SEO. It’s a broad term, and there’s a good chance you’ve heard of it before. But what is it really? And why should we care about it?
At Studio2, we think of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as a combination of things you can do to improve your website’s search results. Putting your website on the Internet is just part of the process – it also needs to be made easy to find. In order to get your website on the first page of search results, you’ll have to make friends with Google and other search engines.
Ultimately, search engines advocate for their users, so the #1 thing to consider when trying to increase SEO is whether your site is helpful to users. If it is, search engines will reward you with a boost to the top of the results page. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your site as useful as possible:
- Include Keywords. Avoid relying only on insider terms or industry jargon – you want to include keywords and phrases that the average web user might look up. Before you write anything, think about the searches you’d like to appear in, and write your content with that goal in mind.
- Answer Questions. What are some of the most common questions people ask about your product or service? Make sure your content answers them, to make both your users and search engines happy. Sometimes having an FAQ list on your website can be helpful because the questions listed might line up exactly with a curious user’s search.
- Be Strategic. Website strategy is crucial for SEO. Building an SEO-friendly site includes increasing readability, simplifying displays, and organizing site navigation based on what users are searching for. When we’re building websites at Studio2, we get strategic with page titles and descriptions. By anticipating what it wants to show users, we’re telling Google, “Hey! We made your job easier!”
- Optimize Performance. The way a site is built and technically optimized make a big difference in getting better search rankings. High performing sites with fast page load times and a fast server response will rank better. When your site is being developed, it should be responsive so it can be viewed on any device, and have an SSL certificate for security. Remember, search engines want to show searchers the “best” options, so performance and technical aspects are parts of those algorithms, too.
- Stay Up-to-Date. We encourage clients to update their websites on a regular basis, whether that is by editing or adding page content or blog posts. This tells search engines that the site is alive, active, and people care about it! Websites that include outdated information (e.g. dates/events that have passed) are viewed by users – and search engines – as less credible.
There are thousands of ways to potentially increase SEO. There is no one right answer, and this can make the process feel mysterious and complex. However, if your main focus is to make your website helpful to its visitors, you’re right where you need to be.
If you need some expert advice on building a search engine optimized website to help your customers find you, contact Studio2 Design + Digital.