Search engine optimization (SEO) focuses on growing visibility in search engine results. SEO includes both the technical and creative elements that improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines. SEO includes the content on your site, the way other sites link to you, making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand and the overall user experience.
When people begin working on a new website—or even updating an old one, they get caught up in the aesthetics of web design and image selection. They routinely underestimate the importance of content in their websites’ showing up in search engines. But Google’s last few algorithm changes have made it clear that content—make that good content—is a critical component of a comprehensive SEO strategy. (Read about the New SEO: Forget Tricks and Focus on Quality Content)
Keyword research. We do keyword research to identify those words you should be using in all of your online content. For most of us, our SEO strategies are based on our products or services. These keywords/products and services should be on your main navigation menu, each with its own freestanding landing page, with SEO-rich content. (Read Top of Mind Marketing’s Blog: Let’s Take the Mystery Out of Keywords)
You need to think strategically and prioritize; if you have other important keywords, you can create another level of drilldown from your main navigation pages, with another layer of SEO-rich content, but keep each page focused on a single keyword/concept. Not only will you be thoroughly describing your services to a potential client, but the more SEO-rich content you provide, the greater the chance that your website will show up when someone enters one of your keywords into a search engine—which is really what SEO is all about. (Read 6 SEO Tactics You Can Still Count on in 2015)
Other ways that we enhance SEO value:
- Logical website organization. Good SEO is predicated on a logical site navigation schematic—if your site is thoughtfully constructed, there’s a better chance that visitors will spend more time on your site. If there are things you want to highlight, find ways to draw attention to them with callout buttons or enhanced navigation. Create interaction and people will respond. If they’re hitting your homepage and leaving, you need to find reasons to make them stay, drill down and find out more about you.
- Internal linking strategy. Developing a comprehensive internal linking strategy; this will help keep your audience engaged. For example, I blog religiously on a wide range of content marketing-related topics. When I mention SEO, content marketing or other keywords, I should be linking to other blogs or my landing pages that have more information on these topics.
- A blog is an easy way to create a regular stream of high-value SEO content and be recognized as a thought leader. Many people are defeated by blogging because they’re trying too hard. You’re not trying to solve the conflict in the Middle East. Blogging is an informal forum. Share a funny story, highlight an employee or client, use a case study, a key learning from a recent workshop or seminar. Position yourself as a problem-solver; your goal is to inform, help people do their jobs. A blog should be 300+ words for good ranking, and it should include an image. Post it to your Linkedin page; create an account in Blogger (a Google product) and post it there, as well. (Read 7 Ways to Build Authority as an Online Writer)
- Include images. Avoid a solid wall of text and giant paragraphs—they scare people away. An estimated 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results. Do use alt tags and label your images with the name of your business_image_name of image. This way, if they’re using mobile devices and the image itself doesn’t show up, the labeling will tell them what they’re missing. Reiterating the name of your company in the label is part of SEO best practices.
- Social Media. This is no longer an option but an important marketing tool and an important way to increase your SEO. Create Facebook business page, start to accumulate Likes, and post business-related posts to your page. Reiterate the name of your business in your posts and use your keywords as you are writing. Do use images; articles/posts with images get 94% more total views. Top of Mind Marketing customizes social media strategies for our clients.
- Use lists in your content. A list is really just a kind of article, but framing it as a list (10 Ways to Do Just about Anything or 5 Things You Need to do to Master SEO) makes it easier to scan and contributes to your SEO. It also positions you as an expert. Lists have a higher incidence of clicks on searches and social media posts.
- Guides, infographics and videos—Deploy all of these—they’re great ways to increase your SEO value. Video continues to increase in popularity and SEO value. Companies that use video experience 41% more web traffic than do non-users. Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. But good video is expensive and an investment; 62% of users are likely to have a negative perception of a brand if they’ve just viewed a crappy video.
- Update your website with with current content. Like your car or your home, your website requires constant attention or it’s not going to deliver any ROI for you. You need to be updating your website with keyword-rich content on a regular basis. The best way to do this is to start blogging. Make a commitment, set aside a few hours every week start writing. If you’re not a good writer, find someone who is. Also look for guest bloggers who’d be delighted to have an opportunity to reach a new audience. Some people find it helpful to create an editorial calendar to keep them on track and avoid missing any key dates. Provide a case study—describing how you successfully helped a client is a superb way to update your content. Not only will you be contributing SEO-rich content, but you will be demonstrating your problem-solving expertise.
Read Top of Mind Marketing’s Blogs:
Think about your business, then take an objective look at your website
If there is a disparity between where your business is today and the business that you describe on your website, it’s time to update the content on your site, make it more SEO-savvy, turning it into a lead-generation tool for your business.
Are you ready to enhance your SEO value and start generating more traffic? Contact us @ Top of Mind Marketing!