Local First Blog

To Be, Or Not to Be—Found On the Internet, That Is

Aug 16, 2016 3:40:00 PM / by Local First

Competing in today’s era of digital transformation has made it essential for every business to create a website to establish an online presence. However, with 97{6be771524f35e681d5eb1711abbe9ad08f29540a742404ae9fff00be7e8f65de} of U.S. Internet users gathering shopping information and making purchases online, simply having a website isn’t enough. Your website is useless if no one sees it.

In order for your company’s website to get noticed online, it needs be optimized for search engines. This practice, known as Search Engine Optimization or, SEO, is a small business’s best friend.

So, what exactly is Search Engine Optimization?

In order to fully understand SEO and how it will benefit your business, it is important to also understand search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.

SEO is the methods used to optimize a website, boosting its ranking in Google searches in an effort to generate more traffic to the site. In simpler terms, SEO is how people find your site on search engines. It is the magic (and secret) formula that Google, and other sites use to determine which results get listed first.

No SEO means no visitors from search engines. If you don’t do it then search engines can’t categorize and rank your site for keywords relevant to your business.

So, if a customer is using a search engine to find what they need and your website doesn’t show up, then, essentially, your company doesn’t exist. Utilizing SEO techniques helps to ensure that your company’s website gets noticed on search engine results pages (SERPs).

SEO involves a substantial amount of tactics. The more tactics used, the higher the likelihood of reaching top rankings. SEO experts work very hard to help clients achieve optimal ranking and are certainly worth the investment. But what if you’re a small business or startup without enough room in the budget to pay for that expert help?

Firstly, it is important to note that SEO relies on organic (nonpaid) search results. Thus, it is a free alternative to generate traffic to your website.

Secondly, sometimes in business the smallest changes tend to have the biggest impact on success. Fortunately, for those on a budget, one of the most important parts of search engine optimization is often one of the simplest to practice.

That part, is keyword research.

Optimizing your website for search requires adding relevant keywords to specific elements of your site. Thus, good SEO begins with good keyword research. Keyword research involves finding specific words and phrases people use to search for information, along with figuring out relative search volume and competition among your target keywords.

Use the following process to help you come up with an actionable plan and narrow down a list of terms you should be targeting:

Step 1: Make a list of important, relevant topics based on what you know about your business.

Step 2: Identify some keywords that fall into those topic categories.

Step 3: Research related terms on Google.

Step 4: See how competitors are ranking for these keywords.

Step 5: Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to narrow down your keyword list.

The key to this process is understanding your customers. Once you identify keywords your customers use to search for products/services in your industry, you can optimize your website and increase your ranking for those searches.

Nowadays, having a website is a must; but that website is useless if no one sees it. To make sure your website stands out from the competition—without spending a fortune—you need SEO. SEO begins with keyword research, but doesn’t stop there. For more on search engine optimization for your business’s website, you can use Google’s SEO tools such as Google AdWords, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and Google Trends.

After all, sometimes the key to success is to find a way to stand out. 

About Stingray Advisory Group LLC: Stingray Advisory Group LLC is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and a proud Local First member. By creating dynamic customized solutions for business growth, we empower businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools to further their development. To learn more or schedule a consultation, visit www.stingrayadvisorygroup.com. Follow us today on Facebook, LinkedIN, Google+ and Twitter for more helpful tips!

Contact us through email at info@stingrayadvisorygroup.com today!

Local First

Written by Local First