The cornerstone of any good online marketing campaign is search engine optimization, but with popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo updating their algorithms on a consistent basis, it can be difficult to keep ahead of the game. Even if you get a marketing campaign to work for a short period, with fluctuating rules and customer tastes, it’s possible for what once worked for you to peter out in time. At least four times a year, commit to doing three SEO exercises to see if your current campaign is really getting results and makes changes accordingly.
Check Your Mobile Optimization
The Phoenix Marketing International Research report says customers check their mobile devices upward of 100 times a day, and more than half the time they spend online is on a smartphone or tablet. Your website needs to run well on mobile devices, otherwise all of your SEO search term work will prove fruitless. If a search term brings a customer to your site on a mobile device and she finds it to be a frustrating experience, she’s not going to return, even if she sees your website pop up again and again in search engine results.
Collect data on what brings people to your website, and if they explore the website for long after reaching that landing page. If search engines aren’t the top referrers, you need to adjust your keywords.
Try Streamlining Marketing Channels
When you get some customers to visit from a social media post, others from an email newsletter and still others from search engine results, it’s easy for the tone and message of your company or website to become muddled. According to Oracle, 80 percent of customers notice this clunky transition from one platform to the next. The best way to combat this is not to separate your marketing team into different groups that develop different platforms, or if you must, to regularly convene to discuss streamlining your marketing channels. Not only should the look of each of these sources remain similar, but the content should as well. Come up with a company tone – humorous, sassy, informative – and keep it consistent throughout.
Search Different Keywords
The best test to see how your website is ranking compared to similar websites is to regularly search keywords relevant to your business. Search the ones you’ve chosen to focus on as well as ones that get less of your attention but still might bring people to your site. If your business isn’t on the first page of search engine results, you’re unlikely to be bringing in customers with those words, as few people scroll further.
The Internet is always evolving, and businesses and website owners have to evolve along with it or be left in the dust. Regular SEO “exercises” will put your website’s search engine compatibility to the test so you can make changes to your strategy before months or even years go by without you reaching your targeted audience effectively. Don’t get too complacent when you stumble onto the right formula because it may not be the best formula for long.
In the digital age of marketing, Google is king. A recent study revealed that nearly 90% of consumers now take their buying cues from prominent search engines, most notably Google. Frankly, there’s little wonder as to why. Instead of scrolling through the local Yellow Pages and taking a chance on a random business, people can now get all the pertinent information they need from the world’s most popular search engine. A business’s phone number, email address, location, hours of operation and consumer reviews are readily available to all interested parties. In other words, if you want your enterprise to thrive in the 21st century, you’ll need to curry favor with Google – and the following tips will help you do just that.
Update, Update, Update
One of the most important qualities Google looks for in a website is consistent updates. The company prides itself on providing users with relevant search results, and if your site frequently goes weeks – or even months – between updates, it can hardly be considered relevant. Taking this into account, make a point of posting new blog posts, articles, image collections, videos or any combination thereof at least once or twice each week. If you don’t feel up to producing so much content on your own, delegate this task to creative-minded individuals within your organization. Within five seconds of arriving at a site, most people have mind up their minds about whether to stay or leave, so make sure this content is entertaining, informative and worth reading.
Organic Keyword Incorporation
Over the last decade, keyword integration has become crucial to search engine recognition. The keywords and phrases you’ll need to include in your content vary depending on a number of factors – industry, location and target audience chief among them. However, regardless of the industry you work in, you’ll need to incorporate your keywords in a natural, organic fashion. If Google picks up on the fact that you’re unceremoniously shoehorning keywords into your content, your plan will have the opposite effect, and you’ll quickly see your site take a plunge in the search rankings.
As previously stated, Google values relevance in the sites it favors. For this reason, a number of sites have risen in the rankings by referencing current events in their content. So whenever you have an opportunity to draw a parallel between your industry and a trending news story, don’t hesitate to take it. This is a great way to bring in new web traffic, step up your Google ranking and teach people about your company.
As AZ Central Small Business reports, businesses that appear towards the top of Google’s rankings are viewed as industry leaders and figures of authority by many modern-day consumers. Even if you’re absolutely in love with your company’s website and its content, the site’s not doing its job if Google isn’t taking notice. Luckily, being prominently featured in Google’s search rankings isn’t the uphill battle many business owners envision. Regular updates and moderately-tailored content can go a long way in stepping up your Google game and winning over prospective customers.
