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4 SEO Basics Every Business Owner Should Know

by Paul J. Scott

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Business owners have an interesting relationship with search engine optimization. While most are at least aware of it, and want to rank highly on Google, the majority fall into one of two camps: Either they know next to nothing about the way SEO works, or they know just enough to focus on the technical details.

In the first case, it’s hard to make the most of your SEO campaigns if you don’t understand what Google and the other engines really want. And in the second instance, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees if you’re paying attention to the wrong search visibility factors.

For business owners who might fall on either end of the spectrum, here are four search engine optimization basics you should know and use:

#1 How Google Works

Although Google’s exact search algorithm is a well-guarded secret, its basic workings are not. The search engine uses automated pieces of software (called spiders) that “crawl” the Internet going from one website to the next by following links. When it finds a new page, it looks for certain search terms to determine what the content is about. Then, when a searcher looks for something that fits that profile, Google sends traffic their way.

By adding new content to your website, and earning links from other reputable websites, you increase your website’s search visibility. That is the search engine optimization process in a nutshell.

#2 You Can Catch up to an Already Optimized Competitor

There is a big misconception that you can never catch up to a competitor on Google if they have a big head start. That’s simply not true. You can gain ground surprisingly quickly just by posting fresh and unique content to your website or blog and then having others link to it. And if you can focus on a particular niche or geographic area, you might be able to catch up and even surpass the other website in a matter of months.

#3 Shortcuts Can Be Deadly

While improving your search visibility doesn’t have to take forever, it’s a very bad idea to try to take shortcuts. Creating fake pages on your website, using search terms unnaturally, or paying for low-quality links and social followers are all somewhat common tactics. They could even work for a few weeks, but in the long run, they are likely to get your website banned from Google. Then, you won’t get search traffic regardless of whatever else you do.

#4 Visits Are Different from Sales

A lot of business owners treat search engine rankings as if they were a form of currency. While it’s generally better to be at the top of Google’s listings than it is to be buried on the 12th page, having a high search ranking won’t help you by itself. You have to be attracting the right visitors and turning them into customers before SEO can help you, so don’t lose sight of what really matters as you optimize your pages.

Search engine optimization is complex, but it works on simple principles. If you know and understand them, you can start bringing new visitors to your website almost immediately. Why not talk with a member of the creative team today and see how we can help you gain more traffic from Google and turn those impressions into new revenue?

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