SEO is one of the most powerful tools that an entrepreneur can rely on when it comes to becoming really successful in the world of high-competition business. There are quite a few things that boost an entrepreneur to greater achievements and essential knowledge about SEO is one such trait.
What is SEO?
SEO or search engine optimization is all about the activities that an individual must undertake in order to increase awareness of his or her business in search engine rankings. After all, in the digital world, word of mouth alone isn’t enough! A business owner must also rely on coming up on the list of results when people search for products or services that he can provide and this is where SEO comes in.
What does SEO encompass?
For an entrepreneur, SEO must be built like a marketing strategy. This strategy should be aimed at:
- Getting his website to appear at the top of search engine results.
- Drive traffic to his website.
- Improve rankings and
- Finally, getting better numbers as far as sales and customers are concerned.
It can include different techniques and aspects such as:
- On-site optimization
- Off-site optimization
- Mobile SEO
- White-hat SEO
- Black-hat SEO
- Social content
Think of this as an ‘inward looking’ aspect. It has to be all about checking out the business website and ensuring that it fits a standard or benchmark as far as quality is concerned.
This quality encompasses technical and content aspects along with:
- Including the right keywords.
- Meta descriptions and meta tags – both should have relevant keywords. There are a few online tools that can help.
- Loading speed.
- Ensuring that the subject matter of the website is clear and searchable.
- Page titles – each page should have a content-related title because this boosts visibility.
All of this results in the viewers and the search engines having a very clear idea of the business.
This is all about looking outwards. It helps to think of this aspect of SEO as all the activities that help establish the entrepreneur’s credentials as an industry expert. A site’s perceived expertise is all that matters here.
Building an online reputation must bring together:
- Link building to other high quality websites.
- Internet marketing.
- Social media.
- Promotion by peers.
The biggest component here is a careful orchestration of how online reputation is created and managed. People do search for products and services as per brand so an entrepreneur can easily think of this angle while doing off-site SEO.
More and more people are turning to their mobile or handheld devices in order to find answers and information. Optimizing one’s website for the smaller screen is smart thinking at many levels. This should be considered as an SEO best practice.
Some of the aspects to dwell upon in this connection are:
- Page loading speed.
- Designing website for mobile.
- Optimizing website for local search.
- Responsive web design to ensure content takes the shape and size of the screen.
- Staying away from pop-ups and flash.
The main point of using mobile SEO is the use of a clean design. The focus is on getting mobile users to enjoy all the relevant information in a simple format and complete their website experience in an effective and memorable manner.
The simple way of looking at this aspect and the one that follows – black-hat SEO – is that one is human traffic and the other is not. Obviously, white-hat SEO is all about human traffic which is what every entrepreneur needs.
The definite emphasis here is quality and not quantity and some of the elements for this component of SEO are:
- Great quality content that is not stuffed with errors and keywords –especially if they are wrongly spelt.
- High-quality images.
- Page titles that are clear, relevant and unique.
- Cultivating good quality links and references.
- Using standards-compliant HTML.
- Optimizing meta tags.
It is rather easy to guess that this is less than desirable but it is important for every entrepreneur to know what this is all about. Black-hat SEO tends to deliver results rather quickly. However, it can bring down a website’s ranking rather quickly too.
Some of the elements that go into this technique are:
- Link farms that generate machine created links.
- Keyword stuffing – even if it leads to poor grammar.
- Using duplicate content.
- Automating content.
- Doorway pages which are used for spamdexing– spamming the index of search engines.
Why should an entrepreneur know about black-hat SEO? An entrepreneur may be outsourcing SEO activities and with this knowledge about black-hat SEO, he or she can ask for more information before deciding on the most effective course of action.
Social media is a powerful component of SEO. The social media strategy followed by an entrepreneur can boost rankings in a big way. Social media marketing helps all good SEO practices.
Some of the things that can be done are:
- Increasing the number of followers on a social media site.
- Nurturing high quality external links to the business website or social page.
- Creating and publishing social posts that are ‘search engine friendly’.
- Encouraging people to share content.
- Strengthening local community involvement.
- Creating a solid online reputation as well.
Finally, there is the technical part of SEO as well. The technical part can go a long way in boosting organic search traffic. Some of these technical aspects incorporate:
- Ensuring the website is a fast-loading one.
- Server problems should be addressed really quickly.
- Scan for links – none of them should be broken and all of them should take the visitor to the intended page.
- Use webmaster tools to monitor and deal with problems in the least amount of time possible.
As with every aspect of business, there is good and bad as far as SEO is concerned. Knowing how each technique works and what it can bring to the table for an entrepreneur is critical for business success. The right kind of SEO activities can certainly help an entrepreneur in a big way and make the most optimum use of resources.