Winning online customers starts with being easy to find on the web. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help make sure that customers find your business when they search for words or phrases, also known as keywords, which relate to your business, industry, products and services.

Businesses attract new online customers through Google and other search engines, so ranking high in search results for your selected keywords is essential. Optimizing your website to rank high for specific keywords is important for your online visibility. If you let this aspect of marketing slip, you risk losing traffic to competing businesses.

Not sure how to get started? Here are five tips for creating a successful SEO campaign that can result in higher rankings to help customers find your business website.

  one  Choose the right keywords.

A keyword is a word or phrase that potential customers use when searching the web for information on a topic. Google and other search engines check your website for keywords that describe the site’s content, and then they match your keywords with those typed into search engines. If your site’s keywords are a good match for the information the web user is seeking, it’ll rank higher in the search engine result pages than those that don’t align well. The more relevant your keywords are to what users are searching for, the higher your site will rank.

SEO service providers use keyword research tools to help site owners find the keywords that best address a user’s search inquiry. These keyword research tools are typically in the form of software or web-based services that compile and analyze keyword statistics from all the major search engines. The information provided by these tools can help you determine the most powerful and relevant keywords to include in the content on your site.

two  Generate relevant web copy based on your selected keywords.

After you’ve identified a list of keywords, you need to use them appropriately in your site content. While using keywords in titles is important, optimizing your entire page of web copy to include relevant and targeted keywords will yield a better return in rankings.

Your selected keywords should drive the content. Make the entire page as relevant to your keywords as possible; the keywords should flow organically into the content without feeling forced or unnatural. Using the keywords to influence the direction of the content ensures that you present compelling, readable copy that answers the questions or addresses the issues that motivated visitors and potential customers to visit your website in the first place.

three  Think local.

If you run a local business, it’s important to optimize your site to attract local customers. To optimize your site for local searches, include information about your physical location, including your address, city and state, store locations, events and other location-specific details. A local SEO service provider can work with you to identify the best keywords for you area, business, and offerings.

Keep in mind that web users often search for nearby businesses or products during a related search, so be sure to include information on your site that identifies your business as a local competitor. Keywords can also include your region and its accompanying nicknames, like “Bay Area” or “downtown.”

four  Encourage inbound links.

Focus on building the type of site that other good business sites want to link to. When you create shareable, link-worthy content, you can contact the webmasters of related sites and ask them to read and then possibly link to a page of your site. Good-quality inbound links tell search engines that your page has relevant information that’s worth a search engine user’s time.

five  Create relevant and authoritative content.

When it comes to SEO, content is king. The more relevant and authoritative your site’s content, the more likely it will rank high in search results. In addition, the better your content, the likelier it is that other sites will link to yours. If your content disappoints, other sites won’t link to it; but if your content excels, you’ll likely get a lot of links without even asking for them.

Focusing on keywords and content is a purist’s approach to SEO, but it works. All the other tricks and tips mean nothing if your raw content and keywords aren’t there. So prioritize providing great information for users and then remain diligent about keeping it fresh and relevant by updating on a regular basis to attract new customers.