What is Search Engine Optimization and Why Do You Need It?

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of promoting a website to gain interest and increase the number of visitors you receive from search engines, like Google. Good SEO on your website can range from choosing the content you create, carefully selecting the keywords you’ll want to win, to observing and utilizing the way other sites link to your website. Some of the most basic SEO you can do is just making sure your website is structured in a way that search engines can read and understand easily.  This is where WordPress is incredibly beneficial, because it structures your site in a way that makes it very easy to read.

SEO isn’t just about backend coding and search engine readability though; it also helps the front-end of your site be more user friendly. You want the people who view your site to be able to navigate through it better and find the important information easily, right? Then you need someone who understands SEO.

Are you unsure if you have good SEO techniques on your current website? Check out this SEO Site Checkup tool to get a quick easy assessment of your current SEO standing.

 

Search Engines

Search-Engine-Graph

98% of the internet is driven by 3 major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Social Media, Paid Ads (Google AdWords, for example) and others types of traffic can garner visits to your website, but in the end search engines are the primary navigation for most internet users. If your website can’t be found by search engines, then you are pretty much out of luck. This is where good SEO comes in handy and why it is incredibly important to optimize your site for search engines, so you can get new visitors to your site and, hopefully, more business.

 

SEO Techniques

The world of SEO is vast and ever changing, much like anything having to do with the world of technology.  There are some basic things to look out for when setting up your website to give it a fighting chance in the sea of results in the search engines.

On-page Optimization

On-page optimization is basically the way the content is laid out on the page of your site. Do you have proper H1 and H2 header tags? Does your content flow and is it easily readable by your viewers? Do the images on your page have alt tags (the content that makes images make sense to screen readers and search engines)? Some of these basic steps can help both the SEO of your site and the functionality of the site.  It’s most important that your page make sense to your visitors.  Create good content first, and keep search engines in mind.

WordPress websites make completing these tasks very easy. You can easily setup content in a way that is fluid and with the proper tags. Updating content is a breeze, which is important to SEO as well.

Blogging

In more recent years, Google and other search engines have put more of an emphasis on higher quality websites with good, engaging content. The easiest way to keep your content up to date is with blogging. Blogs should constantly be updated with interesting topics that people search for and look forward to reading. Having a good blog can greatly increase your SEO and encourage viewers to go to your site, read your content, and interact with your webpages. Search engines look for active websites. Static pages and sites that aren’t regularly updated rank very poorly for SEO.

Blogging can also help boost your social media networks. Blogs give you great content to post to your Facebook or Twitter accounts and helps drive traffic to your website.

Keyword Research

One of the first things you need to know when optimizing your site for search engines is which keywords you’ll focus on.  We can do keyword research that will show you what your competitors are winning, and which keywords people are searching for.  Once you have a list of good, quality keywords, we can work together to optimize your site to win those keywords.  Branded keywords (like “Parachute Technology”) are usually automatically won, since no other company is (usually) trying to win those keywords.  You want to focus on the difficult keywords…the ones your competitors are currently winning.  How do you want to be found on Google?  If you’re a book store, are you hoping to get all the traffic when someone types “cheap books in Olympia?”  You’ll easily win “Barter Barrel Books,” but the generic, non-branded keywords are the more difficult – and more important – keywords to win.  We can help sift through the mess and confusion and come up with a good list that’s right for your business.

Backlinks

Links to and from your website are also important. Backlinks are links coming into your website, meaning when another website links to yours, and are very important. For example, if you write a blog on your webpage that is of interest to someone else, they may write their own blog on the subject and then link back to yours as a reference or source. This creates a backlink to your website. The more backlinks you have the more “internet exposure” you have and the higher you will rank in the search engines.

 

WordPress Websites

As mentioned previously, WordPress websites allow for great Search Engine Optimization. If you already have a WordPress website, then there are some great tools you can use to enhance your website’s search engine standing. There are Plugins and tools that allow you to update your Meta data and keep a great XML sitemap (both of which are important for search engines to find and read your website easily). WordPress websites are also great for blogging. Updating content is a breeze and you can make changes to your site easily when needed.

If you don’t have a WordPress website and are looking to update your website and make it more SEO friendly, consider contacting Parachute Technology. We specializing in creating modern, clean WordPress websites using premium themes to give your business a great new look.  All of the Websites we build are optimized for search engines to give your business the added boost it needs.

You won’t see the results of good SEO overnight, but having a properly structured site is paramount in this world of websites.  Choosing a good website designer, who knows about and focuses on SEO will make your site, and your business, thrive for years to come.

Written by

Owner of Parachute Technology, Graphic Designer, Website Creator, and all-around awesome individual...