Just Google it; this simple, ubiquitous sentence sums up why SEO is more important than paid ads or email blasts. This month, Google has launched its media campaign to encourage marketers to remember the importance of ‘search’ for customers.
Search has been likened to flicking on a light or turning on a tap – a digital utility that delivers what you need with a simple command. As SEO technology continues to improve, with search responses becoming more sophisticated and responsive, it is a timely reminder that one of the best ways to be found is to pay attention to your SEO.
While you might have an epic SEO plan, all the dashboard data tracking and best social media creators posting for you, that is no guarantee that your business is going to be seen by the right audience and attract high-quality traffic that generates genuine leads and converts to sales. To make page one of the search rankings, you need to take actionable steps to ensure that when your customers come looking for you, they can find you.
Google created a tool that essentially answers questions. When you type in a search, you expect instant accurate answers that seemingly have read your mind. For Google to provide this for your customers, you have to give the search engine as much accurate and initiative information as possible.
If you search for your own business using keywords, you can gauge what is working and what is not. Take note of your competitors and where they rank when you do a keyword search. People tend to use search-words that have a clear end goal, and they use conversational language, such as ‘why has my air conditioner stopped working?’ or ‘where is the nearest dog groomer?’
Such SEO will become increasingly important as people rely more on voice-command searches and image searches. How you configure your written and visual content will be vital to reaching the front page of search results.
Your blogs, video, articles, webinars, live chat, lists, how-to guides, and other creative content needs to be better than the best. Your content should answer questions, provide information, education, inform, entertain and engage. The Internet is filled with poorly written and under-researched opinion pieces that have been published without editing. Your content needs to be better. While people will forgive the odd typo, if your content is riddled with grammar, spelling and syntax errors, traffic will move on from your site in droves. Respect that your reader is taking time to read what you’ve provided and that they are seeking quality information. Think of your content as the ‘encyclopedia’ of your business.
This is important because if people turn to your business as an authority in the industry, they are more likely to want to do business with you and more likely to share your content. It is important to take the time to create shareable content that matters, rather than spewing out low-quality click-bait that drives customers away.
If your page titles, URLs, image tags (alt-tags), and meta descriptions aren’t active, your SEO won’t operate effectively. These on-page SEO factors affect your page rank in search results.
You should again check out your competition. Compare your meta description with that of your competitors, and ensure that your title accurately describes your page content, and encourages clicks. Using question and answer titles is a common way of boosting your SEO.
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages to rank higher and attract more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals.
Backlinks (links from other sites back to yours), especially if they’re from sites that Google ranks highly, can drive traffic to your site. However, links that Google recognises as blackhat (unscrupulous search engine optimization tactics) can negatively affect your search rankings.
To check your backlinks, run a report using the SEMrush Backlink Checker or Moz Open Site Explorer. Download the data and see what sites are referring to your site. You can also look at your competitors’ backlinks to learn more about who is backing them and the quality of their traffic.
Using a company listing (or citation) on local, national and niche directory websites allow Google and your prospects find you easily. Consistent, authoritative, and up-to-date citations create more exposure for your business and improve Google rankings.
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