The world is rapidly becoming digital. The internet has changed the life as we knew it. People can now access any information anytime, anywhere with just a click of a mouse button. People are relying on the internet to find out details and information about everything. That is why every company needs to make its presence felt in the internet as it offers a world of opportunities to ongoing and budding businesses.
Internet can be used to improve the local businesses in a state like Utah. There are many success stories of businesses achieving greater heights by intelligently investing in internet marketing. The companies, right from small scale services to even bigger businesses like hotel chains in Utah are realizing the importance of internet marketing and effectively using it to scale up the business. Internet marketing can help a local business in two ways.
First it attracts new customers from outside the state. A company which has the trust of local customers will make new customers to believe in the brand. So it will provide a tremendous boost for local companies to expand their business out of Utah.
Similarly recognition of new customers from outside will incredibly improve the local popularity and belief in your brand. So a brand in Utah focusing on internet marketing can get improved local support and worldwide recognition.
Why Internet Marketing?
Internet is so expansive so that the consumers have access to information anytime and anyplace they want it. They are now exposed to not just what your company says about the brand, but what the media, friends, relatives etc are saying as well. They are more likely to believe their word than your company. Also digital marketing is faster, more versatile, practical and streamlined. Moreover online marketing offers features like:
- Broad and global reach.
With internet, businesses both medium and large scale are accessible to millions of online users. You have the opportunity for more customers and sales and you make more money which is the ultimate goal of every business.
- All hour based marketing.
With internet marketing, you are not constrained with opening or closing hours. Customers can search the products offered at their convenient time as long as they like.
- Cost effectiveness.
Internet marketing involves less startup capital. A well structured website will cost very less than newspaper, radio or television ads.
- Time effectiveness
Internet marketing is fast and easy to start. You can setup a campaign at any convenient time. You can also tweak in any changes on the go whenever a need is considered vital to the campaign without service interruption, downtime or stopping the whole system.
- Follow up and after sales relationship.
Internet marketing helps in building a great relationship with the customers even after sales. It provides valuable information on the products purchased, special discounts and coupon available on other goods and services and introducing new products to the customers. Social Medias provide good opportunities to interact consistently with your customers making them your valued audience.
- Dominance of search engines over yellow pages.
Moreover than the features mentioned above, this is a fact which shows the importance of having a website. More people are relying on search engines to find local business information than yellow pages. According to a Burke 2011 report “76% of people use search engines to find local businesses”. If this was the case in 2011, imagine the scenario now.
So it is very important to have a website for your business. But making a website is only a job half done. It is much important for the consumers to find your website when they search. It is easier said than done as there are millions of websites who are competing to be ranking in the top place for a search result. That is where role of SEO comes in.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It is a powerful web marketing technique which helps search engines find and rank your website higher than the millions of other sites in response to a search query. So SEO helps in ranking your website higher than other websites for search query. So how does SEO accomplish this task? To understand SEO better we need to understand how a search engine works.
How do search engine work?
Search engines are basically answer machines. Its function is to return most relevant results for a search query. When a person conducts an online search, the search engine scans its billions of documents and does two things: first, it returns results which are relevant or useful to the user’s search query, second, it ranks those results according to the popularity of the websites providing the information. So the main task of an SEO is to influence the relevance and popularity of a website.
So how does the search engine determine the relevance and popularity?
Basically search engines crawls into a website to see what is there. This is performed by software called a crawler or a spider (Googlebot, in the case of Google). It follows the links from one page to another and indexes everything they find on their way. The indexed pages are stored in a giant database, from where it can be later retrieved.
So when a search is performed, the search engine compares the search string in the search request with the indexed pages in the database. Since there will be more than one pages with the search string, the search engine displays the pages according to the relevancy of the website. So SEO helps in ranking your websites higher than other relevant sites.
Why is SEO important for a website?
SEO makes you website rank higher in the search results in response to a search query. Having the top position in a search result is important as,
- The majority of search engine users are more likely to choose one of the top five suggestions in the result page.
- Having the top positions in a search results increases the website’s trust.
Besides placing a website higher in a search result, SEO can provide much more.
- SEO improves the user experience and usability of a website.
- It is a great way to increase the quality of the websites by making them user friendly, faster and easier to navigate.
- SEO is good for the social promotion of the website.
- SEO can put you ahead of the competition. If two websites are selling the same commodity, search engine optimized website is more likely to have more customers and make more sales.
So from what is said above, it is clear that SEO services are very important for your website. It helps you in staying ahead of your competitors and increasing traffic to your website thereby increasing the business. So now let’s get deeper into SEO.
As said earlier, SEO is marketing strategy to rank a site higher in the search results for a query. A search engine’s search results are basically divided into two: listing and paid listings. Paid listings are the search results which come on top of the results as ads. Websites pay the search engines to have their WebPages listed here. Organic listings are the natural listings generated by the search engines based on a series of metrics that determines their relevance to the search term.
While paid listings help to generate traffic to a website, organic listings are more important. WebPages listed on the organic lists generate more traffic in the longer run. Also users trust the webpages listed on the organic list more and generate more click through rates from a particular search. So an effective SEO strategy should target on listing your website on the organic listings of a search result.
So how can you use SEO to rank your website higher in the organic listings of a search result?
Keywords are the words or phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site through search engines. Keywords are the most important, valuable and high return element in SEO. Choosing the correct keywords to optimize for is the first and most crucial step to a successful SEO campaign.
