Developing an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy is crucial for any business that wants to increase its online presence. If you’re unsure of how to begin developing your strategy, we have a few simple ideas for you to help get the ball rolling.
Keyword research: Though we’ve touched on this before on first SEO blog series “The Importance of SEO for Small Businesses”, let’s talk briefly about what SEO actually is. SEO is basically a grouping of techniques and practices that can be used to help increase your company’s search engine ranking. Most people use search engines like Google or Bing to find what they’re looking for online, and by developing an SEO strategy, you can make it easier for search engines to find your website when users plug in search words that are related to your business.
So, when it comes to laying out a strategy, your first step should be doing some keyword research. For instance, you can use Google Adwords to find out which keywords are most used and relevant to your business. Say, for example, your business specializes in life insurance. During your research, you may find terms like “insurance,” “life insurance” or “term life insurance” are commonly used when people search for life insurance companies online. Ideally, you should then incorporate those search terms into your website’s copy.
Audience: Take some time to understand who your audience is. Your website should appeal to your potential customer base, and you should do a little homework to understand who they exactly are. For example, what is the age range of your audience? What is their education level? What is their annual take home income? What does your audience need from you? Your content should, ideally, speak to your audience directly. They should find the information on your website relatable, informative and natural—almost as if the website was created with their particular needs in mind.
Onsite SEO: Now here’s the fun part: creating copy for your website. Content that’s written with SEO in mind will be very informative. The information on your site shouldn’t come across as carbon-copy stuff—search engines actively seek out content that’s deemed to be original and worthy of a user’s time. Those keywords you researched should also pop up in your copy in a natural way too. You shouldn’t overuse them, but make sure to sprinkle them throughout your website so the search engines deem your site to be relevant. Lastly, your website should be easy to navigate, and it needs to be simple to find necessary info. If you have tons of broken links, an overabundance of keywords and copy that’s basically grabbed from another website, then your search engine ranking will remain low.
Offsite SEO: If you work on “linkbuilding” (or connecting your website to other websites and vice versa in a natural manner) increasing the size of your social media channels and also continually establishing new business connections, you will find that these “offsite” efforts will also help to improve your search engine ranking.
However, all of these efforts should occur naturally. For example, with link building, you shouldn’t try to place links to your website on every website out there. Another website should link to yours in an organic way. In other words, when someone shares a link to your site on their website or social media channel, it should come across as a referral of sorts—as in this one person or company is recommending you and your business as being legitimate and notable.
Keep it up! A good SEO strategy is one that’s designed for the long haul. The best SEO practices, like link building or writing organic copy, is something you and your managers should do regularly. You should work on SEO on a consistent basis, and it’s important to keep it as a priority if you want to increase online traffic.
Developing an SEO strategy is pretty simple, so get out there and start planning out your strategy!