Search engine optimization is a complex process designed for businesses, organizations and individuals to achieve visibility in major search engines for certain keywords or keyphrases. For small businesses a good SEO strategy can make the difference between consistent and relevant website traffic and little to no daily visitors. This is a critical concern considering that even very small and specialized niches can become wildly successful if marketed correctly. And when it comes to your small business website, SEO is the foundation of all marketing efforts. Understanding what SEO is and what its individual components are can aid in achieving a balance between efforts you can manage yourself, and those that require a professional SEO firm.
Let’s imagine you own a flower shop in Pittsburgh. When a consumer types keywords in related to your business, such as “flower shop in Pittsburgh” or “roses near downtown Pittsburgh,” how does your business become the number one listing returned in search results? You hire the services of a Pittsburgh SEO company, which would use the following tools and resources to help get your website ranked in the top positions for the keywords customers are using to search for you. This includes:
This refers to everything that is on your website. By optimizing the site to provide a pleasant and useful user experience and by embedding certain information designed to tell visitors and search bots what your site is all about, you’ll be handling the 50% of SEO that is On-Page. This includes meta tags, HTML tags, page layout, load time, ease of navigation, use of robots, use of a sitemap, routing of URLs and a great deal more. In fact, even the graphics and they way they are presented can have an effect on your On-Page SEO. Because there really is so much to this part of search engine optimization, hiring a professional is strongly recommended.
Another important part of on-page optimization is content. The writing on your web pages must be informative, entertaining or useful in some way. Relevant keywords must be used naturally throughout. This is best done by a professional writer who is trained in optimization techniques.
Off-Page SEO refers to all techniques designed to improve search visibility that doesn’t occur directly on your website. This includes link building, link exchanges, article marketing and article syndication, press release writing and press release submissions, directory listings, blog commenting, social bookmarking and other types of internet marketing strategies. Although the actual work happens away from your website, the ultimate goal is to get traffic to your website where On-Page techniques will keep the visitors there and compel them to convert in whatever way you’re seeking.
SEO should not be confused with SEM or Search Engine Marketing. SEM refers to paid efforts to get traffic to a website – primarily using banners and programs like Google Adwords. Often search engine optimization and SEM are used jointly, and many professionals recommend applying SMM and SMO to a proper website visibility campaign. To learn more please use one of the links below now: