Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a business owner quite like the phrase “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO strategy. It’s a complicated process with a lot of interconnected parts. So we understand the confusion. But we also have a solution.
SEO strategies can seem like a completely foreign concept. It’s easy to fall into the trap of ignoring your SEO strategies and focusing entirely on more surface-level marketing tactics. However, a comprehensive and thorough SEO strategy can often make or break the success of your business’ online presence.
How can you be sure that your customers are able to find your business on the internet when they need to?
What is the best way to stand out amongst all of your competitors online?
The answer to these questions is simple: ensure that your SEO strategy contains these 9 elements. And you should be seeing an increase in new customers in no time!
1. Perform an SEO Audit
First things first, you need to know where you stand. It’s difficult to measure improvement in SEO rankings when you have no idea where you were starting to begin with!
Auditing your site is an important element in establishing your SEO strategies because it helps to establish a baseline understanding and easily identify where you have room for improvement.An audit can tell you a lot about your SEO standings.
It can help you to understand:
- Whether or not your website design is user friendly, easy to navigate, and reliable
- If there are any issues that are causing your site to load slowly
It can also double check:
- That your links are functioning correctly and sending users to the correct destination site
- Your performance in search engine result pages (SERPs) for your chosen keywords
- If your site content is optimized to ensure better conversions
Consider a site audit to be like a report card on your SEO strategy. Showing you what you are doing well and what areas you can improve on. Using this roadmap, you can easily create SEO strategies that will set your business up for success.
Get your free website analysis report today with our software. It only takes a few seconds.
2. Choose the Right Keywords
Keywords sound complicated, but they don’t need to be! They are simply the words and phrases that customers (and potential customers) use to search for a service or product online.
By working these keywords into your SEO strategies and website content, you make it easier for the search engines to find your site. They then deliver your business information to the searcher – hopefully on page one of the search results!
When choosing keywords for your SEO strategies, they should be chosen based on:
It’s important to choose keywords that your potential customers will actually be searching for. You want to target words with lower competition. This way you’ll be able to attain a top ranking position faster and more easily.
To achieve this, you should be sure to include a combination of local keywords, long tail keywords and short tail keywords.
Local keywords are used to help customers find you locally by choosing to target phrases such as “near me” or include your location(s) in your keyword strategy.
Long tail keywords are 3 to 5 word search phrases. While short tail keywords are less specific keywords, generally just one word. These short tail keywords usually have a higher search rate but also a much higher rate of competition.
3. Create Great Content
Great SEO strategies are built on the bedrock of great content and fully optimized on-page SEO. Website content, such as blogs, should contain the keywords that your customers may be searching for.
But it is also important that the content provides value by:
- Educating site visitors on a subject
- Providing answers to a question they may be asking
- Providing solutions to a problem they may be experiencing
- Giving them further information about a service, product, or event
Content is excellent for improving your SEO strategy. And it’s also a powerful tool when your content is interesting and easily shareable on social media. Make your content engaging and captivating, and your audience will do the rest!
4. Make it Mobile-Friendly
Whether you like it or not, smart phones are here to stay! Studies show that the number of smart phone users is predicted to exceed 4.7 billion by 2020.So is your website optimized for mobile? If not, it’s probably because you didn’t think it was necessary. Think again.
Take into consideration the fact that more than half of all global web traffic is attributed to mobile devices. It seems foolish to neglect the mobile responsiveness of your website now, doesn’t it?
Google has made changes to its algorithm to prioritize mobile-friendly search results. In order to create an SEO strategy that takes this into account, your website should have the following:
- Quick mobile response times
- Text formatted to adjust to smaller screens
- Images that don’t slow down the responsiveness of your site
If your site has the extra accommodations, then it will be seen as mobile-friendly by Google. Thus ranking your website above all others that do not adhere to mobile.
5. Build Backlinks
A backlink is a clickable link that lives on a website and points to another site. When a source that is reliable (according to Google algorithms) links to your website, it boosts your authority and can have awesome effects of your SERP ranking.
