SEO – Are Your Websites & Landing Pages Optimized?
According to Oberlo, there are 30.7 million small businesses in the USA. Small companies create 1.5 million jobs annually and account for 64 percent of new jobs created in the United States. Research also shows that around half of small business owners either are unsatisfied with their website or haven’t got around to developing an online presence yet. So what does that mean for you? The fact that you’re reading this puts you firmly on the path to being a step ahead of half the small business owners out there today.
So what goes into making a successful website for your business?
Great photography and professional graphics certainly make an immediate impression on potential customers, and be sure you’ve showcased your products in the best light are one of the keys to converting casual site visitors to paying customers.
The design of your site is, of course, important. Having a site that looks current, is functional, and works on a variety of devices is a big part of making sure the money you’re investing in the website is cash well spent.
Especially today, the information you’ve got online for people to read about your company, services, and products is exceptionally important to the success of your site. Web search engines use, what’s called a web crawler or robot, which is a computer program that browses the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner to index the content available. These robots are what provide search results in the various search engines like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo!, and Bing.
Keeping your customer’s personal and financial data safe is a huge task, and it is vital to keeping a successful website popular and, well, successful.
People browsing the internet have short attention spans, and videos allow visitors to consume more content, faster. Visitors are much more apt to engage with videos than with static text, so creating more interactive and visual content is essential.
While these areas are of supreme importance to operating a successful small business website, there’s one thing more important than any of these: optimization.
This is the process that makes your well-designed, secure, compatible site with awesome content and stunning graphics really shine. Without appropriate search engine optimization, all the leading-edge designs and gorgeous product images in the world are utterly worthless because the audience you’re chasing simply won’t see them.
Today we’re going to explain what search engine optimization really is, discuss the role search engine optimization plays in your successful website, and, look at how you can ensure you’re doing your utmost to keep abreast of SEO strategies. To keep things simple, we’re going to separate your website into two areas: what your visitors see and what they don’t see.
What your Visitors See
The photos and professional graphics, crisp layout, and ever-important text of your pages that are on display to the public plays a key role in keeping customers interested in and informed about your products and services. But more than this, the words and images are doing double-duty, telling those robots what your site has to offer individuals who are plugging in terms of Google, YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo!, Bing, and other search engines.
A “perfectly optimized” web page is made up of several components, which are bound to change as the technology we use online continues to evolve. For now, we’re going to look at six key things people see and how they work toward creating an optimized site.
1. User experience
A clean layout with no barriers to confuse readers will also keep those little robots happy when they’re scanning through your wares.
2. Targeted text
If you are selling gardening supplies to Ma and Pa Kettle, they might be interested in the Latin names of plants, but odds are solid they’re not going to be interested in all the legal terms you learned in that copyright class you took in college. We can’t stress this enough – speak to your audience naturally, especially when it comes to the use of keywords and phrases.
3. Valuable content
Everyone likes to feel like they’re getting a little extra inside information, a clever tip no one else knows about, or a special discount once in a while. Highlight your added-value content appropriately. The depth of structure this adds to pages will engage with your customers, and provide the enriched content those web-crawling bots enjoy most.
4. Easily sharable
Those shiny share buttons that allow clients to Like, Tweet, Pin, and Follow your content through social media platforms give your customers a chance to interact with you, promote your services and share their favorite products with friends. The interactivity also provides a great behind-the-scenes bump to optimization.
Again, not something that is strictly in the front end of your website, but it’s worth remembering that if folks can’t look at your page on whatever device they have at hand, odds are they will go somewhere else where they can.
Now, let’s pull back the curtain to see what really makes all of these front-end items work to give your business the benefits of optimization. Unless you’re incredibly tech-savvy, odds are you’ll never need to have an intimate knowledge of what’s going on at the back end of your website. If you’re used to adding content to your site via a content management system, that’s a huge step toward understanding what’s going on – but if you’re not re-skinning your CSS on a regular basis, have no fear.
The main components in the background are:
Heaps of alphabet soup hangs out behind the page you see when you plug in your URL. It decides what you see, how you see it, keeps track of where you’re going, and where you’ve been, and makes sure your device displays things as intended.
If you’ve got a customer database, a parts catalog, or a whole host of information for clients or internal use, it lives behind the curtain of your main site.
This isn’t the same as actual data, but it’s just as important – and in some ways more so. Metadata provides keywords to search engines, enriches the user experience for some site visitors, and provides a rich trail of information to you about clients.
Keeping up with the various search engines’ algorithms is a daunting task, but one that is crucial. You must incorporate deep links that meet their standards, content that enriches their users’ experience, and coding that makes it easy for robots to find your content. You must also have photos and professional graphics that interest and intrigue your visitors, a layout that is compatible with all browsers and devices, and content that engages the viewers and motivates them toward a particular action. And then, the most important part is measuring, tracking, and analyzing the results your website is producing. And not just the number of visits. Today, you need to know who your website visitors are, where they came from, what they did while they were on your site, how long they spent doing those various things, where they went when they were done – and the single most important piece: how to continually contact them with the information they are interested in. All of these things working together are what produces the most successful websites, and the ones you see at the top of your search results.
If you or another business you know could benefit from the marketing and advertising services of Two Second Media, please reach out. Visit our website twosecondmedia.com, follow us on our socials @2secondmedia, or call our local office number at 602-699-6271. Remember, Two Second Media is always here for you – conversations are always free!