What Is SEO and Why Does It Matter for Your Site?
As a business owner, you’ve probably heard at least a few mentions of SEO. Maybe you’ve never seriously considered using SEO for your site before. Read on to learn how embracing SEO can really impact and improve your website and your business.
Why It’s Time to Take SEO Seriously
Now, more than ever, people are largely shopping online. Factors like the COVID-19 Pandemic and working from home have fostered an environment that makes shopping from home not only convenient, but preferable. Given the prevalence of online shoppers, you’re definitely going to want to use SEO on your site.
Why is SEO so important and beneficial to your business? Here are a few reasons:
SEO can directly improve your business prospects
Organic search is one of the main driving points of online business. What is ‘organic search?’ This term simply means any non-paid means through which people search with keywords on the internet. SEO affects the way that website results are presented, and the higher your site’s SEO rankings, the higher chance your site has of being found by potential customers.
SEO is especially important in regard to Google. Since Google is the most heavily visited search engine in the world, you’ll definitely want your Google SEO rankings to be strong.
SEO Helps Customers Trust Your Brand
Building strong SEO results takes time. If your site has strong SEO rankings, then customers know that your site–and subsequently, your brand–is trustworthy.
Quality SEO Offers a Better User Experience
Google SEO rankings are affected by how easily a user can find intended information on your site. Therefore, an easy-to-navigate website can greatly improve your site’s SEO rankings.
Local SEO Is Great For Business
Local SEO focuses on making a site easier to find for people in a particular geographic area. User reviews (from sites like Google, Yelp, etc.) are an especially big deal in this approach. Relevant regional listings are incredibly important, as well.
SEO Is Affordable and Can Deliver Big Results
If you can get SEO right, you will leverage a solid investment that will benefit your business for years to come.
- Some related questions to consider are:
- What is your industry?
- Who is the target audience for your industry?
- Who are your primary competitors?
- What SEO strategies are your competitors using?
SEO Is Here to Stay
Since SEO isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, investing in SEO can be a smart move for your business.
What Is SEO?
Now that you’ve seen a few of the benefits of SEO, you’re probably wondering: how does SEO actually work?
How SEO Works
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, as aptly defined by Neil Patel, “the process of taking steps to help a website or piece of content rank higher on Google.” In other words, SEO involves making your website more appealing to Google. As a result, Google lists your site higher in related search results.
Google presents search results based upon the perceived quality of each website’s content. Google defines quality content as information that easily solves users’ needs. This factor is determined by how long a user stays on your page. The fewer clicks that person makes, the higher Google rates that content. In short, more clicks mean less effectiveness, while fewer clicks lead to a higher quality content rating.
Basics of Google Search
Googlebot, the automated software (“crawler”) that finds and indexes web pages, determines SEO rankings through many factors. Firstly, a sitemap is necessary for making your site discoverable to Google. Additionally, a sitemap allows Google crawlers to learn about new and changed pages on your site. Behind-the-scenes coding and tags are also necessary for making your site easily findable. For more information about such coding, check out Google’s SEO Starter Guide.
Google visits newly-discovered websites to determine those sites’ search result rankings. During this process, Googlebot analyzes a site’s non-text content, text content, and site layout. The crawler then determines how understandable a site’s content is and ranks the site (in the search results) based upon that rating.
This step takes place after Googlebot visits a new site. ‘Indexing’ is Google’s attempt to determine the nature of a page. Googlebot checks out page images and content, as well as page videos, in order to figure out what the page is about. Then, Google stores the information in the Google index.
Indexing can be (potentially) improved through the following steps:
- Creating short and descriptive page titles
- Using specific page headings that accurately describe the page subject
- Use text, not images, to describe your content
As mentioned previously, Google ranks websites in search results based upon certain criteria. However, your site’s Google search rankings can be potentially improved through the following steps:
- Create a fast-loading page
- Make your page mobile-friendly
Improve your user experience by following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Limitations of SEO
SEO offers many benefits, but SEO does have some drawbacks. For one thing, SEO campaigns can take several months to produce results. Generally, you can expect your campaign to take between four months and a year to potentially deliver results. Additionally, SEO does not always work. While SEO can be very effective and profitable, no one can guarantee that SEO will improve your business. Therefore, SEO comes with risks. SEO also involves a cut-throat, competitive market whose environment is constantly changing. Due to these issues, SEO requires constant work and investment. Finally, Google’s algorithm is always changing, and a site might be penalized if new changes required by the algorithm are not implemented.
Some Available SEO Tools
In addition to using your website as a means for improving SEO, you can also use outside software and tools. Read on to discover some options.
One of the major players in the world of SEO tools is Semrush. This tool has the ability to c be a game changer for your business. The popular software offers numerous features that can improve SEO, content marketing, market research, advertising, and social media. For instance, SEMRush uses keyword research to help you improve your SEO rankings.
In a not-so-surprising turn of events, the all-mighty Google offers its own marketing analysis tool. Google Analytics uses dashboards and reports to offer you a better understanding of the way users interact with your site’s content. Additionally, Google Analytics employs machine learning to provide you with data insight. You can then use these insights to improve profitability. Google Analytics can also be combined with Google’s full suite of marketing analysis products (such as Display & Video 360, Google Ads, AdSense, etc.) to deliver even more results.
