By Dana Koman
Building a Web site for your brand is vital in today’s market. For a great digital presence, you want your site to have strong search engine optimization, more commonly referred to as SEO. But what is SEO and how does it work best for brands?
To understand SEO, you first need to wrap your head around search engines and how they function in the digital world. The most successful search engine is, you guessed it, Google. The engine is so popular and universally used that it’s become a verb. Don’t know something? “Just Google it!”
Google has algorithms that scan everything on the Web. Google explains this process, known as crawling, on its Web site google.com/insidesearch. Crawling begins by scouring more than 130 trillion individual Web pages (that’s an unfathomable amount data).
Based on the search word(s) or phrase, Google pulls the most relevant results to the top of the page. Google uses more than 200 factors to rank search results, including page freshness, site and page quality, and user context.
Be relevant by being truthful
This is where SEO comes into play. Search engines are not only looking for key words, but relevant data. In the past, people would build words into their site that had absolutely nothing to do with the product or brand. This was method was used to trick search engines to generate more page traffic. For example, a blog about junk science would be filled with popular, more-often searched key words, such as Fashion, Global Warming or Kim Kardashian.
Google and other search engines, such as Bing, are constantly evolving their algorithms to identity spam or fake sites. Today, search engines monitor not just the key words, but if users are actually finding what they’re searching for – based on whether a user bounces from a selected page or not.
Bounce is the devil
Part of building great SEO is generating key words that are acutely specific and relevant to your product or brand. As users connect with your site and find relevant data, confidence grows and search engines increase your rank within future search results.
Consider this: If you want to sell high-end designer high heels, you wouldn’t want to program the key word “sneaker” because it’s misleading. Users who search “sneaker” will bounce from your page because they won’t find what’s relevant to their search – resulting in a ranking decline. But if you program keywords such as “heels, “designer” and “style,” and that’s what you’re selling, users will linger on your site and your ranking will increase.
Continuous quality content is king
Getting more customers in the door is not necessarily the answer. However, getting the right customers in your door is key.
On top of that, new content, such as blog posts, image uploads, etc., will show up in the search engine analytics, further boosting your site. If your page is stagnant, going months without new information, its search engine ranking will likely decline.
You reap what you SEO
We suggest hiring an SEO expert to make the most of your site and to do so prior to launch. If you wait to incorporate SEO after a site launch, inevitably a lot of changes will take place – potentially doubling the workload and cost. Site architecture, technology and content all contribute to SEO results, and you can build this into the site as it’s programmed prior to launch. After all, SEO doesn’t happen by itself.
Investing in SEO does wonders for business and can truly transform your brand exposure from good to amazing.