Search engine optimization, when implemented properly, can help your startup business rank higher in search engine results and deliver a steady stream of traffic and sales, day after day, week after week, month after month.
This makes SEO ultra-valuable for e-commerce merchants in a world where paid ads keep getting more expensive.
SEO in its most basic form can be sub-divided into on-page and off-page. On-page SEO involves optimization you do to each of your webpages to help search engines understand what your site is about so they can show it to the right people, at the right time.
Unfortunately, there’s likely hundreds, thousands or maybe even tens of thousands of sites very similar to yours. So how do search engines choose who to show on the first page?
That’s where off-page SEO comes in.
Off-page SEO and the many elements that make it up, further help tell the search engines who’s more relevant and important. A core part of this comes from backlinks.
Backlinks are simply links from other sites that point to your site.
The act of getting links from other websites is called link-building and is a core SEO strategy that most online businesses should be devoting time to each and every week. We shall now look at some strategies on how to use SEO to optimize you business.
Compelling Content That Sells
Choosing a few targeted keywords is a much more effective website optimization tactic than selecting a host of keywords that are barely relevant to your business.
Search engine optimization requires that you not only choose the right keywords and phrases but also embed them in clear and engaging manner for visitors to find useful.
Make sure that your website optimization efforts do not result only in pages filled with keywords, but rather that you use those keywords in real, valuable information.
Your website optimization content needs to attract users and search engines by providing compelling, natural dialogue that is informative and interesting while also rich in the right keywords for your business.
Search Engine-Friendly Design
Even if you have optimized your content, your website's design could prevent search engines from reading and indexing the information. Search engine optimization starts at the root of your site's design and includes far more than just placing keywords in HTML title tags, meta tags and header tags.
Designing for website optimization involves the tactical use of images plus limited reliance on Flash and other design elements that cannot be deciphered by search engines.
For instance, use your keywords as text links to get from one page to another rather than using a button or other image. The design should support your search engine optimization efforts by making each page of your content accessible to search engines.
Including internal text links as an important part of your website optimization plan will assure that search engines and visitors understand what your site and business offer.
Your website's relevance is also determined by the quality and quantity of other websites that link to it, which makes link building another important element of your search engine optimization strategy.
Although it can be time-consuming, getting relevant links -- especially quality links from a major news site or blog -- enhances website optimization by showing that others trust your site.
Be patient - it can take a while to build the amount of quality links needed to impact search engine optimization.
In addition to the search engines seeing your site as valuable through these links, you will also get additional traffic from people clicking from those sites to yours – an additional benefit from implementing a good search engine optimization strategy.
Revise, Update and Refresh
Once you have a search engine optimization strategy in place, you may be tempted to feel like your work is done. Website optimization actually requires an ongoing effort.
Tracking the success of your search engine optimization plan – and making adjustments accordingly -- is crucial to long-term success.
Your ability to continue success with website optimization is largely dependent on updating your website and revising your content so it responds to existing customer behavior and current trends.
Websites that are frequently updated and revised receive more notice from search engines than sites that remain unchanged.
By tracking visitor behavior and using that information to make content and design revisions, you'll keep your search engine optimization plan running smoothly and help your site visitors get what they need.
Website optimization takes a while to show results. If you want immediate increases to website traffic, consider other online marketing techniques in addition to website optimization. Pay per click advertising provides immediate search engine visibility.
Once your website begins to appear in natural results, PPC can then give your search engine optimization strategy a boost by significantly increasing the exposure a user has to your brand or product when searching on a particular keyword.
When a search engine results page (SERP) contains both high natural rankings for your pages and paid ads for your business, it can promote perceived credibility and enhanced brand or product recognition, as well as give prospective customers two opportunities to click to your site.
There are many components of a successful search engine optimization strategy.
Select the right keywords, write good content, use search-friendly web design, update your site regularly and consider additional online marketing techniques.
By implementing these website optimization tactics, you will be able to get positions in the search engines and grow your search engine referral traffic.
Look at the "big picture" of website optimization: which search engines draw the most traffic, which keywords convert to sales, which external referrals are working and which pages on your Web site entice sales.
By using this information to strengthen your ongoing search engine optimization efforts you can create a considerable advantage for your online business.
Divine Tumenta is an entrepreneur and professional digital marketing expert who has worked in digital marketing for more than 8 years. He is currently founder and CEO of backlinkfy.com and a go to consultant for startups and small businesses in the USA.