Everyone wants more website traffic, but few people know how to crack the code of getting more traffic from Google, Bing, and Yahoo. I started my SEO journey back in 2001. Yahoo was the largest search engine and there were several smaller search engines to search from. Google was two years old and not relevant (yet). Website owners fit as many keywords into the content of a page. This was the best strategy, now known as “keyword stuffing.” Today, that strategy will get your site penalized by Google, by far the largest player in the search engine space.
SEO won’t guarantee your site on the first page of Google. It also won’t improve your site’s ranking overnight. It may take six to twelve months before you see any noticeable changes. However, starting this journey is an essential part of a solid marketing strategy to grow your business.
For many business owners, search engine optimization is a mystery. Then come the questions. What is search engine optimization? Why do I need to optimize my website? How do I optimize my website?
I may not be able to answer all your questions in this post, but I can answer the main questions you may have.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization is the science of making your website more attractive to Google and other search engines. If you have a WordPress site, your site is ready for search engines. There is still work to do to make your site stand out in the digital world.
Why Do I Need to Optimize My Website?
When I started my first website 16 years ago, I thought the world was waiting for me to enlighten them. I built my website…and, crickets. No one showed up to my site no matter how brilliant I thought it was. Since that day of enlightenment for me, I have invested hours of time and thousands of dollars to build a business. I want my business to be as successful as possible. If you’re like me, you want a return on the time and money you invested in your site. When customers find your site in search, you make more money.
How Do I Optimize My Website?
Search engine optimization is an ongoing process. It starts with the framework that you choose for your site. I recommend StudioPress child themes on the Genesis framework if you are building your site on WordPress.
This Entrepreneur magazine article highlights a broad four-step strategy for optimizing your website:
Step 1: Target Market Business Analysis
First, you must know where you are now with your search engine optimization. Second, check out competitor sites and see what they are doing to rank higher in search. Third, pick your keywords you will use to attract the customers and potential customers you want.
Step 2: Keyword Research and Development
Picking your keywords is the first part. Then, you must research how these keywords will perform to find the customers you want. You also want to review your keywords every 30 to 45 days and check their performance. The last part of Step Two is to develop goals and objectives for your SEO campaign.
Step 3: Content Optimization and Submission
The first step to content optimization is to write your titles with keywords. I call this writing with the aim of getting search engines and people interested in your pages and posts. Meta tags are next. Google no longer recognizes the keyword tag but recognizes the meta description. The next step is to add search phrases to your page and post content. Professional marketers call these long-tail keywords. You also want to submit your XML sitemaps to both Google and Bing webmaster tools. This is a comparatively easy step. Last, you want to submit your site to directories such as Yahoo and DMOZ. Adding some local directories can also help boost your search ranking.
Step 4: Continuous Testing and Measuring
After you complete optimization, here comes the work part. In addition to checking your keywords every 30-45 days, you want to check your site’s ranking performance. Then you want to adjust and change keywords in your posts to follow new trends. People change, keywords change, businesses change. Make sure that you are also producing content regularly. This also helps your site stay current and relevant.
Having Trouble with Your SEO?
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