- Lezlie-Ann Sherwood
SEO-SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
WHAT IS IT, AND WHY DO YOU NEED IT?
Many of us have heard of the term SEO, but do not necessarily know what it means and how it impacts our businesses. Let's start with the definition: Search Engine Optimization otherwise known as S-E-O is a technique used to ensure that your website is one of the first sites that clients come across when searching for your services or industry. That’s a simplified definition of SEO, but encompasses what SEO does.
The introduction of personal computers in homes, then laptops and eventually smartphones and other personal electronic devices has made it necessary for persons buying and selling on the internet, to do more to draw attention to their websites. Using a real estate analogy, your house is your website, while the SEO are the methods you use to get prospective buyers to visit your open house.
However, having a great SEO doesn't just come by chance, it requires you or a professional to do extensive work to ensure that your website is among the top results that pop up online on a browser’s search engine. For your business to really get noticed, it needs to show up in the top five results on the search engine results page (SERP)
HOW DOES SEO WORK?
FOR YOUR SEO TO WORK, YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD MEET KEY CRITERIA FOR THE SEARCH ENGINES.
1) Is it relevant?
Creating and maintaining a website for your business requires you to do ONE main thing: Answer the question customers are asking. It sounds too simple, right? But honestly, that’s what matters the most; ensuring that your website can provide a potential client with the solution they need. Your website should answer their question, allow them to purchase the item, book your service or if necessary provide the information to do the task by contacting you directly.
2) How good is your content?
Have you ever heard “You can do anything, not everything” That quote by David Allen can apply to the content on your site. Sure, as an entrepreneur you may be serving in multiple roles at your company, but on your website, potential clients just need to see the highlights of the specific and best offerings you provide. This can for example mean having a website with exceptional hi-res shots of your jewelry line and a buy now button, or a list of your virtual services and number to book a consultation right away.
3) How easy is it to navigate your website?
We’ve all had the experience of going on a website and seemingly searching every menu option to find something basic like the contact us tab or getting to the shopping cart. Don’t let that be you! Whether you go for a minimalist or more detailed design, the information that potential clients need to complete business with your company should be at their fingertips, literally and figuratively.
4) How quickly does your site load?
Have you ever sat at your computer and watched the page slowly load; kind of like watching paint dry isn’t it? We live in the digital age, and because of the fast pace we tend to live our lives, we expect that same speed from our devices and websites as well. Having a website with slow speed and delays in loading is the equivalent of a client entering your store, with no one in the store to either help find their items or cash them out. Ask yourself, would that be a store you shop at? If the answer is no, you can see the importance of ensuring your site load speed is fast and responsive.
5) Is your website an authority on the subject?
As we mentioned earlier, it is imperative that your website answers the questions that customers ask. Another key criteria for your website to be SEO friendly is ensuring that your content proves you are an authority on the subject. Take this example: There are maybe a million bread brands in the world, but if you are selling bread online, what is important is to ensure that your website tells consumers the merits of buying your bread, the process of making your bread and other useful information about bread that would have a client think that your bread is the best one to purchase.
The Importance of having good SEO is also helpful when seeing where your website is going wrong. Some people may not know this, but a Search Engine is also tasked with weeding out poorly constructed and potentially harmful websites. Your website may be overlooked by the search engines if you do the following.
Hiding text and links
Disruptive Pop up ads and banners
Too many pages of low quality content
Have you ever heard of SEO? Tell us below if your website is meeting any of the key SEO criteria, we’ve mentioned.