Much has been said and written about the need for businesses to have a presence online. Putting up a website for your business, however, is not enough to establish that presence. To get your website noticed by search engines and consequently, the world in general, you need to optimize it.
With search engine optimization, your site is bound to get more traffic, and with more traffic comes potential subscribers and clients for your product and services. So if you’re an entrepreneur with a website you’re planning to optimize, here are some facts about SEO that you have to know.
There are two kinds of SEO
Over the years, people have come up with all types of SEO, but there are only two major kinds of SEO: On-Site and Off-Site.
On-site optimization is all about making sure all the elements of the website itself would be acceptable and attractive not only to users, but to search engines as well. This is where you tweak the website itself by inserting the right keywords and key phrases, putting in meta tags of appropriate length, making URLs concise and easy to read, and putting up unique, informative, and highly relevant content.
Off-site SEO, on the other hand, focuses on building backlinks and making an effort to create signals on other sites and on social media that will point towards your website. With high-value backlinks, your site will rank better in Google search. Guest blogging, posting on social media, and submitting your high quality infographics to relevant sites are some of the off-site optimization efforts an entrepreneur can make.
SEO takes some time to work
The problem with some SEO companies is that they market their services as some kind of a magic bullet for Internet success, and some entrepreneurs actually bite, then end up being disappointed and dropping SEO altogether because the results were not up to their expectations.
SEO is meant to be a long-term strategy. It could take weeks or even months for any optimization effort to show positive results. Even then, within that time frame, it would probably only get to Page 3 of the Search Engine Results Pages, which is practically just as obscure as being on, say, Page 15.
Reaching Page 1, which is where most users make their clicking choices, could take longer. Building up authority using off-site tactics also takes a long time. SEO is not an advertising or sales tactic that brings instant results. For instant results, a well built PPC campaign will come in handy.
Do only white-hat SEO
If you want your website to get on Google’s good side, then all your SEO efforts should only be white-hat ones. As its name implies, white-hat SEO simply refers to the various legal techniques and actions that a webmaster can do to drive traffic to his or her websites and enable them to rank better in the SERPs.
By “legal techniques,” we mean SEO methods that follow the rules and guidelines issued by Google and other search engines.
Avoid Black-hat SEO like the plague
Black-hat SEO is the other side of the coin of achieving high ranking in the SERPs and includes: Keyword stuffing, using invisible text, getting backlinks by creating fake pages, and content copying are some of the more commonly used Black-hat SEO techniques.
While Black-hat SEO techniques appear to get faster results, they are ultimately short-term ones, and they will eventually become even shorter if Google sees you are violating its guidelines. With the constant updates that Google makes to its search algorithm, penalizing websites with Black-hat SEO written all over them is becoming easier by the day.
In a world where smartphone and tablet users already outnumber desktop users, it’s only right for your website to have a responsive design. Google has already officially declared time and again that responsiveness is a crucial factor in determining search rank. If that isn’t enough reason for you to go responsive, the fact that Google will start implementing its mobile-first index in 2018 should at least make you think about it.
Under the current setup, Google ranks your website based on your desktop content. With mobile-first index, Google will base your rankings on your mobile content.
In short, you’re going to lag behind your competitors unless your website is fully mobile responsive.
Content is King
The above phrase has been thrown around all over the place for many years now, and it holds true to this day. Content is unquestionably king, and every SEO strategy should make creating high-quality content a key aspect.
When your website has well-conceived, useful, and relevant content—written or otherwise—people are going to understand your message better and make them trust you more. Your bounce rates are also expected to drop because visitors will stay longer on your site to devour and digest your content. In today’s increasingly viral world, high-quality content is also more likely to be shared on social media and other channels.
These are just the tip of the SEO iceberg. There are so many things about optimization that an entrepreneur who is just launching an online presence still needs to know, but knowing the information listed above should put you on the right footing as far your website is concerned.