Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques and best practices that will help your website appear in the #1 position when people search for keywords related to your products, services, or content. For example, if someone searches for “marketing software” and you offer marketing software, SEO can help make sure people find your business.
The value of being in the #1 spot for common keywords is so strong that SEO has got to be one of the best long-term strategies you can employ for marketing your product or brand online.
There are many other ways to get web traffic, including social media, public relations, ads, blogging, partnerships, etc. But SEO is hands down the most critical form of traffic generation that exists and has a place in different marketing strategies.
Josh Melick, Co-Founder and CEO of Broadly (a mobile messaging and CRM platform for SMBs), knows all about how to market online, particularly with regard to Search Engine Optimization. He gave some ideas on how to bring more traffic to your business, particularly from Google searches.
How Search Engine Optimization Works
SEO is a way for businesses and individuals to get more organic or natural traffic through search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When people use search engines, they type in words describing their interests. For example, someone who owns a shoe company might search using the term “buy shoes online.”
Google, Yahoo, and Bing are constantly crawling all of the web. They take these “spider feeds” and aggregate them together to search for keywords to rank websites on. Websites are ranked according to how often they are mentioned by other sites which are themselves ranking highly. The spider search feeds then will rank the most relevant websites for a given search.
In this way, companies can pay to advertise their website through Google’s Adwords program or other paid advertising programs, but still get ranked on the first page of Google due to SEO work done by someone else.
So How Should You Do SEO For Your Business?
Some people think you need to hire an SEO agency. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. If you want to become an SEO expert, it can be very time-consuming and may not even be that effective if you don’t know what you are doing.
That being said, any company which wants to get on the first page of Google (and maintain its rankings) needs to establish its keyword profiles.
Google has tools called the Keyword Planner and the Webmaster Tools, which are helpful for companies looking to grow their traffic through SEO. These tools allow you to track your rankings, discover new keywords, build out what kinds of pages you should be creating on your website, and more.
The first step to SEO is to get on the first page of Google by doing research. Next, you need to find keywords that are related to your business. Josh said his company used these tools to figure out what people were already searching for, and then they worked backward from there to rank at the top when someone did these searches.
“You have to do something notable or unique that helps you stand out from your competitors.”
He concluded by saying that Search Engine Optimization is not a set-and-forget kind of thing. You have to stay on top of it. There are always new tools coming out all the time, so you must be willing to innovate and come up with new strategies to keep ranking well for different keywords.