How to Use SEO to Boost Your Business

Why use SEO

scheme and open book

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the way to improve your website’s rankings in a online search. A higher ranking means your business site comes nearer the top of list of the search results displayed, and people are more likely to visit sites they find on the first few pages of the search. SEO in itself is big business – just search on Toronto SEO to find all the local companies offering this service. However, you can use SEO yourself to boost your business,  just by knowing about keywords, content and links.

Keywords

There’s much more to SEO, but keywords are the foundation of boosting your business online. Without thorough and thoughtful keyword research, any SEO campaign is going to have limited, if any, success. Keywords are how people are going find you online, so you have to attach the right keywords to your pages.

Keyword selection is both an art and a science. Google’s Keyword tool (among others) lets you investigate how useful particular keywords are. Check out also the keywords that your competitors are looking in the code of their web pages. Choose keywords that are not too general and yet are not too specific and limiting. For example, for a company offering SEO services, the keyword “SEO” is much too broad. “SEO services” is a little better but there are many businesses offering that. “Toronto SEO” would attract people looking for a company in that region. Your keywords must be words that your target audience naturally uses.

People are now quite sophisticated and specific in what they search for. They don’t want to have to click through tens of pages of results to find what they need. That’s where long-tailed keywords are helpful, and search engines are rewarding these with higher page rankings. These are three and four keyword phrases which are very specific to whatever you are selling –  “Toronto SEO small businesses” for example.

Content

It’s quite simple: content must be original, high-quality, useful and regularly updated. It should sound natural and be written for a human reader, not for the search engines. The days of stuffing your text with keywords is over – you’ll be penalized for that by the search engines now. Blogs are a great way of keeping content current as web pages are usually quite static. You’re also penalized for having duplicate content that’s elsewhere on the web, either on your own site or on someone else’s. Use a plagiarism checker such as Copyscape to check that your text is your own.

Links

Inbound links to your website – those from other sites – still help towards raising your page ranking. But these have to be high-quality and reputable links. Earn them, don’t purchase them, tempting though it may be to suddenly have hundreds of pages pointing towards your site. The search engines can tell whether these inbound links are authentic. A PR firm can help you to get press hits which will significantly improve your SEO.

Internal links, those within your website, also help in SEO. Tie in all your blog posts to other pages in your site, and cross-reference those pages to each other as well. The more often a page is linked to within your website, the higher it will rank. Plan the navigation within your website, don’t just let it evolve.

These three elements, while key, are just the tip of what SEO is about. Visit the websites of Toronto SEO companies for more hints and tips.

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