Using SEO to Build Your Business

The key to using the Internet as a business tool is to reduce that frustration and connect with customers in the easiest, most direct way possible. SEO (search engine optimization) is, perhaps, the fastest growing marketing tool available today and it works by putting your website at the top of search results page on Google and Bing when customers are searching for terms relevant to your business.

Search engines have two major functions. First, they use automated robots (programs) to “crawl” through billions of documents, pages, files, and videos using links on the web to build an index and then store selected information in huge databases and later recall that information for a search query in a matter of seconds. And second, to use that database to provide search users with a ranked list of the most relevant websites or pages.

So when a user enters in a query the search engine determines which results are relevant and useful and then ranks those results according to the popularity of the websites offering the information. So, how do search engines determine relevance and popularity? They assume the most valuable information comes from the most widely used or popular site, page, or document using complicated mathematical equations or algorithms with “ranking factors. What this all boils down to for marketers is creating websites and pages that achieve high rankings and get lots of traffic. Why is this important? Well, 57.4% of B2B companies say SEO has the biggest impact on their lead generation goals and SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.

It’s helpful to start the process by thinking about what your target market is looking for and build a strategy to deliver those results. A user types in a query and the search engine looks through the Internet for meta titles that contain the keywords in the search. It’s important to research keywords and keep them as specific to your company as possible. The next important element in SEO is effective meta page titles. A good meta page title should include all your most effective keywords and be both user and search-engine friendly—succinct and natural. Of course, all the mechanics of your website, including headers, titles, descriptions, internal links, and load times, can impact SEO results.

There is one last essential ingredient that brings all of these SEO techniques together—quality content. Search engines want people to be able to locate informative content easily and find the answers to their questions. Also, make sure to keep your content original as search engines penalize reused content, and incorporate relevant keywords and concepts that go together naturally and semantically. If your company routinely provides quality, original content that addresses search queries, then your site/pages will rank highly.