What Is SEO & Why Is It Important?
As you begin to look for ways to market your business online, you’ve heard people say, “You need SEO.” If you’re new to digital marketing, you may not know what it is, or you may just think it’s adding keywords to your text. You may wonder if you even need to worry about it. Why not just pay for advertising?
SEO is important, but the good news is, it is easier to jump into than most people think. So, let’s get started.
What is SEO?
SEO is an umbrella term for several things that you can do to improve traffic to your website. These days, though, it isn’t just for your website. Do you have a YouTube channel? A Facebook page? A Twitter account? As social media use rises among businesses and individuals, SEO is becoming vital for successful social media success.
Why is SEO Important?
That is a short answer: SEO is about trust. People rely on search engines and trust the results their searches return. If someone looks for “dog grooming” on Google or looks for “movie pages” on a Facebook search, they trust that the results will be relevant to what they’re looking for. Strong SEO increases your chances of appearing higher in those results, making it more likely that people go to your site or social media page, and making it more likely they purchase your goods and services.
What Are the Keys to SEO?
This is a longer answer, but it is also an easy one. These days, the most important aspects of SEO are things you will want to do on your site or social media anyway. Don’t think of it as adding something new. Think of it as being more mindful about what you’re already doing.
Some of the key parts of SEO include,
Keywords – Keywords are the terms people use on search engines to look for your product or service. A Google AdWords account will give you access to their keyword tool that makes it easy to look for common keywords for your industry or based on your website or competitor websites.
Quality content – In the old days of the internet, keywords were king. Now, it is all about content. No matter what keywords you use, if your content is not on point, well-written, clear, and concise, you won’t rank in searches. In addition to good content, you want to,
- Add new content on a regular schedule
- Update older content to ensure keywords stay relevant and content doesn’t become obsolete
- Make actionable content. Ask people to buy, to contact you, and to look at other pages on your site.
Meta description – This is the short description that shows up below your link in online searches. If your website building application (like WordPress) includes an SEO feature, it should have a place for you to add a short description of what your page is about.
Titles and subheadings – Your titles and subheadings are vital to good search results. You should include your primary keyword in your title and at least one of your subheadings. In addition, make sure that you use the Title tag and Heading tags when you put up content on your website, as search engines look for these.
Images (including alt-text)
Links to your site from other places – Building relationships with peers is important to business success. Use those relationships. Ask people who are not your competitors but have related services to link to your site, and link to theirs in turn. When search engines see that other sites link to you, it shows the search engine that your site is important.
Your URL – Your URL is one of the simplest and oft-over-looked aspects of SEO. Your URL should contain your primary keyword. This helps it rank higher and shows search engines that the site is relevant to the search.
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