What Is Search Engine Optimization?

For years we’ve heard the term ‘Search Engine Optimization’ thrown around. If you’re a business owner you’ve probably been cold-called or emailed by someone wanting to help with your SEO.  We are constantly told that, without it, our customers will not be able to find us online. But what is Search Engine Optimization exactly? Do we really need it to succeed?

search engine seo optimization graphicThe short answer is yes. According to Google, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.” So how can you ensure that your site will appear high in the list of search engine results?

 

 

The answer is in the name SEO itself. If you want to be found by search engines, your website needs to be optimized for what the search engines want to see. But what do search engines look for? Although the answer to that question has changed over the years, there are still some solid basics that have withstood the test of time.

NAP for SEO

One important SEO basic is this: always remember to NAP, and we do not mean a quick rest in the afternoon. What does NAP mean? It means to accurately display your business name, address, and phone number on every page. This will help search engines to know your location to list your business when someone searches for your service in your location. This especially is important if you are a local-based business. This brings us to point number 2:

Keywords

Keywords are important because they help search engines know what your business is about. Be sure to not only use common-to-your-profession keywords throughout your content, but use them also in your URLs, headers, title tags, and meta descriptions. Why? Search engines will crawl all of those areas of your site. The more places you describe your business, the better. However,  avoid keyword stuffing (placing keywords so often that your copy sounds unnatural). This practice will get you flagged by search engines.

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Hyperlinks

One practice that can go hand-in-hand with keywords is hyperlinking. How so? Hyperlinks should be used throughout your website to link relevant content from one part of your website to another. For example: If you are writing a blog article about SEO and have another article that may be beneficial, you can use hyperlinks to show Google the flow between the relevant copy. (See what we did there?)

Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Many may feel this is an old and outdated tip, but it is just as important now as it was 5 years ago! An appropriate and accurate title tag will help search engines understand what your page is about. What are some best practices? Use a title tag and meta description that accurately describes your page, but be sure to give every page a unique title. Additionally, keep a close eye on character count. On average, search engines will properly display a title that is under 60 characters long.

These are just a few SEO tips to help your business get started online. Need more help or looking for an online marketing strategy? Contact us today to find out how Seapoint Digital can help you.

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Courtney

Courtney has numerous certifications from HubSpot and years of experience with client management. She specializes in local search engine optimization, Google Analytics, and understanding the nuts and bolts of HubSpot’s automation platform. In her spare time, she is an accomplished violinist.