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Optimizing Search Engine Results
Why SEO is so important and what you can do about it
By Barbara Baker Clark
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) describes the process of ensuring that a Website or other content appears as high as possible on the lists of organic (or unpaid) results for searches. So why is SEO important?
First of all, millions of people are researching even the smallest decisions on search engines. Companies such as Google are logging billions of individual searches per day. Naturally, it’s in the best interest of companies large and small to appear on those search results, and they need to appear as high as possible to obtain the most traffic—effectively increasing sales and attention.
Someone once said that creating a Website but not investing in search strategies is like building a brick-and-mortar store, but not putting a sign out front. However, it can be a complicated process. Search engines frequently change their algorithms and the intricacies of SEO can be just technical enough to confuse even the most tech-savvy professionals.
At Impact, we’re always available to help companies with their specific SEO needs. In the meantime, here are four important SEO principles to remember:
- Use keywords. Identify keywords that would direct someone using a search engine to your site. The job of any SEO guru is to identify the most important words and phrases for promoting company services, and then distribute them liberally throughout a Website’s headlines, document headers, URLs, and source code to optimize rankings.
- Think like a customer. When identifying keywords, ask yourself: “What would my audience search for?” Better yet, ask your audience! Conducting focus groups or surveys are simple but effective ways to ensure that you accurately capture the way your audience thinks about your company’s products or services. You can also check out Google Trends; it will tell you which words or phrases are “trending” up or down lately.
- For some businesses, it’s all about location. Consider an independent, local retailer: Customers are not searching for a store that is hundreds of miles away. They are searching for specific services or products located in their neighborhoods. So if you’re a local business, make certain to place your address on every page, register with local directories, and use local keywords.
- Optimize postings, too. Writing a blog or posting a press release? Make sure you include keywords in your headlines and links within your post. Consider using an SEO plugin, which can insert appropriate meta tags and link elements automatically. Some examples include WordPress plugins such as Yoast and All in One SEO.