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Published October 25th, 2016 by

SEO Simplified

Are you a small business owner or a provider of professional services? Then you’re already aware of the importance of having an online presence. You may already have a website and a blog to show off your wares. But are these online platforms working to your advantage? Are they helping you improve your sales?

If the answer is no and you feel that you’re not getting anything out of your website, don’t throw in the towel just yet. You may have missed some techniques that could help drive traffic to your site and increase your sales conversion, such as SEO.

To the uninitiated, SEO could be some mumbo-jumbo that only search engine experts could understand. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you are at a complete loss when it comes to SEO, you still have the ability to implement it in your own website and reap its benefits—simply by partnering with the right company that will guide you every step of the way.

We at Boostability are experts in SEO and we have released a new ebook that makes this concept simple to understand and implement. This article will cover some basic explanations about SEO—but you can learn even more by downloading our ebook.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website visible in the search engine results page (SERP). Once a Google, Yahoo, or Bing user searches and types something in the search box, the end result is what you call a SERP.

The end goal of an SEO campaign is to make your website appear either on top, or on the first page of a SERP. Doing so makes your website more visible, and increases the likelihood that the link to your website will be the one clicked by users.

How Do Search Engines Work?

Every page that comes out of a SERP has been visited by an engine bot, called “spider.” The internet is composed of these web crawlers which browse websites, store information about them, and add their URL to an index.

The information contained within the index will be recalled later whenever there is a search query from its end users. This index is what the search engines use when coming up with results from its users’ search.

Why You Need SEO

A growing number of retail sales takes place online instead of in-store. Your business needs to take advantage of this growing trend in order to get your share of the online marketplace. To do this, it is not enough that you have an online presence; you also need to increase your online visibility. This is where SEO comes in.

First of all, SEO helps you increase your rankings. This is important because majority of online users believe that brands that come on top or near the top of the SERPs are the best and most reliable brands. The second important reason your business needs SEO is that it will automatically increase your website traffic once you are on top of the SERPs.

Lastly, it will increase your website conversions once visitors start trickling in. You need to make your website user-friendly, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. You can implement SEO in your content marketing strategies so that these site visits become instant conversions.

Ranking Factors

How do you make your website relevant so that it will have a higher ranking in the search engines? Understanding website relevancy can be a bit of a muddle, and while Google keeps most of their algorithm secret, some factors are known.

Google changes its algorithm frequently in order to improve and enrich the user experience, and to provide better search results. In order to be ranked higher and to be found easier by your target audience, you need to create content that is trustworthy, relevant, and useful to the user.

Top Ranking Factors

Aside from website relevancy, here are the other factors that will affect a website’s ranking within the search engines:

Referring Domains

When it comes to SEO strategies, the number of referring domains is more important than the number of backlinks. Let’s say you have 100 backlinks but you only five referring domains. This means the majority of your incoming links come from these five referring domains.

To rank higher, don’t be all caught up in the numbers. Instead, focus on having different websites (or different referring domains) that link to your page or website, and everything else will naturally follow.

Domain Link Authority

Authoritative domains rank higher in the search engines. The domain where your page exists is far more important than the page itself. One tip to achieve domain link authority is to increase the number of links to your website.

Comprehensive In-Depth Content

Providing a wealth of information about your niche improves your SEO rankings, thanks to the Hummingbird algorithm update which made it possible for Google to understand the topic instead of solely relying on keywords to come up with the SERPs. As a result, content-rich sites that provide comprehensive, in-depth information about their niche achieve higher ranking.

Long Form Content

Writing long-form content increases your website’s SEO. Internet marketing expert Neil Patel performed an A/B test on his homepage to find out if long-form content converted better than having a short one. The short version for his homepage contained only 488 words, while the long-form version had 1292 words. The longer version of his homepage converted better, proving that long form provides plenty of opportunities to improve the SEO of a page.

Presence of an Image

Studies show that image-rich content gets a lot of page views and shares. You probably already know that having an image to accompany your content will make it more visually appealing, but did you know that you can also optimize it for SEO?

Use SEO keywords when naming the image file before uploading it to your website, and include these in the Alt-text section as well.

Fast Loading Time

Back in 2010, Google began taking into account a website’s speed as a signal in its search ranking algorithm. As a result, websites that have a fast loading time ranks higher in Google than those with slow loading time.

More Total Backlinks

Backlinking remains an important SEO strategy, and websites that have a lot of backlinks rank higher than those that do not implement it.

Low Bounce Rates

Bounce rate is also considered whenever a search engine ranks your website. A bounce rate is the percentage of your visitors that leave your website right away after having viewed only one page. You can improve this by adding internal links to your website copy, or including links to your most popular content in the sidebar.

SEO Challenges

Although businesses already take into account the factors that were mentioned above, some are still not seeing results in their SEO campaigns due to the following reasons:

They are not sure what to rank for.

Some businesses make the amateur mistake of randomly and haphazardly choosing keywords, while others make the mistake of using keywords that everybody else is already using. You need to decide what kind of products or services you want to rank for, find high-volume keywords that are not competitive, and to build your content around them.

They don’t have an online presence.

All you really need to start is a website that has an attractive homepage, a couple of product/service pages, and a blog that you can regularly update.

They don’t use link-building.

Link-building is an important part of SEO because it improves your organic ranking. If you have a fairly new website, this strategy needs to be implemented because it helps the “spiders” or the engine bots that were mentioned earlier to discover and index your site.

They don’t improve their local online presence.

Most local companies think that having a website and social media pages are enough to market their products or services. Unfortunately, they are missing one important ingredient. Local SEO is just as important as traditional organic SEO, especially if your business is location-based. Consider building your local listings page and beef up your presence in online business directories such as Yelp.

Boostability Experts Can Help Boost Your SEO Results

Meet Boostability: our mission is to help our partners and small businesses succeed online. Our company was created with the goal of making SEO services affordable to everyone, and to level the playing field so that small businesses can compete with the big leagues when it comes to online marketing. We strive to meet the SEO needs of small businesses by forming a group of specialists, with each one focusing on only one aspect of SEO so your business is fully optimized at a fraction of the cost.

You don’t have to go at it and tackle your SEO alone. Boostability is here to help! Download our SEO Simplified ebook from Boost U (visit our SEO Training section for all ebooks related to SEO), or reach out to Boostability for a free SEO consultation.

Caz Bevan

VP of Product Operations & Marketing at Creatives Scale
Caz is the VP of Product Operations & Marketing at Creatives Scale for freelance marketers and Co-Founder of Anhelaré startup advisory. Caz has extensive experience blending business goals and marketing tactics into comprehensive company strategies. Her creative innovation and expertise has helped shape customer experiences and drive continual engagement for a variety of companies and products including Sony Music Entertainment and SpeedTV. Connect with Caz: @CazBevan | Linkedin

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