The world we live in today is vastly different than it was just a few decades ago. The advent of the Internet age revolutionized everything, from how we get our news to how people go on dates. One thing that especially changed is business. Thanks to the Internet, there is an almost infinite amount of potential customers and an equally large amount of companies competing for their money. While competition is great for customers, as it makes everyone involved offer better products and services, too much competition can make small business feel like they’re getting lost in the shuffle.
E-commerce can sometimes seem like it’s dominated by the large multi-million dollar corporations. In the pay-per-click environment of paid advertisement and ‘enhanced’ search rankings, it’s the companies that have seemingly infinite marketing budgets that appear to be at a significant advantage. Yet even the smallest business can learn to use a set of techniques that, if used right, can put your website on the front page of your customer’s Google search.
Yes, I’m talking about Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. A good SEO strategy can be the key to any business’s success. Whether you run a blog or an online store, driving traffic to your website is crucial to getting paid. If no one can find your site and you can’t afford to outbid your competition for Google’s top search result, you’re simply not going to make money.
What Is SEO and How Does It Work?
SEO refers to the process of using certain techniques to boost your visibility in organic (unpaid) search results. In other words, SEO is the secret-sauce to get as many people to find your website without having to pay for ads. The better your search engine optimization strategy is, the higher up in the search results you’ll be.
Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo have their own customized algorithm to decide how they rank websites in their results, but the general process is the same. Once a user enters their search terms, the search engine matches what the user typed into content on the websites in their database. The more relevant your website’s content is to what the user is looking for, the higher up it will be in the search results. SEO is all about making your website more relevant to how a search engine will be ranking you. If you want to find out more information about SEO, read more here.
Optimizing Your Site
Getting started with SEO isn’t as hard as you might think, but it does take some patience, determination and flexibility. Ranking doesn’t happen overnight and sometimes you’ll have to be willing to make more changes to your website than you originally intended. But if you persevere, you’ll soon be reaping the benefits of more website visitors which in turn mean more conversions into paying customers.
Make Your Site Responsive
One of the first things to think about is the layout of your site. With the surge in popularity of mobile devices, search engines have been prioritizing websites that are responsive or designed so they can be viewed easily regardless of the device being used. Many websites, especially those belonging to older businesses, aren’t formatted well for phones and tablets. Even if their content is great, this can severely bring down their search ranking. Most modern web themes are now made to be fully responsive, so if your site has fallen behind, consider it a propitious time for a design upgrade.
In order to bring in customers with your keywords, you need to have content on your site. The days where a small business could get away with only having their name, phone number, address and a short blurb about themselves on their website are long gone. The only way to effectively compete in the online world is to post content and lots of it! Your business needs to establish itself as an authority in the field if it wants a shot at appearing on search results. That means at least an FAQ page, a few how-to’s related to your niche and some well-crafted blog posts.
If you own a small business, don’t let potential clients fall through the cracks. A well-optimized site is a great way to compete with larger companies in your niche and make more money. While there’s much more to SEO than just these couple of tips, if you start here you’ll find yourself on the way to owning a top-ranked website in no time.