Being found in search results is often an ambiguous goal for most businesses.

It’s one of those things that you know you want to do well with, but you have no idea when you are really successful.

It starts with knowing how your prospective clients find you online.

First understand that if someone knows the name of your business specifically, they are going to find you. You’ve already won.

But how do you get found when someone is looking for a company that does what you do, but they don’t know a specific company name? This is where you should be directing your energies.

Having an effective search engine optimization strategy can be very detailed and elaborate, but having an understanding of some fundamentals can at least prevent you from wasting time and money because of inaccurate information or having no plan at all.

Here are 3 tips to get you started in the right direction:

1. Know what phrases and terms people are actually using to search in your area.

Don’t guess. Don’t use your “gut feeling”. Use facts. There are several tools out there to help you determine what terms people use to search. Here are a couple of free resources:

2. Determine what phrases and terms you want to “win”.

No, you can’t win them all. You can’t top search results for every category that you want and if someone tells you that you can I would be very leery about their intentions or knowledge of search.

For example, if you’re a fun center and want to book more birthday parties, do you want to be found for “best birthday party place”? “Fun birthday parties”? “Birthday parties for kids”? Each one of these searches will generate slightly different results. Making a conscious decision about one of those phrases doesn’t mean that you can’t do well with other searches. It just gives you something to target as opposed to just hoping you show up for something somewhere.
3. Once you’ve identified your target phrases or terms, find ways to incorporate them into your website and social media.

Use those exact words to name web pages, include it in the text on specific website pages, use it to alt tag your images. With many newer website content management systems there are great tools built right in to your website to help you do this. You don’t have to “trick” the search engines by overloading your website with the terms (in fact you can be punished for that). Just include them in a natural, conversational way.

Optimizing your online presence for search can be a full-time responsibility, but even with a limited investment of wisely invested time you can start reaping the benefits of your efforts. Contact us today to get your SEO set up and let’s put together an idea-driven strategy that brings in results.