So, how to choose the keywords?
Keywords are the terms that the user types into a search query. So it is important to make sure that the content of the website has the terms in the search query. So it is very important to understand what our site has to offer and the key words should be made on that basis. It is not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. The visitors that are generated to a website should be the ones who are seeking the services offered by the website.
Let us look this by an example. Suppose, I have company which provide SEO services. So my target audience should be the ones looking for SEO services. SO in determining the keywords SEO should anticipate what will be the search queries entered by the user. So the possible keywords could be: SEO, SEO Company, SEO services, SEO Services Company.
So we have figured out the basic search queries. But keywords are more effective when they are specialized rather than generic. For each popular keyword we are competing with hundreds of other websites from all over the world. So it is important to add the location to your keywords. Search engines give preference to local listings in the search results. So adding location will help in ranking your website higher.
So adding locations our new set of keywords will be: SEO, SEO Company, SEO Services Company, Utah SEO, Utah SEO Company, Utah SEO Services or even more specific ones like SEO Salt Lake City Utah. By adding locations your website will rank higher in the local listings and also your location will be depicted in the Google map. Having your company’s location in the Google maps has multifold benefits
- It will help to place your company’s presence in the map results.
- It helps the users to locate your company easier.
- It helps to rank higher in the local listings of the search results.
- User reviews or testimonials can be added on the map results which will improve the rankings of the website and enhance the business.
But our keywords to be generating traffic more research and planning must be done in choosing the keywords. Remember, more popular the keyword, more the competition it will offer. Success for very popular one-two word keywords is very difficult and often not worth the trouble, it’s best to focus on less competitive highly specific keywords.
So the keywords to optimize for should be determined after a careful analysis of what the online population is searching for, which keywords have your competitors chosen and above all – which are the keywords that you feel describe your site best.
After you have chosen the keywords that describe your site, the next step is to make your site keyword-rich and to have good keyword density for your target keywords. Keyword density is a common measure of how relevant a page is. Generally the idea is that the higher keyword density, the more relevant to the search a page is. But over usage of the keywords in the content will lead to keyword stuffing which is considered as an unethical practice that tries to manipulate search results.
Like the density of keywords, the positioning of the keywords plays an important role in ranking of a website. The keywords in the URLs, page title, the headings and the first paragraphs will rank more than the keywords at the bottom of the page.
Role of good content:
Good content is very crucial for SEO success. Good relevant content can attract visitors to your website thereby increasing its rankings. When a search engine delivers a page of results, it can measure the rankings by observing how user engages with those results. If you click the first link, then immediately hit the back button to try another link, this indicates the user was not satisfied with first result. Search engines analyze the time spent on a website to determine its rankings. So it is important to generate ‘relevant’ content which can engage the visitors. Also the content should have the target keywords of the website.
Including testimonials or reviews is a great way of generating content. It will help in increasing the user interaction and traffic thereby improving the rankings of the website
Just like keywords and content, generating links to your website is important to your website. These links may be internal links or external links.
Internal links are those links that guide the user to other pages of the same website. Good internal links will improve the smooth navigation of the website and improve the user experience.
External links are those links provided from other websites to your website. These external links play a crucial role in increasing the ranking of the website. External links may be provided from news sites, articles, blogs, social media pages etc. The links from a highly ranked site can improve the rankings of your website. Earning links from established strong websites improve the visitors, improve the credibility and improve the rankings of your website. Also as the other website improve its ranking; the links get more powerful resulting in higher rankings of your website. Similarly links from irrelevant sites may affect your rankings badly. The links that are provided to your site should be having some sort of relevance. Providing too many irrelevant links form other websites is considered unethical and may face strict action from the search engines.
Social Medias have changed the way of our communication. Earlier these were just mediums for to people to communicate. But now they are platform to share and express our opinions. Due to this fact social medias are an essential part in online marketing strategy as they can be used to get access to multitude of people at the same time. Also they provide user interaction rather than traditional websites. So social medias can play very big role in SEO. They can be effectively used to boost up the rankings of your website and improve traffic. A well planned out strategy can make people engage about your website and even promoting it. Also search engines display social media among its top search results. It provides enormous opportunities for the websites to feature in the top ten results. Also effective use of social medias like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In etc can generate powerful user signals to your website thereby increasing the traffic to the website.
Like good textual content, good multimedia like images and videos can improve the rankings of your website. The search engine cannot understand what is depicted in the multimedia, but adding relevant description or keywords to the file can generate traffic to your website. Search engines provide video and images along with the search results. So an image or video with the specific keyword in its description can generate powerful links to your website.
So these are the basic SEO techniques by which you can improve the ranking of your website. But we should always keep in mind that SEO is planned strategy. Sudden or instant results are not always possible as you are competing with millions of other websites who have the same target of getting higher ranking. So it is natural that your website won’t rank the highest in a search result overnight.
But with careful and well planned strategy, SEO can deliver high results over planned period of time. With SEO plan, your website can acquire the highest ranking in a search result for search query, which is a much coveted position for websites. And the highest ranking for your website can do wonders for your business, you can improve your sales, attract new customers, maintain good relation with potential customers and much more. So investing in online marketing with proper laid out SEO strategy can take your business to new higher levels.
So as they say “Internet is what you make out of it”.