What-is-SEO

What is SEO? How does it work?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique used to increase the number of visitors to the website and improving the ranking on search engine results such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Let’s see how this works.

According to Hubspot, 80% of the traffic for a website begins with a search query.

Search Engine Optimization Process

The process of search engine optimization can be divided into three parts-

  • Keyword Analysis
  • On-page and Off-page optimization
  • Backlinks.

It is essential for every website owner to extensively research the keywords that are relevant to their business. Creating descriptive and useful content using the identified keywords will help the website to rank on top of the search results. This can be done through on-page and off-page optimization activities.

On-page optimization- A few changes are made on the back-end to integrate the keywords on your website in the form of the page title, description, image names.

Off-page optimization- The optimization measures do not take place on the site. but “off” page in the form of backlinks, a link-building process of obtaining hyperlinks from other websites to yours.

The search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo have their own algorithms and formulas to deliver the best possible results for all searches. The algorithm keeps changing every now and then in order to fight spam and ensure the best results. The entire search process happens in 1/8th of a second.

Google’s algorithm is very dynamic and it is focused mainly on delivering the best and most relevant results to the users. In order to maintain the quality, Google releases updates on the algorithm quite often. Google Panda was the first update followed by a lot more focus on improving the quality of the website and search engine optimization practices.

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What is a Keyword in SEO?

A keyword is referred to a particular word or combination of words, that are entered by the user in the search engine to access specific information. Search engines such as Google or Bing assess the keyword phrase and line up websites in the search results according to their relevance. The site which has great content and more visits will be placed on the top of the search results.

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The website ranking has to be closely monitored by the site administrator because he can make a positive impact on the keyword ranking by accurately researching and placing appropriate keyword terms in the content which would lead to more relevance and better quality. It’s very important to be more specific in selecting the keywords as more irrelevant visits to the website would be simply meaningless.

It is also important to keep in mind to target long-tailed keyword phrases than a single keyword.

Keyword tools

There are many tools available online to determine the relevant keywords for your business. The most reliable tools are Google keyword planner and Google trends.

Google Keyword Planner is a free Adwords tool that is more focused on picking the right set of keywords for Ads in Google. You can search for new keyword ideas, find out the volume of searches and obtain the keyword list to decide on the relevant keyword for your business.

Google Trends is an excellent tool that allows you to compare the popularity of search terms over a period of time. It shows the relative level of interest for your prospective keyword phrase and helps you identify the most trending keyword that is relevant to your business.

Here’re some keyword tools that would help to do the research

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On-page optimization

On-page optimization is nothing but making certain changes to the website to bring in line with the best SEO practices. These changes are done by tweaking the HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement, and keyword density on the website in order to improve its ranking in search engine results.

Following are some of the on-page components that impact the website ranking in the search results.

  • Page Title: This is the first element that is shown in the search results for your website, Page Title has to be unique for every page.

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  • Meta Description: This attribute provides a short explanation on the topic of the web page that both the users and search engine can understand.

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  • Meta Tags/Keywords: Enter unique keywords relevant to the content in the meta tag field. However, It does not have any effect on SEO these days.
  • H1 Tags: The header tag that goes from <h1>to<h6> is the heading that stands out on the page indicating the title of the content.
  • Alt-Text: Alternative text gives a description of the image to the website users and search engines.

Off-Page Optimization:

In order to increase the ranking of the website on the search engine results page (SERPs), Off-Page optimization is quintessential. This is one of the most effective ways to build the online reputation of your website using backlinks.

Backlinks

In Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) backlinks play an important role. Google considers the website with more backlinks to be the most relevant to the content. It is also important to have diversity in backlinks, The quality of your website will increase when you get endorsed by different domains linking to your website.

link-building-in-michiganHow to get backlinks?

In order to keep an eye on the quality of the content, Google carefully monitors each and every activity that takes place on the web. A piece of advise-DO NOT buy or trade links. It increases the risk of spam which could bring a lot of trouble to your website. The organic way of creating backlinks yield some great results. Here are some easy methods to start building organic links.