Similarly, when you add links on your website and in your content that point back to credible outside sources relevant to your content, your SEO strategy also benefits.Part of your SEO strategy should include reaching out to authoritative sites and working together to create mutually beneficial backlinks. This will help to improve your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your site and business.
You should also be sure to perform a site crawl on a regular basis to ensure that your website is completely free of broken links that might harm your SEO ranking and reputation.
6. Get your SSL Certificate
There’s no doubt about it – customers are more worried than ever about cyber security. It seems like every day there is a new headline exclaiming that another business has been hacked and all of their data was compromised.
It’s no wonder why customers are extremely hesitant to visit a website that doesn’t seem secure. Google and it’s competitors have taken notice. So they are penalizing the SERP rankings of sites that don’t take the necessary steps to ensure that their customers are protected.
For business owners, this means that an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate is a can’t-miss step in any SEO strategy.
It is an especially important step for any business that collects sensitive data online, such as passwords and credit card information.
Benefits of SLL:
- Adds to the trustworthiness of your site
- Signals to search engines and customers alike that your website is legitimate
- Gives you and your customers peace of mind knowing that information won’t easily fall into the hands of someone who shouldn’t have access to it
7. Use Schema Markups
One of the most powerful ways to optimize your website for search engines is through schema markups! A schema markup is essentially a code installed on your website which allows search engines to find and deliver the most important information to customers through search results.
It tells the search engine what information is the most important for customers to know at a glance, and then that information is displayed directly on the search result.If you’ve ever searched online for a product, then you know the choices can be overwhelming!
Isn’t it helpful when you’re able to see the essential information you want right on the SERP? Without having to click on a dozen different web pages to find what you were looking for!
Imagine the competitive edge you’ll have over your competition if your customers know from the moment they see your business name that you have exactly what they need!
8. SEO-friendly URL’s
Your URL may seem like a simple, insignificant factor in your SEO strategy. But there’s a lot of information stored in such a small amount of characters.
A URL that is too long, contains tons of random letters and numbers, or seems suspicious in any way will not only hurt your SERP rating. But it might also discourage potential customers from visiting your site.
First and foremost, your URL should be easy to read, Plus it should give the reader an idea of what content to expect on the page.
Leave out the strange characters and long strings of numbers that don’t serve any purpose to the reader.
It’s also a great SEO practice to incorporate your target keywords into your URL’s wherever it makes sense. However, less is more – don’t try and stuff every single keyword into a URL. Spammy URL’s are just as bad as nonsensical ones.
When it comes to formatting, keep the URL short and sweet. Using 50-60 characters in the ideal length to convey enough information without overwhelming the reader. And for readability, hyphens are better than underscores for separating words.
9. Track Your Progress
There’s no point in taking the time to work on your SEO strategy if you aren’t also tracking your progress! Even the best-made plans can go off the rails if you stop paying attention.
In order to optimize your SEO strategies, a periodical, consistent progress report is a necessity.
There are tons of tools out there to help you monitor the success of your SEO efforts. These type of tools allow you to:
- Follow the improvement of your search engine ranking for various keywords
- See increases and decreases in web traffic
- Check how your web presence measures up against the competition
- Show what types of content are performing best so that you can continue to develop that content strategy
Detailed analytics such as these are essential in helping you to continue improving your SEO strategy. And to help you to identify and solve issues as well as minimize costly mistakes sooner rather than later.
SEO strategy is an ever-changing landscape, with new techniques and tools being created all of the time. Rather than thinking of SEO as a one-time task to check off of your to-do list. Think of it as a regular part of your overall marketing efforts. All of your hard work will pay off if you are willing to put forth the time and energy required.
A good SEO strategy is more than just keywords! All of these elements are an important part of a comprehensive strategy. Choosing to ignore one or more may be a huge hindrance to all of your other efforts.
Our team at LYFE Marketing is dedicated to understanding and implementing the most up-to-date and important SEO strategies so that you can focus on making your business the best that it can be!