What does SEO mean in business? It means a way to attract new customers to your business, whether you’re a local service provider, retailer, or international ecommerce business.
About 72% of shoppers say that they turn to search engines to find local retailers and service providers. The majority of these searches turn into sales.
There are thousands of other websites competing with yours to get the attention of these potential customers. Read on to find out what SEO is and how you can use it to your advantage in business.
What Does SEO Mean in Business?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the way to work with search engine algorithms in order to get your website and business listing to appear at the top of search results.
Isn’t it enough to just be listed in search engines? No, it’s not. The fact is that the vast majority of clicks go to the first few search results. Most people don’t go past the first page of search results.
If you’re hoping people will magically find your site just because it’s listed in search engines, you need to have a little mindset check.
This is the secret as to what SEO means in business. Search engines like Google use algorithms to determine search results. Google’s algorithm has as many as 200 factors.
Some factors will matter more than others, but the more you can learn about these factors, the more you can optimize your site to appear higher in search results. This is how you get more calls, website traffic, and customers.
How to Improve Your Site’s SEO
With all of these factors, how can you even begin to rank higher in search results?
Google keeps its algorithm under lock and key. The company does leave breadcrumbs here and there for webmasters and SEO pros to follow. For example, the company does say that providing a great user experience is one of the top ways to be ranked in search results.
There are some small hints as to what you can do. For example, website performance is cited often as a big part of the user experience and a ranking factor. Same with having a secure HTTPS connection. Let’s take a look at how you can improve the SEO for your business.
Look at the Entire Customer Journey
Your customers take a journey before they make a purchase. They prefer to spend a lot of time researching products and services before they actually make a purchase.
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At the same time, there are some instances when people have to make a purchase immediately, such as when the HVAC unit goes out on the hottest day of the summer.
These reasons are referred to as user intent. An intent answers why someone is searching online. You need to be prepared to have your website meet the needs of users no matter where they are in the buyer’s journey.
A business that sells sneakers online and in retail can position themselves for customers searching for “shoe stores near me.” They can also position themselves for customers doing research on different brands. They might look for the “best walking shoes” or “Nike running shoes vs. Asics.”
You need to think about your business as a complete journey instead of just getting the sale. When you position your business to meet the needs of people early in the journey, you establish trust with them.
How Does Your Audience Search Online?
Once you start to think about the complete customer journey, it changes how you look at search results. You want to think about your business and make a list of ways that customers will search for your products or services.
These will become your keywords.
You can start with the end of the journey since these will be the easiest ones to figure out. Your services followed by near me, where to by (your product), best emergency service provider in the area are all indications that people are ready to buy now.
The earlier stages are mostly for people comparing brands or looking for quality products. In the world of local service providers, assume that your customers are trying to solve the problem themselves. Make a list of the DIY projects that your customers are likely to try on their own.
It’s best to validate this list by using a keyword search tool to make sure these keywords get enough search volume.
Shore Up Your Online Presence
The mistake that many novice webmasters make is that they only focus on the website and the keywords associated with that website. Those things do matter, but you have to look at your entire online presence.
A great place to start is with directory listings. Check your listings in Google, Bing, and industry directories to ensure accuracy.
You’ll want to look at your website’s performance and URL structure. This can be a bit technical, so you may need to call in professionals like this Scottsdale SEO company.
You’ll also want to check out your social media presence and backlinks. These are also ranking signals.
One of the best ways to improve your SEO is to have a blog. This enables you do create content for specific problems your customers are trying to solve on your own. Content can be used for keywords at all stages of the buying cycle.
Use SEO to Your Advantage
What does SEO mean in business? It’s a way to methodically take your website’s search results and have them appear high up search engine rankings to get high-quality traffic. The traffic turns into more leads, more customers, and a stronger brand.
There are hundreds of factors that go into SEO. It’s important to remember that you need to make sure you know the main factors and understand how your audience searches for your products and services online. It’s best to focus on the early stages of the buying cycle because you have more time to build trust with your audience.
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