There’s no way two ways about it – if you want your company’s website to get noticed, you’ll need to curry favor with search engines. Long gone are the days of the Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth referrals. When it comes to products and services, modern-day consumers invariably place their trust in Google, Bing and other popular search engines, hence the growing prominence of search engine optimization (SEO). The higher your company’s website ranks in Google, the more web traffic you’ll attract. In many respects, search engine rankings are complex popularity polls. To wit, sites that are frequently linked to tend to be ranked higher than sites that aren’t. With that in mind, it’s in your company’s best interest to develop a viable link building strategy.
Stay Active on Social Media
Although Facebook shares and retweets on Twitter can direct scores of prospective customers to your website, social media links don’t factor into Google’s algorithms. Of course, that isn’t to say you should skimp on the social media links. You’d be surprised at how many shared and retweeted links wind up on high-profile blogs and prominent consumer websites. So in addition to increasing web traffic in the short term, social media links can gradually lead to improved search engine rankings. Even if your Google ranking remains relatively low, you should continue posting links across the social media landscape.
Share Testimonials on Popular Sites
If a company with whom your business frequently partners has a high-traffic website, you may be able to use this to your advantage. If the site features a “Testimonials” page, compose a glowing review for the business in question and include a link to your company’s website in the author bio. Clients who are pleased with the services rendered by your partner are likely to visit your site to see what your company has to offer. Success rates will vary with this venture, and the number of new visitors you’ll attract is largely dependent upon how much traffic a site’s “Testimonials” page typically receives. Still, if the site is popular enough, you should see a moderate-to-high uptick in new traffic.
Create a Business Profile on Popular Consumer Websites
If the vast majority of your clientele is local, it pays to reach out to consumers within your city or township. You can do this by creating profiles for your company on popular local business-oriented websites. Maintaining profiles on sites like Angie’s List, Yelp and Craig’s List is practically guaranteed to send a slew of local web traffic your way. Even if you’re based in a relatively small community, there’s a good chance many prospective customers are unaware of your company’s existence.
A solid link-building strategy can lead to a sizable increase in web traffic and a subsequent uptick in business. According to Forbes’ Neil Patel, link building is among the most effective ways to improve a site’s ranking. Winning favor with popular search engines isn’t nearly as arduous an undertaking as it seems. If you’re ready to boost your site’s Google ranking and reap all the rewards popularity entails, set to work building links.
These days, entrepreneurs everywhere are preaching the virtues of search engine optimization (SEO). Depending on the size and scope of your enterprise, SEO can prove very useful in growing your business and attracting new customers. However, when it comes to search engine optimization, one size does not necessarily fit all. Certain businesses, for one reason or another, are simply unable to reap the benefits of SEO. This doesn’t mean that these enterprises have nothing to offer; it just means they’ll need to rethink their marketing tactics. As you’ll find, search engine marketing, or “SEM,” can prove instrumental in giving your business a shot in the arm.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is one of the most common forms of search engine marketing. It involves purchasing ad space on prominent search engines, social media outlets and websites and paying a previously agreed-upon amount each time your ad is clicked. Depending on the search engine or website with whom you’re doing business, each click could cost you anywhere from a few cents to several dollars. As Staples reports, unexpected expenses can quickly arise when utilizing pay-per-click advertising. Although PPC can be rather costly for small businesses, search engine marketing serves as a prime example of spending money to make money. If you’re confident enough in your enterprise’s ability to win over prospective customers, a pay-per-click advertising campaign could be exactly what your business needs.
Google AdSense can be an invaluable tool for getting your website noticed by your business’s target demographic. Incredibly straightforward and user-friendly, AdSense places advertisements for your business on websites whose content meshes with the keywords in your ads. Within weeks of registering with AdSense, you’re all but guaranteed to see a return on your investment. You can even recoup some of your money by hosting AdSense ads for other businesses on your website. For every 1,000 clicks the ads on your site receive, you’ll be spent a check for $48. If your website enjoys a steady stream of foot traffic, you stand to make a respectable sum.
One of the most effective SEM tools currently available, Google AdWords stands to exponentially increase your visitor stats and overall customer base. According to Fox Business, AdWords was created with small businesses in mind. AdWords enables entrepreneurs to bid on specific search engine-friendly keywords. When a search is conducted using these words, an ad for your business will automatically appear on the results page. Depending on how competitive your industry is, as well as which words you wish to bid on, you may pay as much as $50 per click. Additionally, any words you’d like to bid on must first be approved by Google. Other search engines, like Yahoo! and Bing, have similar programs in place. However, their success rates pale in comparison to businesses that use AdWords.
