What is SEO?
Every day millions of people ask Google all kinds of questions:
- Where is the closest gas station?
- How do I renovate my bathroom?
- Who is the best mechanic in my city?
Google wants to answer those questions as accurately as possible. So it reads as much of the internet as it can and then uses many different factors to determine which information will best answer your question.
So in order for Google to show your website at the top of the list, it needs to trust that your information is the best answer.
Search Engine Optimization is a the process of making your website better in order to increase the amount of traffic coming from search engines like Google.
Google specifically treats local businesses differently. If you are looking for a local business, you want someone close by and so they take into account the location of each local business, and often even display a map with a list of locations for certain keywords.
Google My Business
The first step in optimizing your website, is to add your business profile to Google My Business, https://www.google.com/intl/en_us/business/, and fill out all your information. This will allow your business to show up in the map listings.
One of the ways that Google ranks businesses is by the reviews left by customers. Encouraging your customers to leave reviews can be a huge help. Even if people sometimes leave negative reviews, you can respond to them and politely ask to make it right or explain your side of the story.
Spruce up the information on your website. Google likes to see unique information, not available elsewhere. And then add good titles, use heading tags, add appropriate images, and do some keyword research.
Everybody wants speed. Make sure that your website loads quickly, if it takes to long to load people go elsewhere. Pingdom has a neat tool to test your pagespeed, https://tools.pingdom.com/.
More people are using mobile devices to browse, so make sure your website loads well for mobile users. Google as a tool that has helpful suggestions: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly.
Another factor Google uses to rank websites is by how much authority your website has. One way it measures authority is by the number and quality of links pointing to your website from other websites. Some ways that you can get more links: get listed in your suppliers directories, Chamber of Commerce, sponsoring local events, and being featured in a local news story.