Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others are critical in helping consumers make purchase decisions. In fact, the majority of all web experiences begin with search engines. From the small business perspective, showing up in these results is absolutely critical in growing new business.
The work of making a website show up in the organic (unpaid) section of the search engine results page is called search engine optimization (SEO). Taking a step back, the first SEO consideration must be the anticipated consumer search behavior. In other words, you must understand what a potential customer would search for if they wanted to find your business.
Armed with this understanding, knowing the factors that determine search engine ranking is equally important. These factors can be fairly complex, but there are some primary factors which include:
- Correlation between web address, website content, location, business category and the keywords used in the search
- Consistency in the business name, address, phone number and website URL on the various directory websites (Yelp, YP.com, Angie’s List, etc.)
- Number of references to the business’s web address on other reputable websites
- Number and quality of online reviews and social media presence
- Think like a consumer and imagine what they would search for if they wanted to engage with your business
- Make sure your website content prominently features keywords from the search phrases you think consumers are using to find your business
- Make sure your location is prominently featured on your website
- Claim free listings on the major search engines and directory websites and make sure the information on these pages is consistent and accurate
- Link to your website on social channels and request for ratings and reviews from customers