SEO is how businesses create online awareness of their website and tell the world about the services and products they provide. There are certain rules to follow when starting your SEO campaign.
First thing to understand is search engines make the rules. Get acquainted with the rules of SEO. Companies like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many others provide a searchable database of the web. Google is king in this area. Get to the top in Google and the other engines will follow. They do this by constantly exploring the web 24 hours a day. Programs called "Bots" browse the web and eventually find every page on the internet. Picture little spiders crawling all over the digital footprints people create on the world wide web. They record the data on each page and index it into categories. For instance if you create a website for your "shoe store" the bots see that your content relates to shoes, stores your URL, and when someone searches for shoe stores, your store will be a part of the results that are shown in the search engine. This is very effective in bringing people to your website.
A couple things to keep in mind: at the top of every search engine you will see paid ads. These companies are paying top dollar to be seen first. However, these paid ads are not as effective as an organic search that posted your page on top because it had the most relevance and great online reputation. People tend to skip the ads altogether and strictly trust the organic results. There are many companies that offer SEO services, but it is fairly simple when you get the hang of it. You don't need to have a technology degree to do it. Search engines recognize great content. So you need to create a web page that is easy to access and has great content. Ease of access includes doing a bit of “keyword" research. Keyword research is a function most search engines include. It allows you to see how many times a particular phrase is searched for on a monthly basis.
Post any press to all social media. Let as many people see it as possible; it will also create back-links to your site which will help with your SEO (discussed in another article). Show off your goods. Share photos and videos of your service and quality, and be mindful of the backdrops and photo/video quality. Write an awesome professional profile. Tell your story, share your journey. Everyone has dreamed of owning their own business or running their own restaurant. Share how you did it. It will increase brand loyalty and add to your viewers online. It may even land you some consulting opportunities.
Going back to our shoe store scenario, if you find that shoe stores are searched for 100,000 times in a month you know you have some competition and you will need to bring your A game to the SEO of your website. If the keyword shows low volume search, your competition isn't as difficult. Choosing keywords are the first step in creating an SEO strategy. Studies show that being in the top 3 spots of Google will bring you a 30% increase in business. That's a staggering number compared to other forms of marketing. Once you've chosen the keywords you're going to build upon, it's time to create content using these words.
Sometimes less is more; avoid being over wordy online, people are attracted to fun, interesting images and content. This is an important part because it is the foundation of your SEO campaign. Once you've got a great looking site that will interest those that visit, it's time to link to as many other sites as possible.
Be wary of companies that contact you and offer to post your link for a fee or some type of promotional reason. Not all of these services are credible. Instead, start a blog that relates to your industry. In the blog you will link certain words and phrases back to your site. This will create back-links and search engines will now have more reason to trust you and put you ahead of the competition. This will take some time, but the longer your site is up the more Google will trust it as long as there are no "red-flags" which means you’re trying to cheat the system. To write a 2 - 3 paragraph article once a day doesn't take much. You can do it in roughly an hour once you get the hang of it. Post these daily and it will increase your web presence a ton.
Next in this step is creating landing pages. Landing pages are pages that have similar information as your home page but are created to bring attention by geographic location. You should have a landing page for every city you intend to operate in. These pages are connected to cities through meta data. For instance, "shoestore.com/longbeach" will tell Google you operate in Long Beach and will bring you up closer to the top in that specific area. Landing pages are a great way to move up in the engines.
Lastly, use social media presence. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more have already established trust and content with the search engines so it's important to create profiles on them and update them regularly. Link back to your site as often as possible, and keep your online image going. Do not let it stagnate. Oftentimes businesses will hire people specifically for this, as it is a full time gig when done properly. Using videos and photos with metadata attached all go into optimizing for search engines.