Traffic Patterns

Explaining SEO and how it helps increase your website traffic

Courtesy of Pixabay and Unsplash

Courtesy of Pixabay and Unsplash

In the online world, nothing seems to dominate conversation more than the importance of having good SEO to generate business website traffic. If you have a website, you obviously want visitors. If your website has visitors, you want your visitors to find the information they’re looking for so their visit causes them to turn into a customer. SEO is how you are able to help the right people find your website.

First, a basic definition: “SEO” stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Having good SEO means your website has the right characteristics that search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) like. Search engines are constantly “crawling” and indexing websites to determine and record their content. There are certain things you can do to make it easier for search engines to identify your site’s content. It all sounds very technical, and in some ways it is, but it’s also not as hard as you may think to get your website optimized for search engines. These basic SEO-best practices will help you give your website characteristics that attract search engines:

#1: Use keywords.

What is a keyword? Think about the phrases people would use to search for the content your website is about. If you’re a pet store that focuses on selling exotic birds, people would likely type “exotic bird for sale” or “toucan for sale in Portland” in the Google search bar. If your website and blog consistently use those words in the content, search engines will take more notice of you will send more website traffic your way. There is a word of caution, though: don’t overdo it! There’s nothing more annoying than reading an article that way overuses a word, and it will get you labeled as a spammer by search engines.

#2: Use the right keywords.

How is this different from #1? Simple: certain search terms will get you a lot of traffic. But if the keywords you use don’t match the content of your website, your bounce rate will go through the roof. Why? If people don’t immediately find relevant results to what they searched for, they’re not going to stick around. It’s worth your time to do research about what keywords and phrases your target market is using so you make sure you’re crafting your message to specifically appeal to them.

#3: Use keywords on your photos.

We’ve learned that it’s important to use images on your website and blog. But since search engines can only read text, it’s important to include keyword descriptions of the photos you use on the backend of your site. These are called “alt descriptions” and can be accessed from the backend of your site.

#4: Balance quality with quantity.

An important element of good SEO is having fresh content. The more frequently you post blogs and update your website, the more often search engines will recognize your website is producing current, relevant information. However, your site must also have quality content that isn’t just re-posted content or poorly written mumbo-jumbo that hasn’t been crafted around pertinent topics and target keywords.

#5: Add links.

Adding links is another way to build good SEO. You want two kinds of links: internal and external. Provide links to outside website (other than your own) with articles or information related to what you’re writing about. This is called “backlinking” and it helps provide validity to your website in a search engine’s eyes. Also make sure you’re linking to relevant content from your own website. Reference past blog articles you’ve written that add additional information or resources. This helps search engines index your site better.

Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into building a website with outstanding SEO. While it can be intricate and involved to understand all that goes into having a website that attracts traffic, these 5 suggestions will set you up for success in the long run. One final piece of advice is to keep in mind that good search engine ranking doesn’t happen overnight. Just like any good business relationship, it takes time to build trust. Keep doing the right things, and the momentum will start to build and you will start to see results!

For the latest tips and tricks, join us on February 26 for an information-rich class about SEO and your website. Get more information and register HERE.


About Sarah Gill

A talented writer and strategist, Sarah is passionate about connecting people with their unique creative voice so their message can find authentic and powerful expression.