In today’s world, businesses need to develop a strong online presence to ensure they are profitable. While many people know that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays an integral role in their online success, many do not know how to go about developing an effective SEO strategy. Our 5 tips below are the perfect starting points to developing a successful SEO strategy for your business!
1. Conduct Extensive Audience and Keyword Research
Keywords are at the heart of SEO. You need to know how your audience searches for your products or services in order to show up on search engines. While getting a lot of sessions to your website is always nice, if the sessions are coming from people who don’t need what you’re selling, you’re not going to see an ROI.
A great way to get to know your audience is to use the data Google Analytics provides you. This tool allows you to learn about your customers’ demographics, search patterns, location, along with other details about them.
One you understand your audience, it’s time to create a list of keywords you want to rank for. To begin, create a spreadsheet with 5-10 general topics that you know are important to your business. For example, here at Today’s Business, we’d come up with a list that includes the services we offer to our clients:
From there, you can identify more specific keywords that will fall into these general topics. If you’re having trouble with this step, Google’s keyword planner is a great resource to use. You’re going to want both short and long-tail keywords for each general category. Be sure to constantly update this spreadsheet based on industry and search trends!
2. Build Out Content on Your Website
As our CDO Billy Ash likes to remind us, “in order to show up for a keyword, you need to have a page on your website dedicated to it.” Without it, how will Google know you want to rank for that specific keyword? Building pages around specific keyword focused themes will give search engines a clear understanding of what each page is about.
Use your keyword list to help develop a plan to build out your website’s content. Focus on writing content for your most important keywords first (the ones that generate the most leads/sales). Don’t forget to submit your sitemap to Google so your content can be crawled!
For your content to really stick, you need to ensure you are presenting it in an engaging way. Short paragraphs, lists, images/video, and internal links all help make your content easier to read. While Google hasn’t outright said it, there is data to prove that there is a positive correlation between bounce rate and rankings.
A blog is also a great tool to use in your content plan. You can incorporate keywords into your blogs, while still promoting engagement from your website’s users. Keep in mind that your blogs should be written with the user in mind, rather than the search engine. When you write about topics that your audience is interested in, they will spend more time on the page, thus helping improve your keyword rankings.
3. Create a Link Building Plan
Now that we’ve covered many important aspects of onsite SEO, it’s time to talk about one of the biggest factors of how search engines rank your pages: offsite SEO. More specifically? Link building.
Think of link building like your job. If all of your coworkers are saying positive things about you, the more your CEO is going to trust you. Even better, if your boss and other directors are saying good things about you, the CEO is going to trust you even more.
That’s exactly how link building works. The more other websites are linking to you, the more signs to Google that you’re a trustworthy website with relevant information. If you get these links from websites with high domain authority, Google is going to trust your site even more.
To come up with a strong link building strategy, it’s best to smart small (especially if you’re new to this concept). Try to link to other businesses and affiliations that you already have connections with, and ask them to do the same to your website. You can also approach bloggers for guest blogging opportunities.
4. Stay Up to Date With the Best SEO Practices
Search engines are constantly evolving. As it is easy to see with Google’s mobile first indexing, search engines will continue to change based on how people use them. It’s important that you are constantly researching effective SEO techniques so you can create a strategy that will yield results.
Failure to stay current will not only have you following obsolete practices, but they may also hurt your website’s rankings in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
5. Monitor and Track Your Results
You can’t know what is and isn’t working without tracking your results! Create a spreadsheet recording all of your onsite and offsite efforts to see what changes led to certain results. You should also be using Google Analytics to track your organic traffic on a weekly and monthly basis. There are many different online tools you can use that allow you to monitor search rankings over time.
While this list is a great starting point, there are additional crucial components of SEO depending on the industry you are in. For example, ecommerce clients are going to have other necessary steps that local businesses will not have to follow and vice versa. Are you looking to improve your business’ SEO strategy? We can help! Please contact us today for more information.