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SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a fancy way of saying “helping websites show up in relevant Google search results.”

You probably know you need SEO to increase web traffic, form leads or e-commerce sales for your business. However, you may not know what exactly goes into good SEO.

Much like a great dinner recipe, search engine optimization requires many different ingredients working in harmony to improve search engine rankings for your website. What are those ingredients? We have you covered.

Page Content

This includes copy, headings, images, graphics, videos and anything else users can interact with on your page. The more engaging your content is and the better it answers the user’s question, the more likely your page is to show up in search results.

Mobile Friendly

Today more than ever, people turn to search when they need answers—and most of the time those searches are done on their phone. More than half of all searches are performed on mobile devices, and that number grows every year. If your site doesn’t look great on phones and tablets, you’ll be left in the dust.

Speed

Slow websites are the worst. And Google is increasingly pushing page speed as an important aspect of SEO. The faster your site is, the better experience users will have—especially on mobile devices.

Inbound Links

When a blogger, chamber of commerce or industry affiliate links to your website, it improves your SEO. Be careful though—links from spammy directories can get your site punished.

User Experience and Design

The better experience users have on your site, the longer they’ll stick around and the more pages they’ll visit. Search engines can tell if users leave your site soon after they arrive from a search, so the longer they stay—the better.

Internal Links and Site Structure

Does your menu navigation make sense to your customer? Navigation should be easy to use and allow users to find what they’re looking for in a few clicks. Because no one (even search engines) wants to work hard to find what they need online.

Meta Data

This is the behind-the-scenes stuff like page titles, meta descriptions and image alt text that Google uses to figure out what your page is all about. Don’t worry too much about the technicalities, but just know that a good SEO partner will make sure they’re taken care of.

Brand Equity

If Google determines that your site is a reputable or authoritative source, your pages will likely rank higher. This can depend on a lot of factors like history, trust and notoriety just to name a few. Nike will rank higher than Joe’s Garage Shoes. Every time.

Security

As of October 2017, Google has started start labeling websites ‘not secure’ in search results when they have forms or sell products and aren’t secure. The easiest way to tell if your site is secure is to check whether your domain starts with http or https. If it’s https, your site is secure.

Social Media

Believe it or not, your social posts can show up on search engine result pages. And social media is a great way to build inbound links. Don’t overdo it though—too many sitelinks in social posts make for a lame Facebook page.

Want to learn more?

That’s a lot, we know. But we’re always here to help if you have questions about SEO (or digital marketing in general), even if you’re not our client.

On that note, we’re pleased to offer Digital Marketing for Everyone—a special full-day seminar designed to provide the basic tools you need to build a successful online strategy in a fun, laid back setting. It will take place on Wednesday, April 25 from 8am-4pm at The Venue on Main. Register before March 31 using coupon code MIDLANDS and take 50% off the entry fee.

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