The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is improving your website so it ranks number one on Google. Why? Because, no one goes beyond page one in their search, including you. Effective SEO requires a thorough investigation of your industry, demographic and competition. This process doesn’t produce instant gratification. Think of it like a marathon, not a sprint. Here’s how to win the race to the top of the page:
The First Steps
Think of when you first started a business. The idea may have come to you overnight, but it took time to develop, hard work, and best practices to make and keep your company competitive. Digital marketing works the same way. SEO is a long-term play in which you build up your website’s appeal over time. As the title suggests, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and while speed is good, it’s strength, conditioning, and endurance that keep you going longer and stronger. Consider the following tips and insights while building or maintaining your own SEO processes to stay in the race!
Build a Better Website
Whether you’re building a home or your body for a marathon, every endeavor requires a strong foundation. If you don’t have a quality site it’s hard to attract the attention of Google and the other search engines to increase conversions. Creating an effective website is a multi-tiered venture. Begin by choosing a short and effective domain name. If your business name dot com is available, all the better, but if not, look for a name that customers and search engines instantly connect with your company. Before you add the first line of copy, have your web designer create a simple structure for ease of navigation. Ensure things are organized neatly and by category so Google can easily “read” the site. Keep the page landscapes clean and ensure a clear “journey” for your guests as well. Don’t let clutter block the path. The goal is conversions. Ultimately, you don’t want them to just visit, you want them to buy. That is the ROI of good SEO–quality traffic coming to your website that leads to more sales. Once the site is set up the way you like it, continue to optimize four major aspects–titles, descriptions, headers, and content.
The Techy Stuff
How fast can your website run in the SEO marathon? If you’re driving a lot of traffic to your site, you need to avoid congestion. You may not have the technological background to make certain adjustments to your site, but it pays to know the terminology so you can speak with your web developer. Ask about your content management system (CMS) and how it works. A CMS provides control of your site’s content, keeping it neat and organized and allowing you to add and remove text, images, and other content as needed. Site speed is vital, affecting not only search rankings but also conversion rates and repeat business.
Consistently Craft Creative Content
When people or search engine bots visit your website, will they want to stay there? You need to provide visitors, whether human or machine, with interesting, entertaining, and useful content, and do it consistently. Go beyond merely listing product descriptions and prices and keep your website well-stocked with news, resources, blogs, images, infographics, and other goodies that build interest in you and your services. The more you offer, the longer visitors stay, the more your site’s value increases.
Blogs are perfect for providing regular, useful, and interesting content. If you need inspiration, jot down a dozen questions frequently asked by your customers. Turn the questions into blog titles and write out clear, concise answers. If you get writer’s block, just put it down in bullet points or a numbered list. Blog about something every two weeks, writing 500 to 1,000 words on a subject, and connect them with seasonality, sales, or other events. This keeps your site relevant and shows Google that you are an authority in your industry.
Establish Your Authority
A big impetus for higher placement on search results pages is the perception of your site as an authority on your subject. View your website as a resource of information for Google and its users. Google wants to send its users to the best (most relevant and authoritative) website on a search topic. So whether your search is informative, transactional, or navigational, search engines lead people to the website that has the highest value for its users. This is proven by having great content.
While creating the content mentioned above, be sure to focus on hot topics, items, and ideas specific to your industry. Are you a contractor? Share your knowledge about building materials and home upgrades. Sell sewing supplies? Offer your experiences with sewing machines, fun projects, and simple mends. And so on. Afterward, share your content and build relationships with other sites through link building and content outreach. Link building is the number one ranking factor considered by Google for authority. It confirms you are a trusted source of information. It doesn’t matter how great your product/service is or how long you’ve had your website. To rank, you must have other valuable websites linking back to you to prove you are human to Google–who, ironically, is a robot! Building backlinks takes time and a lot of resources. Consider consulting with a SEO consulting company like Logical Position for more information.
Final Thought: Consistency Is Key
It takes consistent effort to improve SEO in order to rank higher on Google or other Search Engines. Once you achieve a first page ranking, it’s difficult to lose them. Decide on an SEO strategy and stay the course. Don’t change strategies if you don’t see immediate results. Instead, study your competition. Build a great website, write engaging content, and gain authoritative backlinks.
Overall, it’s important to understand and know the search volume that’s out there. Ask yourself, are people searching for your product, and how can you encourage them to do so? If you can get to the top, you’ll get the traffic. That’s where the return on investment (ROI) is. In simplest terms, if you have 20 keywords and each has 1,000 searches each, that’s 20,000 searches. If you get in the top position on Google, you receive an average of 30 to 40% of the search volume. That’s the long-term value and victory you’re aiming for through SEO.
Play by the rules and keep your eyes on the prize. Eventually, you will finish the race and find your reward!
Interested in learning more about why SEO is a marathon, not a sprint and how to win the race? For professional SEO consulting and other digital marketing direction, contact Logical Position for a consultation!