Doing Business in The Information Age
The advent of the internet has radically re-shaped the nature of consumerism and forever changed the way businesses operate and advertise. Competition in this global market has become fiercer than ever before; consumers everywhere are constantly inundated with products and advertisements – and they can decide what goods and services they want with just a few clicks. As many business owners know, it can be difficult to make a business stand out from the millions of others listed among the search results.
Businesses that want to thrive in this everchanging market must not only adapt new tactics to attract customers but must also continue to adjust these tactics as trends shift. One of the best ways to do this online is through Search Engine Optimization.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing strategy that is used to increase the amount of traffic a company’s website receives by ensuring it is one of the top results generated by a search engine. This is a discrete but powerful form of advertising; studies have shown that sites appearing in the top results get more traffic, and more traffic leads to more business.
How Does It Work?
Search Engine Optimization can be thought of as an over-arching term that encompasses a lot of smaller techniques, which we will explain though our chiropractor example. Let’s say that you are looking for a new chiropractor. So, you get on Google and type in “chiropractor”, and you browse through the first few results. Those results were generated and ranked based on the following:
– Keywords: One of the best ways to increase your rank in the search results is to make sure that your content includes certain words. These words are the words that consumers type in when using a search engine, so in the case of our example, “chiropractor” would be a keyword. Using “chiropractor” as 2-3% of the text on your webpages is usually considered accurate keyword usage.
– Linking: Linking is essentially advertising your site on other websites. The other website will provide a link to your website in some format, which is another essential component in search engine rankings. This can happen in a lot of different forms. Using the chiropractor example, let’s suppose that the practice listed first in the search results also happened to be mentioned in an article on a popular health blog. The article contained a link to the practice’s website, which improved its ranking in the results.
– Conversion Rate Optimization: This is just a fancy term for converting visitors to your website into customers. A large part of this is having a well-designed site with quality content. Your business offers a great service, and you want your website to reflect this. The more popular the site, the higher it lands in the search results.
– Staying Current: Going back to our example, SEO is great for getting chiropractors more clients, but only if the website continues to be optimized. The rules that search engines use to determine result rankings are not static; as such, for SEO to be effective a website must be updated regularly to stay in line with the changing trends.
Creating A Customized Strategy
As with traditional advertising, every business needs its own unique SEO strategy. No two businesses are exactly the same, so no website can be truly Search Engine Optimized by using a cookie-cutter plan. Our chiropractor, for example, may need to put more emphasis on keywords and less on linking. However, a small restaurant may benefit by focusing more on linking by having food and lifestyle blogs write reviews of their food and service. It is important to consult an SEO expert to create the plan that is right for your business, and it is equally important to make sure they are stay current on SEO trends.