How SEO Works and Why Small Business Owners Need to Understand It Search Engine Optimization for Beginners
Small business owners need their websites to be easily discovered by prospective customers who search for their services or products using search engines like Google or Bing. Building websites and content that are developed to appear high in unpaid search results is a process known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The question facing business owners is how to use SEO to their benefit, and create a website and content that search engines find and prioritize. Doing so requires a basic understanding of how search engines work.
How SEO Helps Search Engines Find Websites
The goal behind every search engine is to best serve its users. This means giving them the most relevant results when they conduct a search for a specific term or set of words. Search engines do this in three distinct ways:
Database Building: Search engines find websites through database building. This task is done via:
Discovery: finding your site through links on other websites, or via direct submission through webmaster.
Crawlers: using a program that visits websites and reads their pages and following any links, creating entries for an index.
Indexing: Search engines collect, parse and store data for use by the search engine. Sites are indexed based on a number of factors such as traffic to site.
Page Ranking: Once a site is indexed, the most important thing for the search engine is to give the user what he wants to see in terms of search results. Thus, the most important consideration for search engines when they rank websites in search results is keyword match.
Search engines use three different means to figure out the match:
Reading your website content.
Look at what sites have links pointing to your website, and noting what the anchor text is for those links.
Looking at the volume and quality of user experience who searched these keywords and went to your website.
Categorizing user searches into standard search patterns: Finally, search engines look for stylized searches, which often feature some form of localization. For example, "seafood restaurants in Orlando." Search engines have a way or categorizing searches based on these types of search patterns. Being listed in structured forms such as Google Places helps with these searches.
What's a Small Business Owner to Do?
With this basic understanding of how search engines work, and how they rank your website, there are a few tips business owners must follow as they develop their own website.
Communicate: Make clear to you customer what services or products you offer, and do it in a way that connects with your target audience. This should happen organically through well-written text on your website that targets keywords and search terms that would help prospective customers find your business.
Build Your Reputation: You can help your page ranking by building your online reputation in the eyes of search engines. You can do this by working with partner websites, getting links in different types of press, and having other quality websites backlink to your site.
Offer a Good User Experience: Once potential customers find your website, you want them to have a positive experience -- in other words, they should stay on your site, and not bounce.
You'll up your chance of appearing high in search rankings by using a website building platform, like Ocoos, to create your website. Ocoos's professionally designed sites include high-quality images and text, and allow small business owners to create B2B partnerships by sharing links with other, related businesses. A full-service concierge is available to build your website for you, ensuring it successfully meets the standards of search engine optimization required by the likes of Google and Bing.