Editor's note: Amanbir Dhade is a MBA student in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI and currently in ISM 7505: Inbound Information Technology
How to Attract that Search Engine
What is search engine optimization? Search engine optimization or SEO is all about improving your website to get found. SEO is important for Inbound. The main thing is that SEO brings in new people who are searching for your products, services, and ideas, and that’s GOOD for your business.
Things have changed, and how people are searching has changed now too. The internet is chalked full of information and much of this information is highly sought after. Bridging knowledge and your business together is key in SEO. How do people search? They search for solutions to their problems. For instance, instead of buying lightbulbs one may search ‘how to know when to replace your light bulbs.’ Google gets over 3 billion searches every day, that’s important because there’s a lot of searching going on out there. So follow these SEO steps to get found.
The internet is full of dubious information, your answers need to be relevant, useful and trustworthy. The internet is cataloged by Google using spiders to crawl through the web to find this information. The data creates lists. The rank order is determined by the authority and popularity of the site. Searching obtains what is called ORGANIC links. In Google these are posted below the ‘paid ad links’. It is important to note that 60 percent of traffic goes to the top three links. Basically being behind third is almost like being in last. That’s why SEO is critical.
Your answers need to be relevant, useful and trustworthy!
Best Practices with SEO
So now we know that SEO is a big deal and is important. So what can I do to get started to help my website get noticed. KEYWORDS!. Keywords are the most important aspect. Research into keywords is key. Knowing what gets searched for and how is critical. This really starts with knowing your buyer persona. Research that buyer persona. It is this persona that can lead into leads. These are the searchers that will become visitors, leads, customers, and promoters. Identifying the buyer persona as one searching for a problem can help you generate keywords to help solve that problem. In addition to keywords providing general industry knowledge will help with generating authority.
Get into the head of your buyer persona. Knowing how they think and what is driving their searches will let you stay ahead of the game with your keywords. Going through the thought processes results in keywords that could be useful. Mimic the language that the buyer persona would use. This will help generate keywords that are very specific for your buyer persona. This will help attract buyer personas that are similar to the target one.
Next, determine which keywords people are already using to find your site. Note that Google has encrypted their organic search data but others sites have not. Go after the keyword that’s you can rank for. It’s better to be able to be unique in your keyword rank especially if you are serving a niche market. Again, knowing your buyer person here is key! Specific phrase keywords are called long tailed keywords and a website has a higher chance of being able to rank for those. Determining the competition for that keyword is critical as well. It can help you tailor your keywords, or provide more long tailed keywords that can be used to differentiate you from your competitor.
Create It and They Will Come
Now that you know what your buyer persona is searching for when it relates to you, it is time to create content around those keywords. Creating content provides value and drives that particular buyer persona to your site. This is good as a buyer persona to your site means that it may generate leads and visitors. Search engines are "intelligent" as they know what you are looking for sometimes better then you do. Some lead-in words can generate other keywords to what you are trying to rank for. Creating content that uses natural language variation is critical so that you can benefit from more keywords associated with language that your buyer persona will use. Optimizing a page around a keyword helps by allowing the search engine to understand the page. This keyword driven content allows the search engine to know what the page is about. Important for you and also for the webpage.
Your keywords should fit into your title page and also the URL. If this changes your URL make sure that you are redirecting as well. Keywords should also be in the page header and content. Using keywords naturally throughout the page further optimizes the page. Images will need alt-text. This helps those search engine crawlers determine what your picture is about. Lastly, add the keyword to the meta description. The meta description is the free text that goes below the search. Be aware that it doesn’t effect SEO. The meta description should be no longer then 140 characters. Although counterintuitive, linking to outside sources shows that you have done your research. Also don’t forget, hyperlinks should contain relevant keywords. The page should be a good user experience. Intuitiveness helps when it is ranked. Also optimize for mobile!
Promote, Promote, Promote !!!!
Being trustworthy and authoritative is important, having links that link to you from trusted sources is also important. After all this hard work it is important to promote, promote, promote! Making connections with these high quality links are important. Reach out, network, put out a social media blast. The more trusted sources out there that take a look at your site the better. Focusing on quality is more important than quality.