Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential strategy for increasing your business' organic website ranking on commonly used search engines. Though some people would rather pay for higher rankings, that's not an option when it comes to organic search results. Instead, time must be dedicated to creating a high-quality website and a strong online presence with social media, backlinks, and more.
SEO is constantly changing, so it's best to hire a digital marketing agency to handle your strategy. That being said, you'll still need to understand their work by familiarizing yourself with the following key terms.
People can find your site from a number of places. Some users will locate your website via other websites. This is called referred traffic. Direct traffic comes from users who specifically input your website's URL into their search bar. Organic traffic comes from users who found your site on a search engine and clicked your site to view it. Organic search results are essential to track when looking to improve your SEO.
The words that people input into a search bar when looking for something online are called keywords. If you are looking for a new dentist in your area, then you'd likely search, "Dentists near me." That would be an example of a keyword. A digital marketing agency will conduct research into which keywords would be beneficial for you to add to your website and then optimize your website using those keywords. For an optimal user experience, keywords should be used as naturally as possible on your site.
Anchor text is the content that gets clicked which leads a user to another website. It is often identified as being blue and/or underlined. Search engine algorithms will consider the language being used as anchor text when creating a ranking of websites.
Backlinks, also sometimes referred to as inbound links, are links placed on other websites that lead users to your website. Backlinks should be an integral aspect of your SEO strategy, as Google's algorithm heavily factors in both the number and quality of backlinks leading to your website. Ideally, you'd like to have a fair few links redirecting to your site — and they don't even have to be clicked on a regular basis to increase your site's ranking.
Internal links are links that take users from one page on your site to another. They are considered in Google's ranking algorithm, so you want to be sure that you have some, and in the right amount, on your site. Pages that you'll want links to bring users to typically include your home page and your product and service pages. This informs Google that these pages deserve more attention.
As we've established, backlinks need to be a primary focus of your SEO plan. Link building is the process of adding these backlinks to sites across the internet. You want the sites that link to your page to be relevant to your business in one way or another and to have a solid domain rating (DR). When Google sees that popular and relevant sites are linking to your website, it'll deem your business worthy of a higher ranking.
Indexed pages are URLs that Google is aware of and monitors, meaning they add them to their search engine for internet users to find. Web pages that aren't indexing cannot be found on Google. As you can guess, you'll want to do all that you can to get pages on your site indexing. Adding keywords to a site makes it easier for Google to index your site's pages. A marketing firm focusing on local marketing will be able to identify the appropriate steps to get your site indexing.
If you hover over a tab on your browser, you'll see the full title of a specific page. This is known as a meta title. They are incredibly important for SEO because when Google crawls sites, considering them and where their ranking belongs, it will evaluate a page's meta title. Ideally, your meta title would be between 50 and 60 characters. Having the right keyword in your meta title will do wonders for your SEO rankings.
Meta descriptions are the blurbs that generate underneath a page's title on a search engine results page. They describe the site that the title leads to. These are also evaluated by Google and other search engines to determine site rankings. Your meta description should be between 120 and 140 characters. Your meta descriptions won't be visible on your actual web pages, but they will be part of each page's source code.
If you want to know how to best navigate Google's search rankings, then look no further than the tools provided to you by Google. After adding information about your business and creating a uniquely generated Google Analytics code, you'll add the code to your website. This tool will track the visits to your site and be able to give you specific insights into your users, the type of traffic you're getting, and more. With this knowledge, you'll be able to make informed decisions regarding your SEO.
Prioritize creating a sitemap for your website. A sitemap is a clear layout of your pages and their content that aids Google in crawling your site. Google speaks in sitemaps and if you want your business to have a fighting chance online, then you'll need to speak Google's language.
Black hat SEO is a practice to be avoided. When those building websites attempt to trick Google or other search engines' algorithms, this is known as black hat SEO. Adding "invisible keywords" or spamming your website in any way can be dangerous. If a search engine recognizes that you're doing this, which is quite likely, then your site could be blacklisted. Your pages won't index and your site won't be pushed toward users.
These fundamental terms should give you a better understanding of SEO. While it might take some time to become comfortable using them in conversation, having even a basic knowledge of SEO terminology will put you on the path toward higher rankings. According to Statista, in 2020, digital marketing accounted for 51% of total media ad spending. Put your digital ad spending toward a company that knows what it's doing — reach out to Silvercrest Advertising today.