By John Turner, founder of SeedProd

Search engine optimization is one of the most important factors in determining whether or not your small business will fail or succeed. You must have a fluent understanding of SEO if you want to make the most out of your business website.

And SEO is important even if you don't have a traditional online storefront. If your page provides information about your business, directions or has a product catalog for viewing, your search engine presence is still crucial. In this article, we will go over the common causes of weak SEO and show you how to fix it for a more effective business site.

The Function of SEO

Search engine optimization is a process that uses keywords to draw organic traffic to your website and help you rank higher in Google results. In a nutshell, you have to make sure you're using relevant keywords based on your chosen niche. For example, if you're a bakery you might use "The Best Bakery" in your website content and articles.

If done properly, when the average person searches for "the best bakery" in their area, there is a chance that your website will appear on the first page of Google. There are complex algorithms that determine how a page ranks, but when you have strong SEO, you tip the scale in your favor.

Content: Quality Over Quantity

There is no doubt that the keywords you choose carry weight, but the quality of your content is equally important. When developing your website, it's vital that you create a blog that features content relevant to your niche. A blog gives you the opportunity to not just use keywords, but to share valuable information with potential customers.

If your content isn't valuable, people are going to leave your page just as quickly as they got there. They'll take one look at your meatless content and come to the conclusion that there are better sites out there that cover the topic of their interest.

There is a more "technical" reason to mind your content, too. Google's system checks content and has been known to punish the SEO ranking of websites if:

  • The website contains offensive content.
  • There are broken/weak links.
  • The content lacks sources with authority.

In other words, if you have weak, sourceless content, you're going to have a much harder time ranking. Strive for quality content and make sure your keywords are placed naturally throughout the text.

Update SEO Words

When you create your website, use Google's Keyword Planner to find the best keywords for your website. The words you choose are what you're going to use to try and rank higher in the search results. The goal is to appear as close to the top of the page as possible when someone uses one of the words in your "keyword bank." Some businesses rank high for a while and suddenly fall off the face of the internet.

Why? There is a good chance that the business fell off the top ranking because they didn't keep up to date with SEO trends. SEO terms are constantly evolving. New words and phrases are popping up and becoming popular. It's not just one and done.

Updating your SEO terms is something you should be doing regularly, almost as often as you update your website. Look to add new terms to your keyword pool, find new ways to use existing content and set your content up for optimal exposure.

Don't Keyword Stuff

There is no quicker way to bring down your ranking than by keyword stuffing. The process of keyword stuffing involves overusing the same word from your keyword pool during singular pieces of content.

The amount of keywords used in a piece of content is called the keyword density. In most cases, the ideal range of keyword usage is between 0.5 percent and 2.5 percent. Keep your keywords within that range so Google's system doesn't think you are overusing keywords. Keep in mind, the 0.5 - 2.5 percentage is per keyword. If you have two keywords, they can both appear between 0.5 - 2.5 percent.

SEO is crucial when it comes to ranking high in Google search engine results. Do everything in your power to keep an eye on your SEO word bank, ensure that you're only uploading quality content and use a keyword density tool to avoid keyword stuffing.

It may seem like a cumbersome process at first, but before long it will become second nature. You'll get faster and faster, and before you know it, you'll be monitoring your SEO ranking with ease.

John Turner is the founder of SeedProd, the most popular coming-soon page solution for WordPress used by over 800,000 websites.