SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, so SEO marketing is basically using the search engines to market your business. However, there are good ways and bad ways to do this. The good ways may take more time and effort, but they will ensure that your website is not penalised by the search engines – and they will give value and a good reputation to your website for many years to come.
The ‘bad’ ways – known as black hat SEO – are frowned on by search engine and as they become ever more vigilant, will eventually lose their value to your business and you may even find your website banned. Another reason to work on the good or white hat ways is that it is free; at least, it can be free if you do the work yourself. And who better to do it, since you are the one who knows your business better than anyone else?
There are several components of SEO marketing: –
- Top quality content – The content you write on your website must be aimed at helping your potential customers know what you offer and how it can help them. Search engines love value and authority, so when your website content reflects this, they will give you a better ranking. This means that your website can end up on the first page of the search engine results for a certain keyword – all without cost to you.
- Using appropriate keywords – When a person searches for a specific thing they want to find on the search engines they will type appropriate words into the search bar. If they have a toothache, it may be as simple as “dentist” combined with the suburb they live in. If your dental surgery is in that suburb and your website contains those two words, it is likely to come straight up on the first page. But if your website content does not contain those words, it won’t show up.
It is important to avoid keyword stuffing. That is, placing keywords in the text where they make no sense and repeating them too often. Using a variety of keywords will also help.
- Quality links to other websites – Links to other quality websites help to give your own more authority and increase your traffic. You need to link to a website that is in the same general genre as your own without being directly in competition with you. This will only happen if your website also offers something of value to them.
For instance, a company that offers guided tours into the mountains might well want to link to a company that sells hiking boots, but they certainly wouldn’t be interested in linking to a company that sells dancing shoes. They would also want to see that the hiking boots website contained information that would be of value to their own customers.
So you would write a page of content all about the kind of terrain, the climate and points of interest in the area where that tour company takes their customers hiking, before asking them for a link. When they can see that your page has value to them and their customers, they will mostly likely agree to a link. And the search engines will love it because they are all about bringing up information that offers value to those who use them.
There are other components of SEO that also play an important part in getting traffic and hence, customers to your website, but these three are important and easy to do.