Whether you are running a business in Kansas City or running a business anywhere else in the world, you know the importance of having an effective online advertising and marketing strategy. An integral part of any digital marketing strategy is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is a collection of tools and techniques that help your website to rank higher in search engine results, thereby putting your site closer to the top of the search results, driving more traffic to your site and hopefully more business.
SEO used to be about adding keywords to your site for search engines to find; now, it is so much more than that. It has now become a highly involved strategy that often requires so much time and attention that many companies are hiring website designers and marketing experts for support.
Creating Your SEO Strategy
As the online marketing industry and SEOs, in particular, are continually evolving with the application of new technologies and changing user behaviors, standard practices come and go in the blink of an eye. Trying to plan a successful online campaign without SEO, though, will likely keep your business from ever reaching its full potential. As your business is ever-evolving to keep up with trends and market demands, so too much your SEO strategy. You must be continually monitoring and adjusting so that you ensure that your business is not falling behind. So here are a few things to consider when planning your SEO strategy:
- Know your target market – SEO today is not about just grabbing as much web traffic as possible. You want instead to be attracting high-value visitors that are interested in what you offer and hence, more likely to convert. In terms of demographics, you need to figure out what your target market is searching for. How are they performing those searches? Where are they located? The more specific and detailed your information, the more valuable your information for SEO planning will be. One tool to assist you with this is Google Analytics.
- Mobile devices are big – The mobile market has exploded, surpassing desktops years ago. This means that the majority of your customers are completing searches only using their phones. Hence, optimizing your website for mobile users is critical if you want to rank well in search engine results pages. An excellent tool for helping you to evaluate your website as to the ease of use for mobile phones is to enter your site’s URL in Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Don’t neglect other search engines – While Google is a massive name in the search engine market, with a considerable share of the market, there is still a significant portion of users using other search engine sites to complete their searches. Make it a point to review how your website stacks up on other search engine sites. All it may take is something little, and your site can get a significant boost in ranking.
- Know how your market is searching – When search engines were new, consumers had to create very broad search requests in an attempt to find what they were looking for. Searches like “take-out Kansas City.” Now, as search engine technology has changed, people feel more comfortable typing in things like, “where can I go for Chinese Food in Kansas City?” These changes in user habits, while subtle, can have a big effect on which keywords will be best suited to bringing valuable traffic to your site. Instead of focusing on what keywords get you the most traffic, try and focus your keywords on the traffic that will translate into the most conversions, revenue and overall profits.
- Design your website well – A well-designed, user-friendly website, with interesting, relevant and easy-to-find information is key to boosting your traffic and conversion rates. Each page should be built around keyword themes so that search engines can easily index your site and rank you higher. Positive behaviors from site visitors (like time spent at your site and conversion rates) are your best bet for improving your ranking. So, make sure that you are keeping your content natural and focuses. Avoiding business jargon and keyword stuffing helps to ensure that users that click on your site will not be left unhappy, which will hurt your ranking.
- Develop relationships with other businesses – When other business links to your website from theirs, search engines consider that to be an indicator that your site contains valuable content. While having dozens of links from low-quality sites used to be all it took, technology has developed here as well. The value of a link to your website also depends on the quality of the site that links you. So, developing partnerships with other related but different businesses, where links for each other are posted on both sites, can help you with improving your own site’s ranking. Just a few links from other high-traffic quality sites will do wonders for your ranking.
- Take advantage of social media – Just as search engines are continually evolving their technology, so too is social media. What was once merely a platform for basic communication has become a highly profitable marketing channel. Many users begin their searches on social media and will make their way to your website from there. So, by keeping your social media site active and up-to-date, with engaging and personalized content, you will be attracting more people to your profile and, hence, your website.
- Analysis, analysis, analysis – When looking to plan or update your SEO strategy, analysis is the key to determining what will work best. Start by tracking the most important website metrics and set a baseline performance for your site. Make one or two small content changes and see if you notice a boost in your site traffic or your site rankings. Avoid making too many changes at once or making unrelated changes simultaneously, as that will make tracking your results pretty much impossible. You want to be able to keep track of what was responsible for improvements in your site’s traffic and conversion rates, as well as keeping track of which changes did not work.
These are just a few of the possible tools and techniques that you can use to devise an SEO strategy. Contacting a local online marketing firm in Kansas City can give you a big head start into developing the best campaign for your business, as well as the continuous monitoring and adjusting that all good online marketing campaigns require.