As advertising makes a shift to being primarily electronic, a new phrase has entered the realm of any marketer: search engine optimization (SEO)

So what is this new and common phrase and why is it important?

SEO is defined as, ” the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by the search engine.

Why is this important? Let’s say someone is new to to town, and he’s hungry, and he could go for a good pizza. So he goes to Google and searches, “pizza near me.” Now Google pulls up every pizza place anywhere within a 15 mile radius of him. This search can generate over 20 restaurants that serve pizza. If your pizza parlor has a poor presence in a search engine, you are likely to be buried somewhere near the bottom of this list, and no matter how great your pizza is, many people will never go past the fifth option on the list before making a decision.

So how do you ensure that your pizza parlor shows up at the top of the list? Increase your search engine optimization. How do you do that?

1. Become Mobile Friendly

It is not uncommon for people to conduct these searches on a smart phone. No matter what platform you used to create your website, odds are there are multiple “mobile-friendly” themes to choose from. Be sure that the theme you use has this capability. These themes are typically built to be fast and are built with HTML5 for this reason. If your theme does not translate well to a mobile device then people will likely become too frustrated with your website to learn more about what you have to offer. In addition to the usage quality, Google will likely indicate that you are mobile friendly to those searching on a mobile device.

2. Conduct and Audit

There are multiple tools that you can use in order to conduct a SEO audit on your site, and correct the errors that result. Among these tools are Google Webmaster and Screaming Frog. Some errors to look out for are: broken links, 404 errors, and redirects. These errors may get buried in the site, and you may not even realize the issues that are resulting. You can also conduct your own assessment on the site by searching for it as if you were a potential customer in order to assess and evaluate the quality of the experience.

3. Update

It is important that your website stay updated so that it does not become irrelevant in the eyes of the users. Make sure that no matter what your product or service is, you keep the website up to date on pricing, hours, and anything else that might change. Another detail to keep in mind is the copyright notice at the footer of your website. Some websites do not update this automatically so it is your responsibility to make sure that this stays up to date. While this may seem small and tedious, it is extremely important because the footers are shown on every page of your website, and if they are not properly maintained then search engines are likely to interpret that the entire website is no longer up to date.

4. Choose Your Words Wisely

When designing your website, the responsibility of choosing the wording is not one that should be taken lightly. The algorithms that Google uses has been transformed through the years so that it can recognize more than just the simple and plain words of a business. Instead, it can now search terms with the same meanings, and respond in that manner, so you do not have to use all of the same cookie cutter writing any more. You can get personal, you can be engaging, and you can still appear on a Google search. So do it. Choose your words wisely so that you keep a unique personal touch while still getting your point across.

5. Know Your Competition

When considering your competitors in business, you’re not only looking to sell your product over theirs, but also to appear higher than them on the search engine. Because of this, it is important to familiarize yourself with their websites. So for your pizza shop, google pizza shops in your area. See what shows up. See what shops come before you, and analyze these websites. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these sites? What kind of content do they share? Also look to identify their key words. How often to they mention pizza? What other pizza related words do they use in order to appear more frequently? How can you do the same thing? By understanding what makes your competition stand out, you can make steps to stand out even further on a search engine.

Any business would benefit significantly by placing more focus on search engine optimization. Mars Hill Ortho has the knowledge and research capabilities to get you noticed on the web.