Blogging

Keep in mind that the main objective of Google is to provide users with useful and relevant search results. All you need to do is, Create helpful content that benefits people. If you have a product or provide a specific service, Talk about it on blogs. Let the readers know how your product/service adds value to people’s lives.

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A big part of Google’s algorithm focuses on the concept of unique and original content so make sure that the content created across the blogs is all genuine.

There are a lot of companies that sell backlinks. NEVER buy such cheap backlinks. Google will ban your website for spammy content.

Social Networking

Social Network is an online platform where users engage in discussion and build social relationships. It’s very important to be active on social media. It provides a great opportunity to communicate your thoughts, interests, and ideas with the online community.

Building your brand on social websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr makes it easy for people to access and know more about your company.

Search Engine Submission

Search engine submission is done to notify Google about the existence of the website and instruct the bots to include the site in the search results. Some of the most authentic Search engine submission sites are

  • Google : https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url
  • Bing : http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url
  • Baidu : http://zhanzhang.baidu.com/sitesubmit/index
  • Yahoo! Search : https://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html
  • Dmoz : http://www.dmoz.org/

Social Bookmarking

The purpose of Social bookmarking is to help Google identify the category/concept of the website. The web pages bookmarked in social bookmarking sites add authenticity which helps in improving the backlink quality. This is one of the important steps in the search engine optimization process.

  • StumbleUpon
  • Delicious
  • Reddit. These are some of the well-known social bookmarking websites.

Business Reviews

The online business review makes a huge impact on businesses these days. The three major benefits that we get from testimonials and reviews are

  • About 90% of the top executives read testimonials before making any business decision. It plays an important role in influencing the customer.
  • Reviews help to understand if your business is on the right track and make a decision based on that.
  • Testimonials have a direct relationship to your performance. You can market it to your leads in the form of email campaigns. You can also place them on the website and forums.

Local Listing

One of the important steps performed in the SEO process is to create a local business listing. A local listing is an online profile. It consists of all the business information and the exact location of the premises.

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You can create a Free business listing on sites like Google My Business, Bing places, Yelp, Foursquare and Yellow pages.

10-ways-how-your-small-business-can-benefit-from-SEO-Griffon-Webstudios-1

10 ways how small business can benefit from SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays an important role in determining the success of any small business. It may not be appropriate to say that businesses that do not engage in SEO will fall apart but certainly, the one that does such marketing activities enjoys huge benefits over the businesses which do not practice it. Now the question is, Why does SEO play such a vital role in small businesses? Let’s find out.

There are tons of benefits provided by SEO for small businesses in different ways. Let us discuss the 10 ways how a small business can benefit from SEO. 

  1. User-friendly website.
  2. New customers and continuous growth.
  3. Explore new markets
  4. Achieve better conversion rates.
  5. Build brand awareness through better rankings
  6. Build a dedicated fan base via newsletter
  7. Stay in sync with the latest trends
  8. Bypass competition
  9. Open your business 24×7
  10. Better optimization of social media.

 

1. User-Friendly Websites: SEO helps in creating a user-friendly website. As the name suggests, SEO not only helps in search but also focuses on the user experience. Google tends to recognize the quality of the website based on user-friendliness and content. For an improved user experience, It is always essential to follow the On-Page SEO techniques. It not only improves the experience but also creates numerous short and long-term benefits.   

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2. New Customers and continuous growth: If you think about it, One of the main reasons to have a website is to increase your brand reputation and improve the customer base and thus the revenue. SEO helps in ranking your website on the first page of search results and that’s the reason businesses that engage in SEO grow much stronger than those businesses which do not have them.  As your website gets good visibility, it reaches a wider audience which eventually results in increased revenue and market share.

3. Explore New Markets: In today’s world, technology is growing at a rapid pace. The entire global market can be tapped with a click of a button and the best way to become successful in reaching out to the new markets for your business is to have a successful SEO campaign. Another magic wand that boosts up your performance to take your business to the next level is Social Media. It acts as a link between the real world and your business world.

