If you have a website, you’re probably aware that SEO is important for gaining traffic and ranking high in internet searches; but you may not know where to start with SEO and you may even be asking yourself, “what is SEO, anyways?”

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, this means the process of improving your website so it falls higher on the list of search results when someone looks up a specific term, product, or service.

Think of a library. All the books are indexed and categorized so that your librarian knows exactly where to look to find a book on a certain topic. Search engines, like Google or Bing, work in a similar way. They use bots that go from site to site, collecting information about the pages and putting them into categories. Say the librarian had read ALL the books they had to offer in their library. They would know exactly which book would answer your specific question. Because search engines know what is on a given site, they use algorithms to rank these sites and determine where they should appear in the order of search results.

There are loads of things you can do to increase your SEO ranking – including pay to have your site rank higher, but we’re going to focus on organic SEO strategies – things you can do yourself to move higher in the search engine without paying.

  1. Number one on our list of organic SEO strategies is to improve your website’s loading time. If the search engine sees two similar sites, but one loads faster than the other, it will be ranked higher. Search engines are all about encouraging a good user experience. The faster your site, the happier your user, and the higher your ranking.
  2. Research your business’s keywords and use those keywords in your URL, copy, and tags. Find terms that your audience is likely to input into a search engine in order to find your products or offerings and use them. Carefully chosen keywords help a search engine understand what your site is about, making it easier for it to show up in search results.
  3. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Nowadays, most users are visiting your site on their phones. If your site isn’t designed with mobile devices in mind, your users will find it hard to navigate and you will lose them. Because of this, Google now uses a mobile-first index when deciding how to rank websites (remember – search engines love promoting user experience!). If your website is mobile-friendly, Google is likely to bump it higher on the search list.
  4. Choose the right URL. Your domain name is the first place Google looks to find out who you are and what you do. Keep your URL simple and clean with a few relevant keywords to help google, and your audience, know what you’re all about.
  5. And last, but not least – leverage that blog! Search Engines love websites that are actively updating information on a regular basis. The biggest mistake you can make in your SEO is leaving your website dormant. Try to create weekly or monthly content plans to keep your site refreshed and relevant. Infusing those keywords into regular content will also help you in your overall search rankings.

People conduct trillions of searches a year, usually to find information about products or services. These searches are often the primary source of a company’s digital traffic. Improving your SEO will help you rank higher on a list of searches and increase your organic traffic online. A high ranking = greater visibility = increased access to your target audience.

And remember! Good SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Staying consistent in your SEO strategy is key!