You have the impossible task. You've been told that this is the year that you need to do more than ever. You have to get more sales, increase Website traffic and perform a verifiable miracle with last year's budget. Did I say last year's budget? I meant 90% of last year's budget. If all of this seems impossible, I assure you it's not. We can begin to address these challenges by answering one simple question, "What does SEO stand for?"
What Does SEO Stand for? Part I.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of getting your Website to appear higher in the search engines' results pages and ultimately increase Website traffic for a given search keyword phrase. Sounds easy, right? Don't worry. We'll get to how to do it in a minute, but for right now, let's discuss why it's important.
Articles on SEO, but what about Search?
Other articles on SEO often breeze past a critical point when talking about SEO: search engines! There are now 15 billion searches performed each month on the main search engines. Users performed 9.5 billion Google searches in April '09 alone. And in all of those searches are people trying to find information about you, your products and how to buy them. Do you know how much search traffic you're getting from these folks or how much you could be getting? Are you doing your part to find them? To bring the proverbial horse to the water? Your competitor is. Guaranteed. They've read articles on SEO and have probably even hired SEO agencies. And here we are: "What does SEO stand for?" There's no time to spare. Read on for a crash course in SEO.
What Does SEO Stand for? Part II.
Now that we're all headed in the same direction, let's do it. Let's actually increase Website traffic through SEO. Some of what comes next is technical, but don't worry. I've placed links to additional resources in the margins of this Web page. With the start you're getting here at Big Picture Web and the next steps you could take by buying the resources mentioned, you'll conquer the learning curve in no time. Ultimately, it's simply a matter of having an SEO-focused content creation process, having plenty of links to your site and architecting your site to be search-engine-friendly. Let's discuss these three steps.
Increase Website Traffic in Three Steps
- Have a content creation process. People use specific search "keyword phrases" to find things on the Web (e.g., "flights to MSP" or "dental equipment"). You should know what these keyword phrases are for your business and then jump at any organized opportunity to include these words in the actual text and images of your Website. Write product descriptions, blogs, articles, about us pages and everything else with "dental equipment" somehow baked into the words of the pages. This is what the articles on SEO will tell you to do to increase Website traffic. Get it? Notice the bolded phrases from two sentences ago. Now do you get it? Once you've done a little homework, you can set up a process that looks like this:
- Have plenty of links to your site. The best way to describe why links are important is this. Imagine that Google is looking out into a crowd of Websites trying to determine which should be the first one presented when someone searched for a particular keyword phrase. The Website with its hand raised highest will be the one selected. Every link from another Website is like a tiny leg-up to help your site gain some visibility. The site with the most links towers over the rest in Google's eyes, which will earn it the top spot in search results for the keyword phrases you're targeting. You'll want to build links to your site by creating link-worthy content, asking your business partners to link to your site and encouraging customers to link to you as well. Do this and increase Website traffic, you will!
What does SEO stand for? Part III.
Once you get some links built up and have a process in place on an optimized website, you'll see that SEO is an easy process to implement and track. You'll increase Website traffic regularly and spend less and less time (and money!) doing so. The increase in traffic will in turn lead to more sales and you'll be the hero. See? It wasn't impossible.