There’s no denying that search engine optimization is here to stay. With countless businesses chalking their success up to SEO, it’s impossible to overlook its benefits. Still, certain enterprises are better suited to search engine marketing. Despite being more expensive than SEO, the timely results generated by SEM make it well worth the additional cost.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are two very common terms which may from time to time be used interchangeably, albeit wrongly by many players in the online market space when trying to promote their website or products online. SEM can be defined as the online marketing techniques and practices which are adopted by an organization with the main aim of gaining visibility in search engine results. It is generally over and above SEO even though it usually forms just a subset of the overall internet marketing strategy.
SEM can be done in a variety of ways which include but are not limited to having paid placements, paid inclusion, contextual advertising as well as SEO. SEO on the other hand can be defined as the practice of optimizing the content of a site so that it can rank higher in search engine searches. It does generally involve well thought and proper distribution of keywords, increase in the number of back-links and basically striving to make it easy for crawlers, spiders or robots to properly index the contents of a page so as to determine the relevance of the page to what the user may be searching for at any given time.
For SEO, there are two main pillars; these are Off-site and On-site SEO. Off-site SEO is the process of getting votes from other sites so as to increase the trust level of your site in the eyes of search engines. Votes in this case are usually links coming from other sites to your website. In certain areas, Off-site SEO is usually referred to as link building. On-site SEO on the other hand are rules and regulations which you can apply on your blog or site so that it is more search engine friendly; this may include rules such as how to use well formulated URLs, use of proper titles, correct use of H1, H2 and images, importance of good descriptions etc.
Paying for Results
In comparison, SEM is basically geared towards getting more visibility in search engines either though paid search advertising (paid traffic) or free traffic. By adopting paid search advertising, the user essentially buys advertising space in the search engine results. In this strategy, instead of attempting to rank higher in the searches and get free traffic, the user pays so as to appear at the top or in front of the searches. Google AdWords is one of the most popular advertising agencies used for paid search advertising. Your ads will appear in the Google search results and you will only be charged for the clicks on your ads and hence the name – Pay per Click (PPC).
Difference in Timeframe
The main disadvantage of SEO is usually its speed. Whereas other SEM styles tend to get results instantly, using a purely SEO driven strategy is bound to produce delayed results. This is mainly because it does take some time before crawlers go through the website pages and indexes them accordingly; this becomes even more pronounced if you are constantly changing the content of your pages.
SEM is a very broad topic which covers a lot, and SEO – even though is the most important aspect – is just a part of the much larger online marketing strategy that a business should adopt. If the business has limited resources then SEO would be the best option to go for but if the business is keen on fast results and is not so constrained financially then the full suite of SEM techniques are bound to provide instant results.
If you just nod and smile when other business owners are talking about their strategies for search engine marketing, you shouldn’t be too concerned, nearly half the companies out there have little or no strategy for SEM. This doesn’t get you off the hook. If you don’t investing in the basics of search engine marketing you’re neglecting an important opportunity that can lead to more traffic to your site, and when done properly your conversion rate will increase as well.
In order to stay relevant in your industry, it’s important to have a noticeable web presence. The internet isn’t going away any time soon, and the amount of people investing resources into their online marketing plan is only going to increase. If you haven’t put a plan into place yet, start now before you fall too far behind the completion. Here are some basics you should know to start.
Search Engine Marketing… What is it Again?
If we’re talking about the basics of SEM it helps to at least define it. When users search online they’re often browsing with a specific goal in mind. They’re using certain phrases they believe will be most useful in order to pull up relevant search results. To market through a search engine, you have to think like one.
What Are the Rules?
That’s the tricky part; no one really “knows” the rules. Google provides a list of guidelines and recommendations, but the specifics of their algorithm are somewhat of a mystery. We do know that Google values relevancy, engagement, and overall user experience. So regardless of what aspect of your website you’re dealing with, whether it has to do with design, content, or optimization techniques, make sure you’re doing so with your real life audience in mind. Google wants you to market organically to people, instead of trying black hat techniques that spam the system. Doing so will get you penalized which will make climbing to the top of rankings that much harder.
Since ranking for the most relevant search phrases that a high volume of users are searching for is the most important part of marketing online, it’s vital you begin by doing keyword research. The first step in the keyword research process is simply to brainstorm a list of the words and phrases a searcher might use to find your site or business. The key here is not to be too general. Forget broad terms like “cars” Focus instead on long tail keywords such as “good cars for winter.”
