Driving traffic to your website is essential to increase the visibility of your business and brand. Appearing at the top of search engine results can help to bring in the traffic you are looking for, but to get these results, you need a great SEO strategy. At one point in time, keywords were the quintessential element of search engine optimization. Search engine rankings hinged on using the right keywords in the right frequency. Though keywords definitely still matter today, there are other factors that affect your search engine rankings. Read on to learn more about how to craft an SEO strategy that will drive the traffic you need.
Why SEO Matters
As a marketer, you want to make your brand as visible as possible. Optimizing your site for search engine visibility means adding elements to your site that tell search engines that you’re a trusted resource, providing people with the information they’re looking for. It’s a search engine’s job to help people find what they need as quickly as possible, so it’s up to you to prove to the search engine that you have that information.
SEO is key to staying competitive in a tight marketplace. A solid strategy gives you a leg up on other businesses and can increase your leads and sales. It may seem like a challenging topic to tackle, but really, it’s all about knowing what works for your site. With a little research, you can start incorporating SEO elements into your website to improve your traffic.
How SEO Is Changing
At one point in time, SEO focused mainly on keywords. However, SEO strategies have begun to change as users refine their search engine habits. For example, the number of searches containing the words “nearby” or “near me” have been on the rise. People are using search engines to find local businesses on the go. Also, more people are conducting voice search, so your SEO strategy should focus less on keywords and more on using natural language. It’s important to stay relevant by considering the following factors.
- Content – your content is still key, however, there’s less focus on keywords, and more focus on content that flows in a natural, informative way. Although it’s still necessary to include keywords in your text, focus less on the density of the keywords and more on creating informative, easy to read content.
- Link structure – backlinks are still important as long as they’re from a relevant and trusted source. Google has learned to pick the bad links out from the good and will rank you in part based on that. Keep track of how many links you have in your content and the quality of the links. Remove links that are spammy or poor quality.
- Mobile-friendly layout – around half of all web traffic is viewed on mobile, and it’s likely that stat will keep increasing, so it’s absolutely essential to have your site optimized for different devices. If your website isn’t optimized, it’s going to be hard to view on anything other than a regular computer monitor so Google will rank your site lower.
- Reviews – reviews are an important factor in search engine rankings. Not having any is nearly as damaging as having bad reviews, so encourage customers to leave reviews of your business or service on sites like Yelp, Facebook, or Google.
- Other factors – alt tags, heading tags, images, anchor text, and site encryption are also elements you should consider. If you’ve tried all of the other suggestions on this list and still aren’t seeing results, it’s time to look at the back end of your site and adjust the above elements.
A Strategy That Works For Your Business
Finding an SEO strategy that works for your business doesn’t have to be a headache. Start by really analyzing the content that’s already on your site. Is it structured in a way that makes the content easy to navigate and read? Have you included important keywords?
Create Excellent Content
Creating the type of content that customers want to read is important, and be sure to research before you write. Don’t assume that you know exactly what your customers need and want. You may be an industry expert, but using jargon instead of the words that people are actually searching for can be detrimental. Keyword research can help you determine the keywords that your potential customers are using. From there, you can start to craft informative and effective content, while being sure to release it consistently. Be sure to freshen things up at least once a month, as consistency is key.
It’s important to consider the rise of the topic cluster model. Topic clusters are pages that are structured around a central “pillar page.” The pillar page usually focuses on a wider topic and then links to individual pages that delve deeper into different elements of the topic. For example “Healthy Eating” may be your central pillar page’s topic, and then “Healthy Recipies For Kids,” or “How To Eat Healthy While Traveling,” might be two individual pages that link back to the central page. This type of SEO tends to align more with how people are using search engines. Because voice search has become more common, many searches are more conversational, which means that your content has to have the same quality.
Know Your Competition
Check out how your competition is ranking on Google. If you see that they’re ranking higher, they must be doing something correctly. Take a close look at their content to see what they’re doing differently. Is their site structured more clearly? Do they produce more regular content? Read their reviews and study their social media engagement to see what their customers are saying about them. Keep these elements in mind when redesigning your site or creating new content.