How Search Engine Optimization Can Help Your Chicago Website Get More Visitors
Anyone who’s anyone has a website these days, from Chicago businesses and professionals wanting to better serve their customers to people looking to provide convenient communication outlets. But how do you know that people will find your site among the millions of other websites that exist on the internet? How can you increase the chances that your site will be indexed and rank higher on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo? Popular search engines use complicated algorithms and automated analytic tools (which are sometimes called “spiders” or “crawlers”) that scan each web page to determine relevance and rank on a particular subject or topic. You need to be clever in order to make your web pages pertinent to spiders and crawlers, but it’s certainly not impossible to accomplish. Here are three words that can help you and your website succeed: search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization, often referred to as the acronym SEO, doesn’t employ a one-size-fits-all formula. In order to effectively use SEO, you must be dedicated and you must follow the rules. As a solid beginning to the SEO process, you should analyze common search terms and search trends of customers regarding your particular industry, your specific company, or both. For example, a “promotional products” company would need to optimize for more keywords and keyword phrases than just “promotional products” and “promotional items”; customers of that industry are also likely to search for terms like “stress balls” or “personalized sports bottles,” among many others. Deciphering heavily-used keywords for your web pages is just one of the important SEO steps that you can take.
You can often increase your visibility by including commonly-queried terms, words, and phrases in your page content. Conduct some research if you don’t know which keywords and search terms are common for your industry or business, and be a thorough sleuth. Which keywords are searched for most often? Which keywords do you think people would be most likely to search for if they were in need of services you provide? After you’ve discovered those keywords, use them to your advantage! Weave popular keywords into your writing and make them sound as natural as you possibly can, but be sure not to go overboard by stuffing keywords into your copy. Keyword-stuffing is frowned upon by search engines and can cost you a high ranking if your content is deemed as such by crawlers and spiders. Keyword-stuffing is cheating, and you’ll never win the ranking race if you get caught trying to fabricate your relevance!
Once you have common keywords in place on your site, also try cross-linking a few of your web pages to one another in order to boost relevance. You can emphasize online visibility by linking to your most important pages from other pages. If your “Contact Us” page gets more traffic than anything else on your site, then link to it from as many other pages as you can and you’ll increase the ways in which it can be found and read. If your “Frequently Asked Questions” page includes questions that can be answered with information on your other pages, then include links to them so visitors can navigate to them if needed. Analyze the keywords you’ve used and decide whether or not any of them could be explained or better understood with a link to another one of your web pages. Just like being wary of your keyword use, be careful not to go overboard with links or your page will appear spammy to visitors. You could also speak with other webmasters about link exchanges, but you’ll want to use caution and only link to credible sites. Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for visitors (and crawlers) to find your popular pages in order to increase traffic, popularity, and ranking of your site, but you must do everything in moderation.
Website layout is crucial to search engine optimization as well. Have a third party take a look at your company website and evaluate the layout, content, and general usability of it and then make note of any improvements that could be made. You may think that your keywords and keyword phrases sound natural or that your page links connect to their appropriate pages, but you could be mistaken! Verify that your website incorporates a user-friendly layout and organized information that’s easy to follow, and you could also improve your page’s relevancy through SEO. As a rule of thumb, put the page’s most relevant information toward the top and then work your way down from there; think of the upside-down triangle analogy that’s common in journalism—a story’s most important details should be toward the beginning of the article in order to draw in the reader, and then less crucial details should gradually taper downward toward the end of the article. Spiders and crawlers won’t make it far on your page if you put all of the most relevant and keyword-rich content in the last paragraph!
Essentially, SEO is the art of using keywords and keyword phrases to your advantage however possible on your site; you will increase your chances of getting found online if you optimize your content and copy, choose quality links and back links, and organize your page layout based on relevancy. SEO produces outstanding results when it’s done correctly. If you don’t feel comfortable implementing these search engine optimization strategies yourself, then remember there’s no shame in hiring a qualified Chicago SEO expert to assist you.