How do you know if your site is working? And by working, I don’t mean actually landing on your home page when you type the URL in your preferred browser. I mean working – the type of effort that produces results; and what result is more important than visitors actually finding your website?
Enter the mysterious world of search engine optimization (SEO), where keywords and relevant content affect whether or not your website is ranked higher on search engines like Google®. SEO content writers know exactly which phrase to tweak and which keyword to repeat in order to boost a site’s rankings. Problem is, we all aren’t practiced SEO writers, so where do we begin?
Keywords, keywords, keywords
It sounds simple enough – you’ve been a business owner in your market for quite some time now, and who better to know what words define your industry than you? If you aren’t sure what words and phrases are making or breaking your website, simply ask yourself, “If I were to search for my product on a search engine, what would I type into the search bar?” Then, determine if these phrases are present in your Web content. Still not too sure? Use a tool like Google AdWords™ Keyword Planner to discover keywords people might be using to find websites like yours.
Don’t be afraid of using a long string of keywords.
I know it sounds contradictory, but think of it from a buyer’s perspective. When you are browsing or window shopping (let’s say for a pair of sunglasses), you might have a brand in mind, but you’d rather gather some ideas before selecting a pair. You’re doing your research. And finally, when you’ve narrowed it down to that exact pair of classic Ray Bans, are you going to continue to window shop? Or go to the exact store with the best price and repair warranty?
The thought process is similar for keywords — searching for “sunglasses” will bring up a plethora of results for you to browse. But once you’ve decided on a brand, you might find yourself searching for “Ray Ban sunglasses with repair warranty.” If any of those words match the keyword criteria for your site, you’re in luck. Not only have you attracted a visitor, but you’ve attracted the right kind of visitor – the one who keeps your business’s wheels turning.
Still want more? Good for you! You’re truly interested in indexing your website so it can be found. There are plenty of options out there to boost your rankings. Have a brick and mortar store? Look into in Get Found, a product that allows you to create multiple profiles with large companies like Yahoo!®, Yelp® and Google (already indexed by search engines for that matter), all with the click of a button. No more maintaining business hours on multiple interfaces – just make any changes through your GoDaddy profile and BAM.
What about that Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate? Not only does it offer an extra layer of protection for your customers, but Google recently announced that the search behemoth will start using HTTPS as a ranking signal. That’s great news for businesses who take that extra step to protect their customers’ information online.
There are many, many ways you can improve your business’s search rankings (check out this list of SEO ranking factors for 2014 for some insight) — but keywords, online listings, and SSL are three great places to start. Write engaging content and focus on increasing the density of your keywords, naturally. SEO can be a bit of a doozy, but with these tips, you’re well on your way to getting found on the Web.
Bio: Maxym Martineau is a small-business consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance writer based out of Arizona. She’s an avid reader with a love for social media and blogging. Connect with Maxym on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.