Web optimization - what your business needs to know to succeed

Web optimization
(Image credit: Shutterstock/everything possible)

The internet is an important place for a business whether small or mega, digital, or brick-and-mortar. 

The evolution of technology has also contributed to the evolution of search engine optimization (SEO) which helps increase online revenue for a business. 

Search engine optimization is the process of improving your online presence to grant more exposure, increase user traffic, and solicit better-qualified clients.  

75% of web searchers and potential consumers never go past the first page of search results which is why it is so essential for your business to climb to the top. By utilizing web optimization and SEO best practices, you help increase your site’s visibility in searches.

It is important to know a different approach to SEO can be required for an online versus a brick and mortar business. 

If your business depends on local customers, your strategy and target reach will be different from a national or global online e-commerce business. Content is largely where the two differ. 

For an e-commerce or affiliate site, the products/services are key to highlight whereas for a local business, information about your business and on what you want the user to do next - call, fill out a contact form, schedule an appointment, direct themselves to the business location - is critical. 

First and foremost, align your content and funnel for connecting your customers to your business accordingly.

Here are six other simple and impactful best practices to keep in mind to achieve prime web optimization for your business: 

 1. Keep mobile in mind

Around 90% of global Internet users use mobile phones to connect regularly. As a business, your website and its content needs to be able to adjust to different devices at any time. 

There’s nothing worse than trying to purchase something or look up the address of a local business when the website’s page becomes illegible on your phone.  

2. Optimize your images

Images can contribute to your site's overall SEO, boost organic traffic, and improve the overall user experience. Speed is equally an important SEO ranking skill with images taking a large percentage of page size. 

Focus on file format and size compression before uploading. Then, when it comes to uploading the images, consider uploading through the backend of the website. Businesses deal with lots of images on their website and uploading images is super inefficient if you choose to do it manually. 

Implement a coding structure in the server/database for larger scale image uploads to optimize overall performance and speed. 

3. Find the right (key)words

Keywords are words or phrases relevant to your particular business that help searchers know what your site is all about. 

Each page on your website should have a clear focus. Make sure to separate your pages and subsequently target separate keywords to direct customers to the exact page that gives them the information they’re looking for. Include your target keywords into the URL as well. 

This will increase your chances of ranking higher in search results and up your SEO. Not sure where to start with generating keywords? Make a list of 30 keywords then verify on Google AdWords that they’re words frequently used in online searches.

4. Include compelling title tags and meta descriptions

When someone searches your business, the first thing they will see for your site are your title tag and meta descriptions. Title tags are the clickable headlines (often in blue font) that appear and are critical for SEO. 

The title tag needs to be engaging and informative. Include your target worlds and keep it descriptive but concise. Recommended information to highlight includes your company’s name, information about a specific page, and your business's city or state. 

Especially for a local business, many companies see improvements in local search rankings when including their city in title tags. The second most important tag on a page is a meta description. 

This is a brief summary of a page displayed below the title tag (in black font). Meta descriptions do not impact search rankings as much as title tags, but they can influence click-through rates. 

Again, these meta descriptions should include at least one keyword and more information on the city and state. Don’t overstuff the description with keywords, you want it to still sound natural, but make sure to provide an accurate summary of your business that is action-oriented and matches your search intent. 

Internal links and backlinks can be key to ranking higher on searches. The more sites that carry links to your businesses’ site, the better. Ask the owner of a related site or partnered business to carry a link to your site and offer to carry a link to theirs in exchange. 

A search engine, like Google, establishes an information hierarchy. The more backlinks, the more Google and consumers can understand the content of your business. 

With that, it’s important to note not all backlinks are not the same and the quality of the links is very important. A link directing to your business’ website from a top tier publication will help you more than a smaller blog. 

Focus efforts on building high-quality and authoritative backlinks to improve the chances of your target keywords and SEO.

6. Get social 

Social media has evolved as another great ally to your business’ SEO strategy. Many of the apps and platforms double as search engines

It’s important for a business to build out a solid social media profile across apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Your company’s social media profile can also rank within the search results when people search for your business or related terms.

Millions of consumers have turned to the online marketplace for local goods and services. Without a strong website, it’s extremely hard for business owners to reach all their potential customer bases. 

However, launching a great small business website is not a one-and-done. By following the steps above, mixed with diligence and fine-tuning, your business will see measurable results in your search engine position and website traffic.

Athan Slotkin, known as “The Shadow CEO”, is an accomplished entrepreneur and business strategy consultant, having worked for hundreds of clients across the world.