Close your eyes, and imagine for a moment that you’re going through the process of creating a new website or starting a new business, and you want to get it off the ground as fast as you possibly can, but you’re just not sure how. You’ve jumped through all the hoops and you’re as official as can be, and yet somehow you’ve gained little to no publicity. You don’t know what you could do better. You’ve got questions, like, “How can I create a more optimized business or a more publicly-known website? And how do we bring these things into our daily business operations, especially when our business is brand-new?”
The answer lies within one phrase: Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization(SEO) seems like a daunting idea when first said out loud, but when we dive into the specifics, small habit changes in your workflow and even smaller added tasks on your to-do list can make the difference between your website being at the top of the page on Google’s search results and your website being lost on the world wide web forever.
So, we’ve all heard of SEO, but don’t exactly know what it means. We’re confused, a little frustrated when we try to grasp the concept, and aren’t exactly sure how to enact it in our lives as developers, designers, and business owners. How can we use it to our advantage, and what exactly is it in the first place?
These days, SEO could mean a number of things. You might think it would be something along the lines of editing your site’s page titles or copy, or making small changes in your marketing scheme, or strategizing . What you may not realize, though, is that this is ALL SEO! I know, you’re probably still curious – so let’s break it down.
At the most basic level, SEO is something that places a lot of emphasis on keywords and phrases that are going to get your website more traction in search queries. Including words that your users and audience are looking for – words like, say, mobile development or user experience design for instance – on the front page of your website and the pages lying therein can change the traction you gain on your website completely. Including these keywords can help you get your website to the top of the query in no time!
Okay, great. But how can I apply the concept?
There are a few ways you can approach this.
First, think of your users rather than what’s going to get you to the top of search the fastest. A combination of the two is good, but ask yourself, what does my service provide? Who needs my business the most? Employ empathy in your words, and envision yourself as a potential client. Think of what you would want, and reverse-engineer the copy back to your answer.
Don’t just do this for one person, though. Think of your user base, use-cases for your services, and why someone would want to access your business in the first place. There may be several personas you may want to pursue, as thinking about every angle is important. What makes you stand out from the rest of your competition? What truly makes you and your business unique? Make a list of keywords or phrases that will make your company stand out from your competitors, and develop a strategic plan to implement them.
Analytically speaking, using a monitoring system to ensure that the necessary changes to your website have the necessary effects on your business is key. Being able to adjust as your clientele react to these changes to keep your website feeling fresh will make your business exponentially more successful over time. The combination of back-end analytics using tools like Tableau or Google Analytics paired with a poised, responsive web team can make all the difference.
Overall, it’s important to look at the big picture here: your words matter. It may not seem like it, but the copy you write, where you place it, and the context it’s framed within can make the difference between page one, and page none. Being able to recognize these things and make dynamic changes as they arise is key to the success and flourishment of your business.