Having a website is like operating a business in a basement. Unless you deliberately market yourself upstairs, you will rarely be found. For websites, the best way to “market upstairs” is through search engine optimization (SEO).
When you optimize a search engine, you do whatever it takes to increase your website’s visibility in a natural web search. The better you optimize, the higher you rank, that is, the closer your website appears at the top of the search engine results.
SEO functions with one simple goal: use the right words to be discovered. No one can build a website and immediately expect a number one Google ranking. To rank higher, you have to work, optimize, and find the right words to reach the right people.
If you want to be discovered, here’s five things to keep in mind:
1. Lingo: be conscious of how you describe your business. Sometimes, your lingo stops you from being found. For instance, when you say “hamburger QSR (quick service restaurant),” I say fast food franchise, probably McDonalds.
2. Location: with localized keywords, such as your city, address, or local monuments, you distinguish your business from similar companies and (if you’re a franchisee) from businesses that share the same brand.
3. On-Page Optimization: these are words within your control, words you use in meta-tags (as seen in the image above), headlines, home page copy, or blog articles. Once you discover your highest ranking keywords, definitely include these throughout your website.
4. Frequency: how many times do you publish? Google likes websites that regularly publish fresh content, such as new blog articles and eBooks.
5. Promotion: lastly, consider where you promote your website. Social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Tripadvisor, are popular avenues for self-promoting your business’s website.
See where your company ranks.
Search for words describing your services, location, and type of business, without using your Company’s name, and see how high you rank on search engines. These are the words used by people who are searching for a company like yours.