If you have a website, I am going to go ahead and assume that you want people to visit it.
So, for anyone wanting to give their business more visibility and help potential customers find them online, their website must be optimized. The process of doing this is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a long-term game, and optimizing your website doesn’t happen overnight.
To begin to understand SEO, we have to know what a search engine really is. It is a system that gathers content (e.g., website pages), stores it, organizes it, and provides a way for users to look through the content. The first one that most people think of is Google, but there are many more and the list continues to grow. With this in mind, the question becomes:
How do we help and encourage search engines to gather, store, and organize our websites?
SEO is a complicated and lengthy process, but the results are more than worth it. Imagine if your business’s or organization’s website ranked high (i.e., on the first page) on a search engine like Google when people search for terms related to what you do or offer. Do you think you would have more customers or clients than if your website was on even the third, fourth, or fifth page? When is the last time you made it to the fifth page when you did a search for something on Google?
There are a host of things that must be done to successfully optimize a website for search engines, but one thing remains true for each aspect of this process: when you begin SEO for your site (and when you envision your website design entirely) you need to start trying to see things from your customer’s point of view.
So, what can you do to get started?
The first, easiest, and quickest way to start helping your business show up online is by making a Google My Business profile for your business or organization. This starts to put you on Google’s radar and provides you with an easy way to connect your business’s website to Google. It also provides people a quick glance at, and summary of, your business.
Think of your Google My Business profile as the digital equivalent of people seeing your business through your store-front window while walking down the street. Imagine people shopping on a busy street. Are they more likely to find and browse through your business if it is displayed on the front sidewalk of the street, or if your business is a few streets over, behind all the other businesses?
I will break down how to make a great Google My Business profile in the next post. Be sure to check it out!