The topic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can undoubtedly be a complex one, and for many small businesses it seems like talking about SEO is like speaking a completely foreign language – possibly a language from outer space. While not entirely straightforward, some key concepts are vital to understanding the importance of SEO and what it takes to see a web site listed in the top search results.
Too often, small businesses think that adding some metadata to a web page or using what they believe are good keywords will help them get noticed (and listed) in the search engine results. Unfortunately, those items alone will not make much difference to a small business web site’s rankings.
So to help you get a handle on what it takes to improve your web site’s search engine rankings, here are five key concepts that you really should know:
1. Like it or not, getting top listings in the search results will probably take some work on your part.
Unfortunately, a web site is not judged by how it looks. In fact, many of the items that you can add to a web page to improve its ranking in the search engine results, like keywords, meta tags, and so forth are not viewed by the people who actually view and click on those results.
To improve SEO for your small business web site, you need to commit yourself to make your site SEO friendly. You can do this by paying it to SEO professionals or doing it yourself if time alone doesn’t propel you to the task.
2. Search engines send out bots to scan the web for new content and find duplicate content.
If you have a website with a lot of duplicate content, your site will be ranked lower than it otherwise would have been. You can educate yourself about how to increase visibility and avoid duplicating content on your small business website by researching what goes on with web crawling and the operations of search engines.
3. Using “stop words.”
During the indexing process of web sites, the search engines will occasionally stop crawling over a particular word or line of words. In some cases, this results in a drop in rankings; in other cases, it increases. Using relevant words and phrases that are commonly associated with your product or service can improve your ranking.
A stop word is a common English word that web browsers will use when unsure of the username or IP address they are trying to access a webpage. Banking URLs and phone numbers often contain such words. If your site has such stories, it may be ranked lower than it otherwise would be.
A bounce rate is a percentage of visitors who only view one page before moving on to another page. In SEO, a bounce rate can either be positive or negative. Web sites that obtain a high bounce rate may be weaker than those that do not.
Search engines do not want to increase the number of times a visitor returns to a search engine to collect further data about the site. This is why they can potentially penalize or even ban a place that goes this route.
When your target is a page-based, your duplicate content could be a sentence, word, phrase, and even a whole paragraph that appears on another page. When this happens, you are not providing a unique context to your target visitors. In other words, search engines are not spidering your content.
Guest posts are a good way for an expert to provide fresh, updated content to their followers. If you can work into answering questions that pertain to their specific areas of expertise, and then post a relevant video on your blog, you will provide viewers with new information and a great experience.
Avoid using dates or references.
You must keep your profile active. You must always provide relevant dates and references. Using dates of events in the past can lead to a loss of credibility with your brand. Dating social media profiles are not compelling.