Online with Dock Line: Boost your Company’s Online Influence with SEO
Is your website MIA?
So, you put money down to get a new website with all the bells and whistles. After months of strategizing and getting everything right, you’ve finally launched your shiny new website for the world to see! But are they really seeing it?
Studies show that 91% of people don’t go past the first page of Google search results.
When you type out your services into a search engine, how many pages do you scroll through to find your company? Your website could be absolutely amazing—but you have to get them there first. If you want to see all of that new website produce some real fruit, you’ll need to optimize it so that you can be found. Sure, there are lots of marketing strategies you can use to get your brand recognized, but you’ll first need to build a strong digital presence before those can work well.
Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than it sounds. Through search engine optimization, your business can get to the top of Google search results, increase your website traffic and turn browsers into buyers. Here’s everything you need to know about SEO, how it works, and how to build an SEO strategy.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and refers to improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. The goal of this strategy is to help your business become more visible and competitive in organic search engine results. That way when someone searches for your product, service or industry—your name shows up at the top of that list on Google. This can be accomplished by optimizing various aspects of your website, including its written content and HTML coding structure, so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages.
Why is SEO important for your business?
Your potential customers are googling all their problems these days. It’s a habitual impulse that has taken over society, “Just Google it.” So, if that’s where people are turning with their problems, you want to be on the top of the list as their solution.
You want to be the first thing they see on their buyer journey. Of course, they’ll read through your products, read some reviews and look you up on social media—and then make a decision. But in order for them to even know about you, you’ve got to make an appearance on search engines.
This term is called “digital presence,” and refers to how much your brand saturates the internet through online marketing. While word of mouth, billboards and print media are great for acquiring local clients, having an established digital presence will add a sense of trust and excellence. Not only that, people who are outside of your local circle will be able to see you, giving you the opportunity to expand your reach.
How does SEO work?
It’s all about keywords! The next time you’re looking for a coffee shop near your area, what are you going to do? Pull up a search engine and start typing, “Coffee shop near me.” Keywords are phrases or words that people often use when searching for products or services related to your business.
So how do you get your company to show up when someone types in your industry’s keywords? You’ll need to make sure your website’s headings, copy and descriptions include these keywords. But they’re not just any keywords—you’ll need to choose the ones that people use most frequently. This will increase your ranking in search engines.
A website’s ranking refers to which page of the search results the website will show up on. The higher up a website ranks in the results for a search, the more traffic that website will get.
How does Google know how to rank a page? The goal of a search engine is to give people the most relevant answers to their search. In order to deliver the right information to users, the search engines use these two factors to determine ranking:
Relevancy: How relevant is your website’s content to the person’s search query? Relevance is determined by your content’s topics and keywords.
Authority: Authority refers to a website’s popularity on the internet. The search engine decides that the more popular the page is, the more valuable it is to readers.
Over time, each website’s ranking will go up based on the number of people clicking through your site. However, this process can be sped up by creating more content on your website that is relevant and authoritative.
How to build SEO strategy
Now that you have an idea what SEO means and how it works, you’ll need a strategy to start optimizing your website.
Conduct Keyword Research
Identify the most relevant and valuable keywords for your business and trade. This will help you determine the phrases and terms that potential customers use to search for products or services in a specific industry.
Who are your top competitors? Identify their strengths and weaknesses as they appear in search engine rankings. It will help to see what they are doing well and what opportunities are available for improvement.
Optimize On-Page Elements
If you already have a great website, you can start going through and updating the page titles, headings, descriptions and other elements with keywords that are more popular and relevant to your industry.
Optimize Off-Page Elements
Once you’ve optimized your website, look at the web pages that are linked to your page and make sure they’re optimized. This includes putting backlinks into your blog articles. Backlinks are links that go to other well-known websites. For example, if you sell phone cases, a very helpful backlink to use would be Apple.com or other popular phone companies.
Other examples of off-page elements include social media, online directories like Yelp, reviews and ratings, guest blogs, and influencer marketing. These are all external marketing channels that will link people back to your website.
Develop a Content Strategy
Make a plan for creating high-quality content for your blog, social media and other channels that aligns with your business’s target audience and keywords.
Track and Measure Performance
Once you’ve got all your cannons firing, you’ll need to track your effectiveness. This will help you identify what areas need improvement. Track your key performance indicators like search engine rankings, organic traffic, bounce rates and conversion rates. There are many ways to measure performance through software like Google Analytics.
At The Dock Line, we are SEO strategists who know what the best practices are, and how to optimize websites and content. Our unique approach to online marketing helps small businesses develop an established presence online, get noticed more in their local communities, and become an authority in their industry. Give us a call and we’ll chat about the best way to help grow your business!