Have you heard the term SEO but wondered what it stands for? Maybe you know it stands for “search engine optimization,” but do you know the actual value of SEO in marketing your business?

Imagine you need something — a product or service. What do you do? You Google it, right? Then, Google spits out a page of search results related to what you’re looking for so you can make a choice and proceed with your purchase.

SEO is how you make sure your business website shows up on that search results page. And it’s absolutely key to making sure that potential customers can find you.

How do I show up in search results?

There are entire businesses dedicated to SEO, and the process can sometimes be complicated and costly, but don’t fret! There are several DIY ways to make your website rank higher in search results.

Read on to find out the true meaning of SEO and how to use it in marketing your business.

What does SEO stand for?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” but to fully answer your question, the simple meaning of SEO in marketing your business is the process of improving your website so that search engines like Google are more likely to show your business in users’ search results.

Website SEO involves technical optimization, as well as researching keywords, implementing those keywords into your site, and continuously improving your content to make it easier for people to find. If that still sounds complicated, that’s okay. There’s an easier way to manage your own business SEO efforts.

How to improve search engine optimization

Let’s take a look at a few steps you can take to drastically improve your website’s SEO.

1. Audit your website

It’s essential to know how your website is doing in terms of SEO before you can understand how to improve it. You should scan your site periodically with an SEO tool to track your progress over time and keep your website ranking highly in search results. Some of the most important things you’ll want to look at are:

  • Speed. Does your site load fast, or do visitors have to wait while content creeps down the screen slowly?
  • Mobile-friendliness. Does your website look and function well on mobile devices? Most people use mobile devices to browse the internet.
  • Error pages and broken links. Don’t you find it frustrating when you click a link and hit that infamous “404 error” page? So do your customers, and so do search engines.
  • Security. Is your site secure? Do you have a valid SSL certificate from your domain provider?
  • Page titles. Does every webpage have a clear and concise title? Are there any duplicate titles that could be “competing” with each other in search results?
  • Keyword optimization. Keywords are the words you want to rank for when someone types them into a search engine. It’s crucial to build your content around these words. They should be present throughout your site, but most importantly, featured in:
    • Page titles
    • Meta descriptions and alt tags (image descriptions)
    • Headings

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does include some of the most critical factors you’ll want to consider when auditing your site’s SEO.

Now that you know how your site is doing, let’s take a look at how to improve your SEO and rank higher in search results!

2. Optimize your webpages

Once you’ve completed your audit, it’s time to get to work improving your search rankings on your most important web pages. This is the part of SEO where those keywords come into play. You’ll want to make sure they are included in several important areas of your site, as mentioned above.

Optimization isn’t just about tagging, cleaning, and organizing your website’s content. A big part of your SEO strategy should be content creation. When you regularly update your website with fresh, quality content — blog posts, videos, customer testimonials, etc. — you’re more likely to rank well in search results.

Simply put, a backlink is a link on another website that points back to your site. Google and other search engines like to see a lot of backlinks to your website because it’s one way to see that your content is valuable and reputable. The more reputable sites that point back to yours, the higher you’re likely to rank in search results.

The best way to generate a large number of backlinks is to create quality content that people want to share or reference from their websites.

A more straightforward and timely way to get backlinks is guest posting on a respected blog. In exchange for a well-thought-out blog post, the owner of the blog will likely provide you with a backlink or two from their site.

Here are some other ways to quickly increase your number of backlinks:

  • Link your personal sites to your company website
  • Ensure that your business is listed with accurate information on various listing and review sites, like Yelp and Google Business Profile
  • Ask for press coverage about your business to link back to your website
  • Make sure you’re sharing your website and content on social media and encouraging others to do so

Staying on top of SEO

Search engine optimization isn’t a “one-and-done” task. It’s something you’ll want to monitor and continuously improve over time. Consider doing so with a quality tool to ensure that you’re making the best use of your time and money.

You can find the new SEO tools in your Constant Contact account by clicking on the “Website” tab, then clicking “SEO.” Here are some additional actions I recommend taking ASAP within the SEO section of your Constant Contact account to monitor and improve your SEO:

SEO Quickstart Action Plan

  1. Open the SEO tool in your Constant Contact account
  2. Add your most important SEO keywords to track your rankings
  3. Add your SEO competitors so you can track them as well and make sure your search results are competitive with theirs
  4. Sign up for a monthly email update on your website’s SEO
  5. Connect your account with Google Analytics to see detailed visitor information from your SEO dashboard

Get started using Constant Contact’s SEO tools.