SEO isn’t just what you do onsite to your website. Now don’t get me wrong. Performing search engine optimization on your website is important, but is is only about 20-percent of what is important for the site to rank highly in the search engines. Because organic search contributes the most qualified website traffic and leads, it is important to understand what comprises good SEO in 2016. If you do SEO right, it can contribute as much as 50-percent of the sites TRAFFIC and 50- 60-percent of all LEADS. This is HUGE! In fact, 50-percent of ALL mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results with 61-percent resulting in a purchase.
I like to say that good SEO is a lot like making soup. There isn’t just “one” ingredient that makes it work. So, how does it work? Here are 14 Tips of things that influence SEO.
1. Holistic Approach – SEO is a tactic within a holistic approach to marketing. It is so much more than what you do on your website. The main premise of SEO is that people who don’t know who you are to find you when they google your product or service. The traffic that searches your name is direct traffic and they already know who you are.
2. Attach to Overall Company Goals – Optimization is not stand alone and separate. When you think about writing content, taking a picture, shooting a video, even a billboard or newspaper ad, think about optimization. Make sure that in everything that you do and every process you have to add a step to think about SEO and optimization. It should be part of your business process, not just something your SEO company does.
3. Keyword Research Tools – SEO Moz, Raven Tools, SEM Rush are all tools you can use to see how well your site is performing and to determine what areas or errors you need to focus on next. It is really hard to measure your progress on SEO if you have not benchmarked where you are, so use these tools and your website analytics to benchmark where the site ranks.
4. Website Analytics – You should have them and you should look at them. Everything you do needs to have some sort of goal tied to it – click to call, click for directions, completed contact us form, a visit to a landing page. Each thing has its unique goal. In order to determine effectiveness you need to have benchmark and then during the course of the project you will be able to track and see how what you are doing affects your benchmark. Make sure to UTM code your campaigns and ads so that they can be measured.
5. Long-Tail Keywords – Keywords have changed, you are now looking for natural keywords that are not exact match. Don’t force feed content onto your website, humans must be able to read it. Content needs to be natural. In fact, Google penalizes site that keyword stuff. Don’t be that guy! Recent algorithm updates Penguin and Panda address issues with keyword stuffing, bad linking strategies and thin content.
6. Link Building – Yes this IS still a viable tactic, but it must be done correctly. Don’t buy links from link farms. Do create quality links from your social media, PR articles, and other credible sources that will run your primary content. Remember primary content is original content that shows expertise and is complete.
7. Citation Tools – Submit your information to these tools and they provide your information everywhere. The problem is that if you cancel these tools, they revert your information to the mess it was before you used them. The best way to create citations is the old fashioned way- one at a time.What is a citation? Well, it is your NAP – Name, Address and Phone number. These must match EXACTLY and be everywhere. You want it to be verified and on the map. Google Map, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Houzz, Angies List and even Facebook.
8. Site Speed – Although Google hasn’t released specific metrics in terms of how fast your site needs to be, they continue to talk about it. From a user prospective, how long are you willing to wait for a site to load?
9. Naming Conventions and URL Structure – Be clear and make it all sound natural. Try to avoid symbols and hashtags in your URLs, although they are sometimes necessary because of web development and coding issues, search engines tend to not like or understand them.
10. Mobile SEO – Websites need to be responsive; use the same code base so that your site is viewed as one site. Google’s last major algorithm update fondly called mobilegeddon was rolled out on April 21, 2015 to address this. Sites that are tagged as not mobile friendly might not rank as highly in search on mobile devices and may not even be displayed in results.
11. Content – Should be unique and updated often. Some of the new site designs don’t include much content – be careful with this. You must have a blog or news page and update it regularly. This is still one of the best ways to differentiate your company and gain tremendous traffic.
12. User Experience – Consider things like time on site, how many pages they view, bounce rate. . . are they finding what they are looking for and clicking for directions, clicking to call or filling out a contact form.
13. Branding – Your optimized message must be the same across the internet. Buyers need to recognize you. This is like a warm lead.
14. Competitors’ Analysis – You have competitors that you compete with for sales, but online you also compete with sites that compete with your site for keywords. Figure out who they are and use SEO tools to determine what they are doing. Use this competitive knowledge to improve your site.
These 14 SEO Tips and tactics will help your website rank higher. As you can see, SEO is a full-time job! Let us know if the team at mRELEVANCE can help your company be more effective and successful online. Call me at 770-383-3360 x20