As a business owner, you’ve most likely heard the term “SEO” used before in reference to your website, business listing, or social media accounts. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Simply put, the quality of your SEO is how search engines rank your content in their results. There are many misconceptions about how SEO works and what factors are involved, so we will break down a few common questions in this article.
How do I rank higher on Google?
Google uses a complex and constantly changing algorithm to rank their results based on a user’s search query. This algorithm takes into account many factors, some of which are only known by Google themselves. Your best bet for ranking higher on Google organically is to optimize your SEO for as many of these factors as possible to “score” highly on an SEO test. When HFB builds a website, we focus on the factors that we have control over to produce a website that looks great, works great, and most importantly, scores great.
What can HFB do?
As previously mentioned, your website developer only has control over certain factors of your overall SEO. These factors are commonly referred to as “On-Page SEO” and can be described as any factor that is affected by the code and content that is present on your website. For example, a major factor that Google takes into account when ranking a website is the structure of the metadata for each page. Your website developer will configure the title and description of the page to accurately describe the content and give search engines the proper information to help your site appear on results for the most relevant searches.
This is a very simple example and there are many factors that we are able to address, but the most important thing to understand is that the way your website is built is important for how it will rank. Two identical websites could score very differently on an SEO test based on factors that you aren’t able to actually see.
What can I do?
Although we strive to fully build your web presence completely on our own, there are a few things that you can do as a business owner that your web team cannot. The first and most important thing that you can do is to provide the content for your website pages. This refers to the text that users can read when they are visiting your website. Your web team can help you structure the content and design the page to display the information in the best way possible, but you will be able to communicate the capabilities, services, and history of your company much better than anyone else can.
Search engines analyze the content of a web page when determining where that page will rank in the results. If you provide accurate and helpful information to a user searching for something relevant to your business, this will vastly improve the ranking of your website in the results. A few other examples of things you can do to improve your rankings are replying to reviews on your Google Business Listing, regularly posting on your Social Media accounts, and providing updated content to your web team whenever possible.
What can’t we do?
When it comes to SEO there are many factors that you can control, but there are also some factors that you can’t control. For example, the history of your domain can play a role in how well your website ranks. Although we can build a new website to attach to your domain, we aren’t able to control how long that domain has been active and the history of the traffic that has been routed to your domain. A domain name that has been active for several years and has built up a large amount of quality traffic will have an advantage in SEO rankings over a brand new domain with 0 history. Search engines also take into account the quality of traffic to the domain name.
If you are planning to purchase a new domain name for your website, don’t panic, this is only one of many factors that affects your rankings. As long as you are addressing most of the other factors, a fresh domain name won’t hurt you too much. Other examples of factors out of our control include the competition in your area for local search results, competitors using paid advertising for their listings, and the overall quantity of searches for your industry. Despite these factors, we are confident that every business has the opportunity to improve their online presence with a strong web team at their backs.
When trying to improve your SEO, there are things that you can’t control, things that you can do to help, and many things that an experienced web development team can do to help. Whether you are looking to improve your current website’s rankings or start a brand new website from scratch, addressing the many factors involved with search engine optimization will undoubtedly prove to be a profitable investment in your business. For more information, reach out to us using your HFB Client Portal login or contact us to get a Free SEO Report on your website today!