Does your site have good Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
When somebody uses a search engine, roughly 50% will click on one of the top three organic (non-paid) results. The top result will get 31% of the clicks. Clearly, ranking near the top of the page is huge. But how do you increase your standing in search results?
The answer is Search Engine Optimization.
Picture from Jonathan Rolande
What SEO Means:
Search Engine Optimization is the process of designing a website to maximize the likelihood of showing up higher in search results. Or in other words, it's how you give web pages the best chance of being seen by its audience when they use something like Google or Bing. If your site doesn't have good SEO, it'll be harder for Google to index it and provide it in its search results. This basically means that fewer people see it and fewer people visit the website.
There are a variety of factors that can affect your SEO, they fall into two groups. On-site and off-site.
On-site factors have to do with the technical structure of the website and its pages. It's literally the code the site is built upon. Any improvements with this requires a pretty deep understanding of programming and web development.
Off-site SEO involves your overall web presence on other sites. For example, when a credible site links to your site, it helps to build up your site's credibility. This is called "link building". Link building is supplemented by citation information that includes NAPW (Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website) data. It may seem random, but there's a reason for this.
NAPW is featured by review or business websites like Yelp, Super Pages, or Google My Business. It's important to make sure these sites have complete and consistent information. This gives search engines confidence to show your business to the right people which increases your position in searches.
Why Is SEO Important?
Search Engine Optimization is what makes sure your site rank well or poorly in search engine results.
If your site doesn't have proper SEO, it will be placed lower on the list. This DRASTICALLY reduces the traffic your link will get. Mobile optimization is a part of this! With so many people on their mobile devices these days, it can be dangerous to forget about them and their user experiences. Remember that just the first result gets around 31% of all traffic.
Furthermore, if you are properly using SEO best practices, you can experience some truly amazing benefits in new traffic arriving on your site. An example is one of our own clients in northern California. By properly executing on-site SEO, they experienced a 184% increase in traffic. Improving their search engine ranking has been crucial.
Let's be real. What would you do with an additional 184% traffic on your website?
How to Check your SEO
An extremely basic way to check your general SEO is to do a Google search for the name of your business. Of course, it depends on the name. But if you don't show up within the first few results, it might mean there's something wrong with your SEO.
However, there are a number of ways to improve your search engine optimization. Depending on your skills, you may be limited in what you can do. But that doesn't mean that it's hopeless.
Improving on-site SEO does require a professional unless you have the technical expertise to fiddle with anything behind the scenes. Besides, in today's world, everything is changing faster than most people can keep up. By using experienced developers, you'll be working with people who understand how it's changing and how you can keep up with it all.
If you're determined, you could use one of the tools that Google provides. A quick warning, it is rather complicated if you are unfamiliar with the program.
The easiest way to improve you off-site SEO is to check out you NAPW data with tools like Moz Local. It will check if there are any glaring inconsistencies on the various citation sites. If you're tight on time or unsure of where to start, this is the place. Otherwise, you can check the consistency of the information by manually exploring each site.
There are also some other tools to check your SEO in general and decide on how to make improvements. You can use services like Google's Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics. These provide you with a wealth of information that you can use to analyze the performance of your site's SEO.
EvenVision is also proud to offer free comprehensive SEO-audits for your business. Check out our article “SEO Audit - EvenVision Style” to learn about how we perform audits that focus on Strategy, Evaluation and Optimization
How to do it.
When EvenVision creates websites, we have several automated processes that ensure best practices for on-site SEO. So any site we build will already have it. Ideally, other agencies practice proper SEO services while building. However, there's no guarantee, so it's something you should be sure to look into.
If you're looking to improve the on-site SEO of a pre-existing website, then you'll need a professional to dig down into the nitty-gritty of the site. They can change and update settings, meta descriptions, body and title tags, alt-text and more.
To build links, you generally need to create quality content that people value and share. Creating great content is one of the surest ways to bring more traffic and build more links. If you have a quality resource or service that consumers will seek out, the doors to good search result ranks will open.
When you're doing this, don't forget that spamming a link to your website will actually harm your SEO. Google has taken active measures to prevent that kind of behavior.
To spread NAPW data, you can submit it to the appropriate sites, or request the incorrect information they have be updated. Updating NAPW data is one of the best ways to improve your standing with Google and is well worth the time. Just remember to double check any information you provide. We don't want the wrong phone number online.
SEO doesn't have to be complicated. It shouldn't be. By creating content, products and services of good quality, half the battle has been fought. And bringing in professionals like our team at EvenVision can get you the rest of the way there.