If you’re a business owner or someone tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the operation of your company’s website, no doubt you’ve heard of buzzwords like “SEO” and “keywords” from time to time. But perhaps you haven’t yet had the opportunity to dive into what those terms actually mean. What is “SEO?” Why is it important? How can website content be designed to make good use of SEO keywords? This brief, high-level guide will help answer those questions.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. The basic idea is that search engines, like Google, will tend to pull up web pages with content that specifically corresponds to the SEO keywords the user types into the search bar. And if that content has several occurrences of those keywords, then that particular web page will most likely be placed higher on the search results listing. So, for example, if a user types in “wedding photographer,” Google will pull up a list of websites that include that phrase in their content, and then sort them by order of how frequently and relevantly that phrase occurs (among other factors).
However, due to the almost infinite variability in how people are able to express the same concept, a good SEO keyword optimization strategy will also take into account alternative renderings of the same search. So “wedding photographer” from one user could turn into “wedding pictures” from another, or “professional photographer” from yet another. Optimizing your web-based content in this way will improve performance and visibility.
Why Is SEO So Important?
From the information in the previous paragraphs, perhaps you can guess the answer to this question. Think of this: when a typical user searches Google, Yahoo, or Bing, he typically is going to go to one of the 10 websites that appear on the first page of results. Sometimes he may go to page 2, and on rare occasions to page 3. But page 4, page 10, page 29? Obviously, those websites are going to receive far less traffic due to lack of visibility; and a large part of that is failure to take SEO keywords into account.
In the world of the Internet, businesses and organizations who want to promote their websites are actually writing for two audiences: their targeted consumers, and the automated search bots that all major search engines use. Taking SEO into account is a vital part of a competitive online marketing strategy for any company.
How Can SEO Keywords Be Effectively Used?
There are many principles to keep in mind. The following are just some basic ones that will help:
- Use SEO tools like Ahrefs that can help you research which keywords would be the most effective to utilize for your particular site.
- Your primary audience is your targeted readers. Don’t write for the search bots; rather, write for your readers, but in a way that will also optimize your search results.
- If you’ve contracted out the design and construction of your website, check if it has been set up on Google Analytics. This is a free website analysis service offered by Google that can help you keep tabs on how users find and use your content, and how your SEO keyword strategy is performing.
- If you are in a niche business, instead of fighting with other, bigger companies for more generalized keywords, craft your content so that you include specialized keywords that are aimed at a particular subgroup in your target audience.
The proper and judicious use of SEO keywords can have a powerful impact on your website’s performance and visibility. If you would like to learn more details on how you can optimize your website, please contact us at McAllister Marketing today for a professional consultation with no-strings-attached.