If you want to gain exposure for your business in the modern world, you have to be prominent online. And if you want to be prominent online, you have to pursue SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Wondering what SEO entails? Then keep on reading. Here are six SEO basics every business needs to know.
- Keywords Are a Necessity
First and foremost, you should know that keyword usage is a necessity. You can’t pursue SEO if you aren’t using keywords on your website.
What are keywords, you ask? They’re phrases that relate to your business or industry. So, for instance, if you’re a plumber in Seattle, your keywords would be things like “Seattle Plumber” and “plumber in Seattle”.
You can look at keywords as tickets to admission. They’re what enter your website into the SEO contest. If you don’t use appropriate keywords, your website has no legitimate chance of ranking.
- Backlinks Are King
If you really want to rank your website above the others, you need to make use of backlinks. Backlinks are links from other sites to your site. They’re embedded in content and generally have something to do with said content.
The more relevant your backlinks and the higher the authority of those who send them your way, the more authority you’ll gain with search engines, and the higher your website will rank.
You should always be looking out for backlink opportunities. Whether you need to write guest posts, build relationships with local business owners, or otherwise, you need to obtain backlinks on a regular basis.
- Social Media Activity Matters
Social media marketing and SEO marketing are different things. Note, however, that they have a connection. Put simply, search engines take your social media activity seriously.
The more you post to social media, the more credibility you’ll obtain, and the higher your website will rank. Fail to post at all and you’re bound to fall behind those that do.
Your business needs to be a regular on all of the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Post frequently, interact with commenters, and link back to your website. Over time, you’re bound to receive a boost in rankings.
- Local Citations Will Rank You Locally
There are two principal types of SEO: global SEO and local SEO. Global SEO describes the attempt to rank for broad keywords like, say, “seafood shipment”. Local SEO describes the attempt to rank for location-specific keywords like, say, “Little Rock electrician”.
If you’re trying to rank locally, you need to focus on local citations. A local citation is essentially a string of your business’ information. It should include the name of your business, the address of your business, and the phone number of your business.
The goal is to list this information on as many listing sites as possible. The more sites you list it on, the more credibility you’ll gain with search engines.
Some of the most popular sites on which to list local citations? Yellowpages, Facebook, Yelp, and Google My Business. Note, though, that you should list on industry and geography-specific sites as well.
- The Functionality of Your Website Is Important
Another thing you’re going to want to focus on is the functionality of your website. The more user-friendly your website is, the higher it will rank on search engines. As such, when creating your website, you need to be sure to make it as user-intuitive as possible.
First and foremost, focus on speed. Your web pages should be loading in two seconds or less. If they’re not, there are a number of things you can do: minimize the size of your images, minify your website’s code or cache your data.
After that, focus on navigation. Make sure there’s a menu at the top of your website, one that can be seen the instant the website opens. Also, post buttons throughout each page, making sure that the user can access important pages without having to constantly scroll up.
Finally, make sure that the website is scannable. You want the visitor to be able to receive information without having to read too much. Make use of headers, calls to action, and other large text blocks as a means of simplifying and streamlining information.
You should also think about creating dedicated landing pages so that you can target specific keywords. This is beneficial for both SEO and PPC marketing. Learn more about the latter by reading this guide on PPC for beginners.
- Schema Markup Could Put You Over the Top
These days, there’s a new element involved in SEO. It’s called Schema markup and it describes the data that underlies a website. By optimizing your website’s Schema markup, you could give your website more credibility with search engines, putting it over the top of its competitors.
Not to mention, Schema markup could allow your website to show up more prominently for different types of searches. For instance, if you’re running an entertainment website, you could specify so in your Schema markup, allowing your website to show up for more entertainment-based searches.
Schema markup goes ignored by many webmasters, as it can be a little tricky to implement. However, if you really want to rank at the top for your designated keywords, you need to make it part of your SEO campaign.
You can implement Schema markup either through coding it or with the use of a content management widget. Note, though, that you’ll likely have to pay for the latter.
Put These SEO Basics Into Action
If your goal is to get your business noticed through search engines, you have to put these SEO basics into action. Establish a detailed SEO plan and launch your campaign. Widespread exposure awaits.
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