By running your list of proposed keywords through a keyword research tool, you’ll discover how many searchers are actually conducting searches for a given word or term every day, how many of those searches actually converted, and other useful analytical information. You can also use these tools to discover other terms or phrases similar to the ones you want.
Once you’ve determined which keywords to target, both for a general content marketing campaign as well as for specific, smaller initiatives, it’s time to build content around those phrases.
One of the important ways Google analyzes sites is by looking at the backlink profiles of each website. They’re interested in diversity, too many links coming from the same site doesn’t do much to impress Google, and if you’re linking to too many sites that are spammy and have low metrics, Google can penalize you. The best way to create a natural, healthy looking backlink profile is to generate good content that people want to link to and share. Focus on creating content that is valuable and engaging, and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Natural link building services can be hard to come by so make sure you’re using a reputable agency that knows what they are doing.
A great practice to put in place is reaching out to other site owners and writing an article for their site that contains a link back to you. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement that with the right type of nurturing could develop into a useful relationship.
The technical side of search engine marketing should never be overlooked. Google has to properly crawl your site for indexing purposes, and if you don’t have all your pieces in line, you may end up getting overlooked. Keeps these important tips in mind:
· Your content on your site should have title tags and Meta descriptions.
· Meta keywords are pretty much ignored by search engines nowadays, but if you still use them, make sure it talks specifically to that page and that it is also formatted correctly.
· Your Meta description should be unique and also speak to that specific page. Duplicate Meta descriptions from page to page will not get you anywhere.
· Title tags should also be unique! Think your title as a 4-8 word ad, so do your best to entice the reader so they want to click and read more.
· In addition to optimizing for the desktop experience, make sure to focus on mobile and tablet optimization as well as other media.
· Consistent Domains: If you type in www.example.com, but then your type in just example.com and the “www” does not redirect to www.example.com that means the search engines are seeing two different sites. This isn’t effective for your overall SEO efforts as it will dilute your inbound links, as external sites will be linking to www.example.com and example.com.
· Keywords in URL: Having keywords you’re trying to rank for in your domain will only help your overall efforts.
· Optimize your non-text content so search engines can see it. If your site uses Flash or PDFs, make sure you read up on the latest best practices so search engines can crawl that content and give your site credit for it.
An important lesson I learned from a teacher was don’t do something unless you intend to do it in the right way. You should definitely invest your time and effort into search engine marketing; it’s where the people are. But unless you commit to following the right practices, all your effort will go to waste. Continue to educate yourself and speak with professionals in the SEM industry to get you seen and heard online.
A lot of webmasters today make the tragic mistake of building their websites without taking into account how search engines like Google and Bing might treat their finished product. They would end up with great-looking websites that can’t seem to attract even a trickle of traffic from the major search engines. With that said, it is of utmost importance that you always keep search engine optimization (SEO) in mind the moment you start developing a new website. It’s no secret that the prime mover of online traffic today is Google. This is because it’s the portal to all the information that the internet contains. Needless to say, if you want to have a successful website, then you should include Google in the development process.
Click here to learn how to improve Search Engine Rankings
Start With a Platform That Is Search Engine Friendly
Whether you are creating a website on your own or you are hiring someone to do it, the first order of business should be on choosing a platform that has the good graces of Google. For instance, if you are going to start a blog, you should make use of the platform by WordPress because it’s been proven time and time again to rank really well in search results. The same can be said about other types of online properties like forums, web stores, and social sites. In a nutshell, always choose the platform that has a good track record in relation to Google.
Perform Extensive Keyword Research
It’s baffling why a lot of people still take for granted this part of the website development process. They either do it sloppily or they ignore it altogether. But if I were you, I would spend a lot of my time trying to find the words and phrases that best describe what my website is and the products or services that it may offer. This can be very time-consuming but it’s not too difficult to do. In fact, there are several keyword research tools out there that are free to use. There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t grab the chance to take advantage of what they can do.
Develop a Content Marketing Plan
Content is king. That is a rather old adage that still applies today. The main reason why people go online is to look for content whether it’s in the form of articles, images or videos. As a website owner and marketer, it’s your job to provide this content. Your success would depend on how your content stacks up against other content creators out there. That being said, you need to come up with material that will either equal or surpass what others are offering. In creating your content marketing plan, you need to take into account your target audience. You should also identify the mediums upon which you are going to deliver your content to your target audience. If you get these two things right, you have nowhere to go but up. Once you find an effective strategy, give it your best effort to scale it up.
These are the three main techniques in website development that is focused on search engine optimization. Thousands of webmasters use these to make a killing online. If they can, then you can as well.