Those in the know, know two things about search engine optimization (SEO) – 1) it’s critical to any business that wants more website traffic, and 2) it is constantly evolving. With Google rolling out new algorithms and consistently updating versions of those algorithms, understanding what to do and what not to do is challenging.
What is the first thing you do when searching for a service or product? You Google it and see what comes up with organic search first. So does everyone else. A strong SEO strategy will increase your chances of showing up in the first few pages of results.
Here are a few basic steps you can take to ensure your content is optimized and your audience is finding your site –
1. Keywords: Research what keywords are best to attract the readers you want. There is a lot of competition for certain keywords, so it’s wise to spend some time doing keyword research. Once you have identified keywords that are relevant to your brand, use them originally and naturally. Search engines look for engaging, well-written and authoritative content. Any content written specifically to use a high volume of keywords will actually be punished in search – so don’t just stuff your content with keywords! It’s also important to be consistent with these keywords whenever you are sharing that piece of content on social channels and to always link back to your website.
2. Images! Images! Images! Compelling images appeal to readers, and because images drive more traffic to your website, the time you spend creating or finding the right image is time well spent. Include original images or pics in blogs, Facebook posts and tweets whenever you can. If you don’t have great original images, use a stock image site for easy access to images.
3. Use SEO Plugins: Most content management systems offer free or inexpensive SEO plugins. Don’t ignore them. Here are a variety of plugins for the popular WordPress platform. When used correctly, these SEO tools will guide you towards the best search strategies. Keep an eye out for using your keywords in META tags, title tags and on your webpages, too. This is an area where SEO tools really help beginners!
4. Leverage Social Media: Share your content on all of your social channels. Search engines favor social content. Using multiple social media platforms expands the reach of your content, and when that is paired with an engaging message and image, it encourages sharing. When yourcontent gets shared it drives more traffic to your site. When you get more traffic to your site, search engines reward you with a higher SEO ranking; it’s that simple. Just be sure to customize for each social channel. Expand that 140 character tweet for Facebook and Google – but not too much. Wordy posts can seem daunting for busy social audiences.
5. Talk to a PR pro – We have covered just the basics of SEO here. For a more in-depth explanation and approach to SEO, seek advice from a PR firm that understands the nuances of digital marketing. The good firms are adept at telling your story AND developing content that will drive the right traffic to your website.
SEO is tricky, but the tips above are a good way to at least get started improving the search engine ranking of your website. There are many other ways to boost your SEO. Understanding search is critical to your digital marketing mix, and ignoring it could mean losing customers to your competitors. Paying attention to SEO will most certainly pay off with more clicks, customers and currency!
This blog was contributed by Ryan Sabatini, Account Coordinator at Clearpoint Agency.