How do you drive potential customers to your website? Can they scan a QR code or click on a link in an email? What if they need to search online?
For almost twenty years, we’ve been able to “Google that.” It seems inconceivable that an entire generation may never open up a card catalog drawer or insert a microfiche file upside down.
After all, these life lessons build character, right?
With the advent of Google, Bing and Yahoo, resources and answers are still at our fingertips. However, these search engines respond to typed word queries and return lists of websites almost instantaneously. Their algorithms quickly scan billions of websites and identify the primary search results.
For example, the search “Women’s Black Shoes” finished in 0.51 seconds, yielding 638,000,000 results. That’s a lot of zeros! By adding “Houston” to the original search, the results dropped down to 37 million, and still took less than one second to reveal.
No one will tab through all of those results pages. Based on that reality, you should format your company’s website to achieve high search rankings.
Hitting the Gas
Search engine optimization, or SEO, increases the amount of people directed to your website via organic search engine results. These free services (unless you pay the “ad fee”) like Bing, Google and Yahoo rank the listings based on what the search engines determine most relevant. The results on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) can lead to more hits on your website, and ultimately increase business.
So, back to the 37 million results for “women’s black shoes in Houston.” This information is relevant to all of the sites, but what differentiates the results from first to last? The content on your website is essentially why people are searching in the first place.
On the Right Track
To gain higher rankings on the SERPs, your content must fulfill demands for a product, service or information. Key words should be incorporated throughout the site, increasing the exposure to the search engines. Interesting messages, images and videos capture attention, while links to reputable sources give the content more validity. Similarly, your site’s pages and content should be designed with links to the homepage and other category pages.
Another important element for search engine optimization is a well-written title tag. It represents your first opportunity to get noticed by potential customers and distinguishes your business from the competition. A 50-to-60-character title tag informs search engines about your page, allowing them to analyze the content for ranking it. If a title tag isn’t clear, or is poorly written, it could reduce the number of click throughs, thus lowering the rankings by the search engines.
Crossing the Finish Line
Your business depends on the right tools to promote its products and services. An informative website with engaging content can only go so far. Pump it up with key words, a strong title tag and useful links. With a little more momentum, you can be the leader of the pack.