Many small business owners will type in the name of their business in Google search and see that they’re on the first page of the search results. With that morale boost, they’ll type in keywords associated with their business in Google, and that’s when disaster strikes. They are no longer appearing on the first page of the search results. That, my friend, is where SEO comes in.

A common question among new business owners is what is SEO? If you don’t know what SEO is, we’re here to drop some knowledge on you. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of growing a website or webpage’s visibility in a search engine’s organic search results. Basically, how to rank higher in the organic search results and gain visibility on search engines.

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to SEO: Keywords, image tags, title tags, outbound links, website design, visitor behavior and much more. In this day of age of SEO, the focus has been shifting towards content creation. If you were about to crank out tons of content and mention your keywords as many times as possible – it is time to rethink your strategy. Search engines have a sophisticated algorithm that can easily detect content that has key search terms used throughout unnecessarily. The best approach is to write high-quality content that users want to read. Keywords should appear naturally within the content, titles, and meta descriptions for maximum SEO impact.

Before you start creating new content for your website and determing keywords, you need to consider your target audience. Optimizing your SEO around your target audience is one of the best decisions a business owner can make. Understanding what kind of information your target audience is looking for or interested in will help you select the best keywords to target your audience with and develop content topics. Google provides advertisers a handy tool called the Keyword Planner which allows you to research your keyword opportunities and find out how many people are actively searching for your keywords. Keyword research ensures that the keywords you are using in your content align with what your audience is actually searching for.

Again, there are many moving parts to SEO, and this is only one of the pieces that contribute to successful SEO. (Maybe we’ll write another optimized blog post diving deeper into SEO?). An important thing to understand is that ranking on the first page of the results doesn’t always mean a guaranteed win for your business. Regardless of ranking first, if your target audience doesn’t find the information they are looking for and leaves your website, ranking high was essentially a waste. The top SEO tool in your arsenal is a high-quality, optimized website. Without a website that impresses both your audience and search engines, your SEO strategy could fall flat.

If you want to learn more about SEO and how to implement an effective SEO strategy into your business, come say hello to Serendipit (End of shameless plug).