SEO: Improving keywords + search results

If you’re totally new to SEO and want to learn more about it in depth, check out a great beginner’s guide here.

According to Google, the World Wide Web is comprised of over 60 trillion individual pages. By understanding and using SEO effectively, you can make yourself stand out from the trillions of other pages vying for you customer’s attention.

Search engines work by crawling and indexing all of the sites on the Internet. In order to generate relevant results complex algorithms are used to help sort the results and rank pages by popularity.

When searching for a restaurant, dentist, or a new pair of shoes online, we are naturally inclined to click on the websites near the top of the page. That’s because as consumers, we’ve instilled trust in those top tier search results. As a business, you want to be in those top results.

Today we’re going to dive into two elements of proper SEO marketing: keywords and search ranking. Keywords are the specific words a search engine uses to match your web page up with a search query. Understanding which keywords to use for your business is crucial because the right keywords can work as a guide to draw your target market to your site.

A common mistake people are guilty of is solely focusing on the amount of traffic being directed to your site. Traffic is important, but what’s even more important is attracting the right traffic. If you’re not using the right words, you’re missing the opportunity to help your target customers discover your business. 

Driving visitors who are looking for a different kind of site will only result in frustration for them – and no sales for you. If you’re just starting to brainstorm keywords for your site, the most important thing to ask yourself is what keywords fit the content on your website.

You want to consider clever keyword that capture your brand – but aren’t terms that are so niche no one would ever search for them. If you’re selling organic gluten free vegan cookies, simply using “cookies” or “bakery” is far too broad. Consider terms like “vegan muffins” “Greensboro, NC” or “unique vegan muffins.”

Tools like this keyword explorer can help give you real-time data on the terms you should be using!

So, are keywords the only thing that determine your search ranking? Not by a long shot. The usability of your website also plays a big role. Just like with a brick and mortar store, the experience a customer has when they visit you influences their impression of your business and determines a potential sale. If your website is easy to navigate, welcoming, and stimulating, more people are likely to visit, make a purchase, and return.

If you’re interested in allllllllll the other factors that can effect a website’s rank, take a look at this in depth study from Moz.

Social media can also be used to improve your site’s rank. Social media sites rank in searches, many people use social sites to perform searches, and most people agree social accounts have an impact on your website ranking. The easier viewers can share your content the better off you’ll be!

Keyword selection, usability, and social are just a few of the factors that influence ranking. If you’re out on the web searching for different ways to keep increasing your ranking remember there are some SEO methods that you’re better off avoiding. Paid links, deception, and spamming to boost popularity are considered black hat SEO. Using black hat methods can result in a loss of credibility and even cause your website to become banned on search engines.

For more on SEO, check out our rundown of do's + don't. Then, jump in and put the SEO tips you've learned to use!