Let's say you're looking online for an Italian restaurant. Chances are, you'll go to Google (or Bing, or Yahoo!, or any other search engine) and type in "italian restaurant." Once you hit enter, Google will list up a bunch of links related to Italian restaurants, and from there you can click around to find a restaurant that looks good. But how does Google compile that list? Why are some websites listed higher than others? The answer is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You see, there's a lot of stuff on the internet. A lot of that stuff is useful, but most of it is irrelevant to what you're searching for at a particular moment. It's a search engine's job to cut through all of the extra information and bring up exactly what you want. One of the main ways that search engines do so is by using keywords.
How relevant is a particular website to the keyword(s) entered in the search bar? If a website has the words "Italian" and "restaurant" on it (especially in the title of any pages), it's most likely an Italian restaurant, or at least related to Italian restaurants. On the other hand, if there's no mention of "Italian" or "restaurant," on the site, a search engine can't tell if it's relevant to your search or not. It very well may be an Italian restaurant, but search engines aren't smart enough to figure that out on their own, and they don't really need to because there are usually many other websites out there that do contain the keywords. Just by combing through websites for certain keywords, a search engine knows what to include in search results and what to leave out.
If you're a website owner, you probably want your site to reach as many people as possible, so it's in your best interest to make sure that your site can be easily found by search engines. Not only that, but you want your site to be as close to the top of the list of search results as possible. When conducting your own searches, you've probably noticed that you tend to click links on the first couple of pages, but you rarely make it beyond that. The same applies to everyone else using a search engine, so you want to make sure that your website is listed as one of those first links. That's what search engine optimization (SEO) is—optimizing your website to rank as high as possible on search engine results.
There are a couple of ways to improve your SEO. Pagevamp already does its best to make your website search-engine friendly, but you can take some additional steps to boost your website even higher on search results.
Think about what kinds of searches you want your site to pop up for. Are you an "Italian restaurant"? A "dental clinic"? "Freelance photographer"? Do you sell "leather boots"? Or "skincare products"? It's helpful to include important keywords somewhere on your site, such as in the About section or on a custom page. (Don't just write keywords though. "We're a family-owned Italian restaurant specializing in food from the Tuscany region of Italy" looks much better to visitors than "Italian restaurant food Tuscany Italy.")
If you're editing your About section, you can do that either from your Facebook Page or through Pagevamp.
There are tons of websites out there, and everyone's competing for the same positions in search engine results. To help your website get a good spot, add keywords that make your site more relevant to particular searches, such as a location. ("We're an Italian restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.") Though you may still rank below other sites for "Italian restaurant" you'll rank higher when someone is searching for Italian restaurants in Los Angeles.
Change Permalinks and Titles
Search engines also search through and display your site's URLs, so whenever you create a custom page, make sure you enter an appropriate word into the permalink box instead of just leaving it as is. www.primavera.com/menu is a lot more informative than www.primavera.com/custompage12345.
Update Your Website
Search engines rank websites with fresh content higher than websites that haven't been updated for a long time. Since Pagevamp is linked to your Facebook Page, it's extremely easy to cycle new content through your website. Just post some photos or news to your Facebook Page once in a while, and that'll help out with your SEO.
The more links and visitors your site gets, the higher your site ranks. If other websites include links to your site, search engines assume that your site is pretty important and rank it higher, especially if those other sites are pretty reputable. Read our article about listing your site on online databases and other ways of promoting your site and business.
Because SEO gets a lot of attention on the internet, people assume that it’s difficult to handle, but that isn’t the case at all! With just this small guide to SEO, you’re now ready to optimize your own website!