A small business website is a tool designed to present customers with knowledgeable information to make purchase decisions. Customers search for products and services online first to begin their decision-making process. Increasing your online exposure by implementing a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy helps customers find your home security business with just a few clicks.
SEO has evolved, but its core metrics have remained the same - keywords and phrases, content, traffic and analytics. SEO techniques improve search engine ranking based on their optimization of how search engine algorithms work. Knowing the basics of SEO can mean the difference between a productive home security website and a waste of valuable online resources.
Here is a breakdown of what you need to know:
1. Keywords and Phrases
Keywords and phrases have been part of search engine algorithms since the early pioneers of Yahoo and Lycos. Search engines use keywords to understand a website and rank it accordingly. Today, SEO is about more than just stuffing articles and blog posts with as many keywords as you can think of, but including specific keywords relevant to your business.
As Cultivate Communications explains, semantic searching has taken the place of individual keyword searches. What is semantic searching? It is searching using key phrases or entire sentences. SEO best practices dictate stepping back and analyzing the kinds of words, phrases and sentences customers of a particular company might use to search.
2. Develop Content
Creating keyword-driven content increases SEO rankings and establishes your home security business as an authoritative expert in the security industry. Blogs, whitepapers and infographics are just a few platforms for developing and posting content for your customer base. By providing home security product information and industry best practices, your ranking will improve while also generating an increased number of customers.
Regularly posting new content is highly beneficial to improving SEO ranking, however, posting duplicate content will threaten your SEO efforts. Each post should offer new, engaging information. Content derived from keywords unique to your field will grow the traffic coming to your website and increase placement on search engine results.
3. Generating Traffic
Search engines go above and beyond just keywords and phrases to rank websites. They also consider how much traffic a site receives based on keywords and links from other sites. The quality of content also plays a role in search engines looking for relevance to rank competing sites in the same category.
SEO basics for generating traffic include:
- Researching semantic keywords and phrases that apply to your chosen demographic
- Creating backlinks to high-quality, relevant sites that reflect favorably on your site
- Utilizing pay-per-click (PPC) display ads on search engines and other sites
- Engaging in social media marketing that further drives traffic through content sharing
- Creating relevant content and optimizing it for vertical searches (e.g., local maps, coupon searches, etc.)
4. Ongoing Analytics
SEO is data-driven, which requires a good analytics structure to make the best use of SEO practices. Analytics are used to track the performance of keywords and phrases, track conversion rates, identify duplicate content and understand consumer habits as related to your website. This knowledge, known as search engine results page (SERP) analysis, directs adjustments to your site to improve performance.
There is no doubt that SEO is a complex creature, but according to MOZ founder and CEO Rand Fishkin, utilizing available resources and guides can guide a small business owners through building a successful SEO strategy. In fact, comprehensive books, such as The Art of SEO, can help business owners get a handle on the basics of SEO.
Once the basics of SEO are achieved, measure and track the practices implemented to track successful strategies versus unsuccessful strategies to track performance. Over time, most business owners can make use of the basics of SEO to grow their online presence. For more complex changes, a SEO expert can take the website to the next level.
Use keywords and phrases, content, traffic and analytics to improve your search engine ranking. The ultimate goal is to create a strong digital presence that establishes your home security business as an industry expert.