Defining SEO - or Search Engine Optimization - is one of the foremost challenges facing every business in the 21st century. Whether a company specializes in tailoring suit jackets, cleaning corporate offices, manufacturing tiny buttons, or staffing corporate event bars, it will have a website. In order to ensure that that website gets viewed by the people who are likely to need those services, it will need to come up in search results. Ideally near the top of the list. But how?
That’s where SEO comes in. Below we’ll briefly explore what, exactly, search engine optimization is and how it works. We will also offer you some tips on how you can get your business involved with the wild world of SEO.
Essentially, search engine optimization is exactly what it sounds like: optimizing your website and articles so that they will more easily be found by a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, Duck Duck Go, etc. Of course, Google has the jump in this market in a big way, but it's good form to mention the others. This involves a blend of both luck and talent, as you’ll need to begin creating content that the algorithms running the big search engines will pick up.
If, for example, your business makes buttons, you’ll have to think about what the people who want or need buttons might type into Google (or the others) to find them. Then, using that educated guess, you’ll have to start structuring the copy of your website to be full of those words. This can be tricky, even though it sounds simple. Unfortunately, it is also necessary if you want to be a relevant player in the web business world at present.
If your business isn't coming up in the top ten search results of Google, your business is operating invisibly on the Internet – that’s the harsh reality. Using search engine optimization is a way to try and ensure that your website is the first result that people see when they search for what they’re looking for online so that you get more traffic and, ultimately, more sales. But how can you begin to get involved with search engine optimization in a way that benefits your organization without burning you out?
The first step to getting involved with search engine optimization as a business is to create an SEO department that is responsible for managing the content you are going to be specifically crafting to get the search results you are looking for. These people (or person - there's no shame in starting your department as a department of one) will need to be thorough, creative, and not mind the mundanity of routine tasks.
Most of all, they are going to need to be patient. It can take upwards of six months for your efforts in creating search engine optimized content to pay off. You might want to consider buying this person their own streaming laptop for times when the SEO project is more quiet than chaotic or for when they take breaks from all the work they’re doing for you!
Search engine optimization can really only take you so far. Once you're up in the top ten results of Google (or whoever, but Google matters most), it is your job as a business to earn your place there. The algorithm that decides who gets to be on top also takes into account how functional and engaging your site is, which means that if people click on your site and immediately click away, you're not doing yourself any favors.
Make sure your website looks fresh and interesting and that all your information is up to date. Don't push people away immediately with annoying pop-ups, flashy ads, and offers to subscribe or receive notifications. That's the kind of thing that doesn't pay off long term in the search engine optimization game. Besides this, most people remove pop-ups anyway, so it's a waste of your money and time to be embedding them on your site.
Once your search engine optimization game is strong and your product can back it up, it is just a matter of being patient and careful and waiting for the results to appear. Again, it could take months or even years, so be sure to have other things on the go as well!