Search Engine Optimization
Building a beautiful, functional website without doing SEO is comparable to building a beautiful, functional home without telling anyone your address. If they cannot find you, it doesn’t matter. Far too many websites are built under the impression that “if you build it, they will come”. While that may be true in the movie, Field of Dreams, it is certainly not true of the web.
Website owners need to realize that their sites are seen by two sets of eyes. One set of eyes is people who come across your site on the web. In other words, other people. The second set of eyes are the “eyes” of the search engines. The more this second set of “eyes” see your site, the more the first set of eyes will find and see your site. Websites in highly competitive markets often spend as much, and sometimes far more, for SEO as they do for the actual design of their sites.
As you can see from the SEO cloud above, there is a lot that goes into SEO. The text and keywords in an article or posting, the choice of images, their ALT tags, their file names, title tags on hyperlinks, the naming of the link, the format of your headings and the placement of important items higher in the page, and much, much more, all play an integral part in how you rank with the search engines.
Good SEO will also look at how quickly your page loads. If it takes too long, Google and other search engines will down rank you. If your site is not mobile friendly, you will be down ranked as well. Do you have sufficient text, typically at least 300 words or more, that can be indexed by the search engines? Do you link to other content within your site that is relevant? Do you link to other relevant content on the web?
SEO is a complex area, but done properly, it can yield substantial benefits for your organization.
Just as a building without a good foundation is ultimately doomed to fail, so, too, is a website that ignores or neglects this critical aspect of web design. If doing SEO properly on your site costs you X, but it returns to you 2X, which is not unusual by any means, then would you not want to begin to implement SEO as much as possible?
Ultimately, while you want to increase the “number of eyeballs on your site”, what is crucial is getting the people to your site who are looking for what you have to offer. If your business is local, having lots of traffic from another country or another state is pretty useless, isn’t it? What is important is driving the right people, those in your market area and who are looking for what your business offers, to your site.
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