learn, because apparently no one can call things anything simple. But, like with all weird terms and phrases, when you break it down into individual pieces, it actually makes a lot of sense.
Let’s start with the easy part: Search Engine. You know what a search engine is. You probably (most definitely) used one to find this article. You may even use one every day. I’m pretty sure I do. Search engines are anything you use to search things up on the internet. They include Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others that may or may not still actually be running. So, that’s more than have of the term cleared up.
The next piece is Optimization. You know what that means. But what does it mean to be optimized for a search engine? To answer that question, you need to ask yourself a very serious question: Do you ever go to the second page of a search? If you’re like just about everyone, the answer is likely something along the lines of, “Nope, not really. Unless I’m super desperate.” So, the idea behind optimizing your site for a search engine is that you’re making it so you show up on the first page, and preferably as one of the first entries.
So, that’s lesson one done. Does your brain feel warmed up? I hope so because it gets a little bit more complicated from here.
Lesson #2: How does SEO work?
But don’t let me scare you. It’s not too complicated. The main thing that runs Search Engine Optimization is words. Specifically, keywords. These are what you put into the search bar to find whatever it is that you’re looking for on the internet. For example, when you want to look at cute pictures of puppies, you type “cute puppies” into the search bare. “Cute puppies” is considered a keyword. If you run a site that posts pictures of cute puppies and want to increase the traffic to your site, then you want to make sure that your site is optimized for that.
But let’s dive a little bit deeper and explain this further. When something is typed into a search engine, that engine scours the internet looking for any mention of that term. It will quickly run into sites that are nothing but that term. Generally, the search engine will toss those aside if they determine that they have too much of the term. This is because it is likely spam. You don’t want to look up “cute puppies” ant then be handed a site that literally just says “cute puppies” everywhere, but has little to no photos of cute puppies (wow, we might rank for “cute puppies” because of this example). So, search engines wade through the spam and find the websites that have the right balance of keywords. They deem those useful and informational and hand them over to the user.
This all means that you will want to do two things: know what your keywords are and use them to your advantage.
Lesson #3: How do I boost my SEO?
Let’s talk about just how to do that!
Keywords a pretty easy to figure out. You just have to answer some questions. What is your business? Who do you want to attract? What is really at the heart of your business? So, if you have an independent bookstore in Salt Lake City that has an awesome fiction section (am I thinking of a specific place? Maybe), your keywords may be things like “bookstore Salt Lake City,” “fiction bookstore,” and “indy bookstore.” Easy, right? Just be sure that your keywords aren’t super general, like “bookstore.” There are far too many people vying for those spots. If you have a whole bunch of time, money, and resources, you may be able to do it. But if you’re a small business that may be a little foolhardy.
So, now you want to take those keywords and use them to boost your SEO. One of the main ways to do that is to double check all of the content on your site. Read basically everything on your site to make sure that there is mention of your keywords. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard, and you want to make sure that it all makes sense, so proceed with caution.
As a rule, we like to be transparent here at Avant8, even if it’s in a cheeky way. This means I should come clean about something. This blog was written not only to educate, but also to boost our own SEO when it comes to the term “Search Engine Optimization.” The idea of this blog and the many others, is that when someone searches that term, Google and other search engines will see that our site has several mentions of “National Search Engine Optimization.” Our site will be flagged as a potential resource for the person searching and it will be pushed up the list. We want to rank high on that because SEO is one of the main services we offer. So, we write blogs covering a few different SEO-based keywords to make sure that the world knows that we’re here to help with that. This blog is a great example of something you can do for your site to boost your SEO. Write a 1000-word blog (that isn’t as big of a blog as you may initially think, believe me) using one your keywords as a focus. If you keep this updated by writing a blog or two a month that will add up and search engines will be drawn to you.
Another option that you have is to use your social media. Hopefully, you already have some social accounts associated with your company. Now when you post, just include your keywords in the caption (when it makes sense) and as hashtags. Search engines will, as a result, be more likely to pick up your social to put on the first page of a search. Then people just have to use the link that you have on your social account to your site (and if you don’t have a link to your site on there, what are you doing? Go put one on right now!).
So, there you have the basics of Search Engine Optimization. Not quite as scary as it may first seem. But it is a perfect way to get new customers as word-of-mouth is not always a guarantee. Of course, if you don’t want to have to worry about your SEO, you could just use us, Avant8. We’d be more than happy to help you out with your business’s visibility.