Your Web Host Can Improve Your SEO Success
You knew that a web host was necessary for creating and running a website. Did you know that your web host can help you with implementing SEO, too? Check out some of the options that Pair offers for improving your SEO results.
Pair’s Managed WordPress Hosting offers numerous plugins that can improve your SEO results. Some of these plugin options include:
WordPress vs. Traditional HTML Sites
While both static (traditional) HTML sites and WordPress sites can use SEO, a WordPress site is the easiest way to benefit from SEO. Sure, you can implement SEO with a static html site. However, a WordPress site makes SEO much more accessible. With WordPress, you are provided with built-in dashboards and plugins that make managing SEO way easier. For instance, WordPress makes managing your technical SEO much easier (‘technical SEO’ means the ‘behind-the-scenes’ steps taken to make a site better, such as site architecture, page speed, etc) by having those built-in features. If you opt for a static html site, you’ll have to create the technical aspects of your site from scratch. If you’re up for doing so, then go for it. However, if you’re not a big coder, then choosing WordPress might be the best option.
Consider Weebly or WordPress
Weebly is another powerful site-building tool offered by Pair. One of the biggest perks of Weebly is that the tool allows you to build a website without requiring that you be a coding expert. As a drag-and-drop site builder, Weebly enables you to quickly and easily construct a website to your liking. Additionally, Weebly offers all the built-in features you need, including security and ecommerce options.
Learn more about Pair’s Weebly hosting options.
Weebly vs. WordPress
Which Site Builder is Best for Beginners?
Weebly is more straightforward and is probably better than WordPress (as far as beginners are concerned). WordPress requires users to pick a theme and to pick specific web plugins. In contrast, Weebly is more straightforward and comes with all features already installed. Additionally, a Weebly site is easier to build than a WordPress site. All that being said, WordPress is still great. However, if you’re looking for the easiest option (for a beginner), you might want to opt for Weebly.
Greater Customization Options–Weebly or WordPress?
Both Weebly and WordPress offer a decent selection of pretty cool themes. Hands down, though, WordPress offers more customizability than Weebly. While Weebly offers a few dozen theme options, WordPress offers thousands of theme types. Then again, all of Weebly’s themes are free whereas WordPress’ themes include both free and paid options.
Which Option Provides the Most SEO Tools?
Weebly provides built-in SEO tools (like Weebly Promote)whereas WordPress allows users to choose specific marketing plugins rather than providing those plugins at installation. Both options offer excellent SEO tools–you just have to consider what choice best fits your site’s needs.
Security and Site Performance Can Affect Search Engine Rankings
Yep, your site performance and security can improve or tank your SEO rankings. Therefore, your web host choice is extremely important to your site’s SEO rankings, since your web host can directly harm or help your site’s security and performance.
Security and SEO Rankings
An unsecure website can definitely take a hit in regard to SEO rankings. Users tend to leave a site that is not secure, and this loss can definitely affect SEO. Additionally, if a user leaves your site and returns to the search engine results, Google views this action as a sign that your site was not the user’s desired result. In turn, your site loses SEO ranking points. Also, SEO spam, a result of site hacking, can directly lower SEO rankings. Frequent hackings and downtime can also tank your SEO efforts. Outdated software and insecure plugins and themes can even affect SEO.
How Your Web Host Can Improve Site Security for Better SEO Results
Your web host can directly impact and improve your SEO results by offering quality security solutions.
Get an SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate is an excellent, SEO-boosting way to show that your site is secure. Google penalizes sites that lack SSL certificates. By showing that your website is secure and that your site offers encryption, an SSL certificate can increase your site’s SEO rankings.
Pair web hosting packages offer SSL certificates. Check out the options that can help to improve your SEO rankings!
Web Hosting, Site Performance, and the Impact on SEO
The faster your site, the better your SEO rankings. Sure, Google states that page relevancy factors higher in SEO rankings than site speed does. However, site speed is still a big deal where your SEO ranking is concerned.
You can check your site’s speed with these tools.
Various factors can affect site speed performance, and you can read about ways to improve your site’s speed. We’re going to briefly address one way that your web host can directly hurt or help your SEO efforts, though: server response time.
Your Web Host and Server Response Time
Server Response Time (SRT) is basically the time between a user clicking on a link or entering a url and the server’s response to that request. Good SRT means that your site will load really quickly. Longer load times mean a poorer user experience and a lower SEO site ranking.
What can directly affect your SRT? Your choice of web host.
Let Pair Be Your Game Changer
Pair web hosting options are optimized for speed and performance. In short: Pair can help improve your SRT, and subsequently, your SEO rankings.
Speed Up Your Site with Pair’s CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) can speed up your site. Basically, a CDN makes traffic to your website’s images and content faster by working with other internet providers and servers. In short, a CDN makes your site faster.
PairCDN goes a step further. By allowing users to download content from the nearest PairCDN server, Pair helps users to download content more quickly.
Give SEO a Try
SEO is here to stay and offers numerous potential benefits. Sure, like anything, SEO is not a guarantee of business success. However, with the right web host and SEO tools, you can really improve your business opportunities and results.