When I’m trying to find a product or service online, I typically use Google to find my result. After typing in my search, thousands upon thousands of results fill my screen in less than a second. This leaves me, the consumer, with thousands of options. But what do I do? I click on the first or second link, and if I don’t find the result I want, I try to use a new search to redefine my results.
So what if you run a small business and your business doesn’t appear among the first few results on Google, or even the first page? Marketers would suggest taking a look at the website and using search engine optimization (SEO) to help improve the website’s standing on page results. Search Engine Land and Common Craft partnered to make an article and a video explaining what SEO is and how to use it. The video expresses search engines like Google and Bing as librarians. Google and Bing collect information from pages on the web to help searchers find what they are looking for. There are five key ingredients in order for one of these search engines to find your page and increase the page’s rank:
- Words Matter. Search engines account for all the words on a page. Therefore, if a consumer is looking for a particular word that appears on your page frequently, the more likely your page will appear when that word is searched.
- Titles Matter. Titles are used to summarize a page. Search engines pay special attention to titles as it is a synopsis of what the reader will be learning if they choose to click.
- Links Matter. When a page has multiple links linking back to it, search engines see this as making the page more reliable.
- Words in Links. If the links that are linked back to your site contain similar words, it will help increase the rank of your page.
- Reputation. A mixture of fresh content and increasing links will help a website maintain, or grow, its rank.
Ironically, one of the businesses that does SEO best is the outdoor sporting goods store Bass Pro Shops. With 100 stores and 120 million visitors annually, Bass Pro Shops is one of the leading outdoor retailers in North America. I looked into its online presence and found a very clean website that was very user friendly, so I decided to put the rugged, wildlife business to the test. After searching many related topics such as “outdoor stores,” Bass Pro was at the top of almost every result. In a very competitive market, it is evident Bass Pro has successfully utilized search engine optimization.