In a nutshell, SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of making sure that the content written on your website can be read and indexed by search engines. Writing content with SEO in mind can be a great way to improve your ranking in search results, and is essentially free advertising. Do you ever wonder why your competitors’ websites appear on the first page of a Google search, while yours is buried a few pages into the search results? Their website is likely written in a way that includes the terms that the users have searched for.

Importance of SEO

SEO is very important for any business with a website, as the 75% of search users never look past the first page of search results, and a third of all searches will click on the first organic link. This means that if your website does not appear in the first page of search results, you are not even seen by the majority of users who are searching for you. Many customers begin their buying process online using search engines, and you need to make sure you are appearing prominently in their search results.

Good SEO is Free Advertising

Effective SEO acts as highly targeted advertising to reach an in-market audience of local searchers who are looking for your product or service.  Many users who are searching are ready to make a purchase, but need to find a provider.  SEO is a great way to drive qualified customers into your store.  Often, users are ready to make a purchase, but are searching for a local business to meet their need.

For example, if a company is offering Limousine or VIP Chauffeur service, they should be sure to mention all the types of events they cater to on their website.  Since limos are often rented for weddings, bachelor & bachelorette parties, high school proms and corporate events, it is a good practice for a chauffeur service to mention these types of events on their Services page.  In addition to the general service page, it is great to have specific pages or blog posts focusing on each type of event outlining how the limo experience can be tailored for different audiences & events, to ensure that their site comes up in the first page of search results.  The customers searching to hire a limo for a Prom are very different from those who are searching for transportation for their bachelor parties, and their search terms will reflect this.  Having a variety of great content that is optimized for search engines can help to expand your customer base and build your business.  To help rank for local prom services, it could help to mention the names of local high schools whose students have hired them in the past and write blogs about Prom preparation, and for weddings it would be great to mention local venues which you can provide service to.

To help attract local searchers to your website, it is good practice to include keywords on local areas, parks, streets & neighbourhoods. For example, businesses in the Windsor area may want to mention if they are located within the downtown area, Walkerville, Devonshire or Via Italia neighbourhoods.  Posts relating to local sports teams, festivals & events will help with awareness – especially with sports teams they have sponsored locally such as Windsor Spitfires, LaSalle Vipers, Windsor Express, Riverside Baseball and community events they have presence at like the Oullette Car Cruise, Windsor BluesFest, LaSalle Strawberry Festival, Tecumseh CornFest or Belle River Sunsplash. If your business serves customers all over Windsor & Essex County, it is good practice to mention all of the communities, including Sandwich, Forest Glade, LaSalle, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, Belle River, Essex, Amherstburg, Kingsville & Leamington – this will attract local searchers who are looking for your service in their area.

Best Practices to Implement on Your Site

  • Make sure that the text of your websites includes the terms that your customers would use when searching for your product or service.
  • Use Header tags on section title text to highlight important keywords.
  • Use image description tags and alt text so that the images of the webpage are also tagged for keywords and help with your search rankings.
  • Blogging – companies that blog have many more indexed pages in search engines than companies that only have a few standard pages on their website. Blogging about the companies’ activities are a great way to build keywords and show your audience that you are active in the community.
  • Social Media – properly setting up social profiles on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, including links back to your main website.  This will help increase the relevance of your main website in Google, and also provide multiple profiles of your business to help fill the search results, helping to block the competition from your search results.
  • Google Business Listing – make sure that your business is properly listed on Google Maps.  When users do a local search for businesses, Google will start the search results off with a map and show the profiles of a few local businesses which displays the business name, location, hours, photos and customer reviews.  The Google business listing will greatly help to drive users to your business and the public reviews will show credibility and build trust with the customer before they even walk through your door.

Things to Avoid on Your Site

  • Websites that are built in Javascript and dynamically pull in their content from a separate database – the text that appears on these webpages is not able to be read by the search engines’ crawlers, which can prevent your website from showing up in search results.
  • Only using images or logos to include your business name on the page – if there is no text on the page showing your business name, then people searching for your business may not find your website in their search results.

If your businesses’ website could use some help with SEO to raise your rankings in the search results, give Web Geeks a call and our team can help.  Web Geeks is based in Windsor and serves local clients in Essex County, across Ontario, and internationally in the United States.  Our digital marketing experts can work with your current website to optimize your content for search engines and help drive customers in need through your door, or offer solutions to create a new website.

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