Do you want to put your company in front of potential customers earlier in the buying process?
If your answer is yes, then you need your website to rank for the topics potential buyers are likely to search for. This task requires search engine optimization. While search engine optimization, or SEO, is an undeniably complex subject, understanding the basics can help you create additional exposure for your company, which can lead to additional revenue.
For most people, the term SEO conjures the nerdy, behind-the-scene details of websites like meta tags, schema markup, page speed, and other technical wizardry that confuses most people. But technical SEO is important because it sets the foundation for your entire SEO campaign. Get it right and search engines will be able to understand what your website is about and potentially reward you with organic traffic, basically defined as visitors who find your website by using a search engine. But if you get it wrong, you may not rank and will be unlikely to earn any organic traffic.
Completely explaining technical SEO goes far beyond the scope of a single article, but some of the most important factors today include the following:
● Title tags
● Heading tags
● Meta description tags
● Keywords in copy
● Image alt attributes
● Internal links
● Page speed
Unfortunately, most people stop here, thinking they’re done. They aren’t. SEO today requires ongoing effort, not only to keep up with ever changing technical factors, but also to produce useful, original content, and to earn authoritative links that meet Google’s criteria.
The text content on your website is how Google determines what your pages should rank for. It’s important to point out that text in images and videos is invisible from a search perspective. Only the live text counts here.
In order to rank well, this content needs to be well-written, original, and useful to visitors. And generally, the longer it is, the better it ranks. As a rule of thumb, a word count of 750 words is our absolute minimum, but we generally aim for at least 1,500 words, and often, our content will exceed 4,000 words. The key is to create a comprehensive piece of content without much fluff or filler.
There will always be information you can update or add to your core pages, and you can publish relevant and timely information in your blog posts. In other words, if you want to stay at the top of search engines, you’ll need to continue improving and adding to your content.
When a page on another website links to a page on your website, Google treats it as a vote. There’s a mathematical formula that determines the value of each vote, but the easiest way to look at it is the more links pointing to your website, the better your pages will generally rank.
There is one monumentally important caveat here though. These links must meet two criteria.
1. They should be relevant. For example, a link from an architecture firm would be relevant to a home builder, but not to a car dealership.
2. They should be editorial given. Exchanging anything—money, products, or services—to get someone to link to your website is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in a penalty that knocks your entire website out of the search results. In other words, people won't be able to find you even if they search using your company name.
Ideally, you should seek to earn links from authoritative websites. These might include media or trade publications, large independent blogs, and websites for large, trusted companies and organizations.