4. Achieve Better Conversion rates: A search engine optimized website is easy to use, has a good speed, and is compatible with all the devices such as mobiles and tablets. It is not necessary for businesses to depend only on laptops and computers instead, they can be searched even through mobile phones. This helps in translating better conversions, i.e. A mobile-optimized website tends to retain the visitors and engage them to become your customers, regular visitors, or subscribers.

At least 40% of the global search is expected to be from mobile devices in the next 12 months. 

5. Build Brand Awareness: Another benefit that SEO provides small businesses is brand awareness. This helps the businesses in ranking on the top positions in search results. When a brand appears in the first place of the search engine, it is perceived to be the most trusted one. The small businesses that need better visibility have to invest in SEO. There are two things that need to be done for a definite success.

1. Creating awesome content

2. Promoting them.

The search engines play a major role in developing as well as destroying a brand with the content associated with them.

6. Build a strong fan base: What’s the smartest SEO approach? It is to build a trusted and dedicated fan base through newsletters, articles, social profiles. These sources play an important role in increased website traffic and greater search engine presence. A recent study revealed that successful e-commerce small businesses claim 90% of their income from emails and articles than from any other source so it is very important to engage your customer base with informative articles and newsletters to win their trust. In many cases, websites collect the email and other information of the subscribers but hardly send any useful newsletter.

7. In Sync with latest trends: One of the most dynamic industries in the world is the SEO marketing industry. Google has its SEO guidelines and practices changing every now and then with a sole purpose of creating a refined search result that gives great quality for the searchers. Small Businesses need to understand the importance of regular updates and stay in sync with the change to be benefited.

Since SEO is a continuous activity, you have to keep your business updated with the latest trends and developments. To do this in an easier way, it is best to hire a reliable SEO company that makes you aware of the best practices for your website.

8. By-Pass Competition:  Let’s say there are two businesses dealing with similar products and services. One has a website that is search engine optimized and the other doesn’t. Which one would be the most successful? Obviously, The one that invites a lot of customers, stays updated with the current trends and marketing mechanisms with a faster growth rate. So it is essential to outdo your competitor and stay ahead of the race.  A lot of times, Small businesses ignore the importance of SEO and eventually lose its market share. The survival rate in the US for small businesses is just 25% in 15 years timeline.    

small-business-in-the-us9. 24*7:  24×7? Are you nuts? No, But…. When a business is open 24*7, i.e. 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, then that business is more likely to get a higher organic traffic. Customers always tend to reach out to those businesses that are open whenever they want than those businesses that do not operate. These days we get a notification on our mobile phones when someone fills a form on the websites or place an inquiry so you can always reach out to them because it is revealed that,

First vendor to reach out to a decision maker has 74% more chance to get the business. 

10. Social Media Optimized: A high ranking web page is more likely to gain maximum exposure in social media. The relationship between social media and SEO is bi-directional. Both benefit from each other, The social page found on the top position of the search results is most likely to get increased number of likes, tweets, comments, etc than the other page that doesn’t have a good ranking.

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There are few ways in which one can take advantage of all the above-mentioned benefits.

The first step towards gaining the benefits from SEO is to have a website. Ahem!  More than 50% of small businesses in the US do not have a website. It was also found that businesses with websites grow 50% faster than those who do not have one. So the first step here is to choose a domain name and register and develop a responsive website optimized for users across all devices.

The second step is to hire a good digital marketing/SEO company to handle your marketing campaigns. SEO is an investment that provides a steady ROI for your business. A lot of times, businesses shy away from optimizing their website and lose out on a lot of potential sales.

The last and most important thing is, If you do not have enough budget to spend on any digital marketing campaigns, you can do it yourself. All you need to know is that SEO is not about just building links, it is mainly about making your website more user-friendly with great navigation and excellent content that adds value to the website visitors. A well-optimized website helps the small businesses in gaining a lot of customers and has a great chance of retaining the top position in the search results. As a business owner, you need to understand that SEO is an investment and not a cost.

Get in touch with us for a Free SEO consultation.