Google sure does love pushing out updates. Sometimes there can be as many as 500+ changes or new updates in one year! Not staying updated or on alert to these changes can mean loss in sales, web traffic and ultimately negative consequences to your business.
Getting SEO right and properly optimizing your website, content, and other factors covered here will help you show up more often in search results and reap the benefits of what increased web traffic can do for your business.
In this article, we will cover important online marketing topics and provide you with a solid foundation you can apply to your SEO marketing strategy this year.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Expert SEO Tips & Strategies that Matter This Year
Every business wants more traffic, leads, and sales right?
That’s the goal and results of a successful, ongoing SEO strategy in place. When healthy web traffic is pouring in on a monthly basis, a stream of leads consistently show up be it by contact forms, phone calls, emails, text messages, and physical locations have steady foot traffic; these are just a few signs that your SEO working.
But what if some or none of these are happening at your business? Then we must ask ourselves, have we given thought or re-structured our online marketing strategy? When marketing is left it in the back burner, due to no time or false assumptions that it’s too costly or too complicated, business tends to suffer. If sales are down or performance is not so hot, its a good time to analyze where to best allocate your online marketing efforts and start attracting bigger numbers – perhaps its time to ditch that local newspaper ad.
Every single day, hour, minute and second, people are searching online to solutions to their problems,. Whether that to fix a sink, find a contractor to remodel their new home, find a manufacturing company to produce their product, the best dentist in their area and so forth. Being in the top 10 results on search engines is critical since that’s where most of the action is taking place. SEO is what makes this happen.
You’re probably saying to yourself “this all sounds great , but what is SEO exactly?”
Definition of SEO: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization which is the art of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website without using paid ads.
That’s right! SEO is a marketing method many businesses, big and small, use to drive in customers, sales and revenue without paying for ads. SEO has been proven many times over that it provides a better long-term investment compared to advertising directly on Google or other paid display ads, as it helps build your websites authority and ranking factor.
There are many ranking factors Google and other search engines use in determining which sites are shown for a given search. For simplicity, we will look at the most important and critical ones that will have the most impact.
So let’s dive right to it!
SEO Tip #1: User Experience
Google has gone above and beyond in ensuring websites are mobile friendly; and with good reason. According to Statista.com, the percentage of adults who own a smartphone has doubled since 2011 and today at least 80% of adults now have a smartphone.
If your website has not been updated in more than two years or is not currently mobile-friendly, that is a huge factor that’s affecting your SEO scores. Google will penalize websites which are not responsive for smartphones and those not secured by with a SSL Certificate (the little lock icon on the top left of your search bar) – Google insists on this!
Customers browsing and shopping online want to feel safe. 84% of users say they will abandon a purchase if their transaction is being sent over an insecure connection. “It’s an out and out necessity nowadays” says SSLrenewals.com
First things first, make sure your website is responsive on all screens – desktop, tablets, and phones – and https secure. Without a website, the other tips below won’t have much benefit. If you’re unsure how or where to start, start by filling out our website questionnaire form.
SEO Tip #2: Give Each Web Page A Purpose
If you have a website, Great lets keep going!
Google and other search engines do not rank websites, they rank web pages! Every web page your site has should have a focus and targeted keywords. This means having a strategy or plan for each page before it’s even designed. Take for example your home page, what is the main purpose: To draw attention? To display your services/products? Create a well though-out plan or outline for each page.
Ok now what about the main keywords. Is your home page optimized for the primary keyword, did you research your market and audience to see how they talk to search engines? These are critical steps that should not be ignored otherwise you’ll end up with less than desired results.
Far too many websites that we have taken on for a re-design or been hired for a one-time SEO configuration we can tell they were not well planned and had a case of “winging it”. Don’t be that guy.
So how do you optimize web pages? The days of ranking for single or two worded keywords are nearly gone or very difficult and time consuming depending on your niche.
Instead optimize for medium or long tail keywords related to your industry to get the most bang for your buck.
A few example long tail keywords related to this article are:
Do you see what I did there. I used keywords with at least four words or more instead of single or two-worded phrases. Now another great strategy is to use a location-based keywords if you only serve a specific area such as: SEO tips for a local business in Rockford, Illinois.
If you start catering your content to specific keywords while you design or re-fresh your website, you’ll most certainly start seeing a difference in the number of keywords you rank for thus increasing your visibility in search engines and other areas such as your local google map rankings – (more details on this below!)
SEO Tip #3: Use Video
Words are just as important as pictures, but combining that with video, you’re sure to have an advantage over your competitors who are not using video. Today’s world revolves on providing answers to questions accurately in the fastest way possible.
“How to” videos are all the rage right now. Does your company sell a product, create a video on how to properly use it, clean it, assemble it, you get the idea. What about a service? film a video explaining what that services is all about, what it offers, and how it’s different from similar providers.
After creating that video make sure you attach it to your website by linking it from your YouTube channel. There are more “techy” methods in improving your SEO with YouTube videos such as geo-tagging and adjusting pieces of code from the links between YouTube and your website but those are best left to SEO and Web development professionals.
Nevertheless, use video to give you a competitive advantage. Video marketing has plenty of potential and better user engagement which is great for SEO.
Chances are, that your visitor might quickly run through a 1-minute video and be encouraged to buy from you instead of your competitor. Remember to properly tag and add descriptions to your videos.
SEO Tip #4: Optimize For Voice Search
With the rise in “hey Siri” and “hey Google” voice assistants, voice searches are expected to keep on skyrocketing.
Voice search technology is certainly improving and becoming more accessible. Take Alexa for example, how many homes has an Alexa-enabled device? Too many to count!
So how can you take advantage of voice search? 51% of people who use voice search use it to find information of a product they are interested in and another 34% of voice searches are to find a local business. If you sell a product, make sure your products info is accurate and coded properly.
This makes the importance of using an expert web designer even more desirable. A web designer can take your products info and turn it into a FAQ that is properly coded for SEO and Voice. You’ll have the best of both worlds.
SEO Tip #5: Optimize Your Google Listing
This is the #1 most over-looked SEO aspect we see. Many times when we take on a new partner looking to improve their SEO or other online marketing we come to find their Google My Business listing is non-existent, incomplete or incorrectly setup.
You have to realize, anything that is inconsistent in the eyes of Google is a red flag for them, therefore, making sure your Google listing is updated and maintained is very important.
Your business information that’s on your Google My Business (GMB) listing(s) should match across all your marketing channels such as your website, social media profiles, and related directories.
Areas of interest that should match are: Business name, Address, Phone, Hours, Web address, and description.
Optimizing your Google business listing consistently is very important especially if you’re a local business. Take the time to fill in all the areas and take advantage of the products section. Create related categories and fill in appropriate products or services that you offer.
This will help you stand out a bit more and gives Google more reason to show your listing higher.
SEO Tip #6: Don’t Be Shy, Get Social
Social media users are growing every day, month and year. Having an official Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn business page helps build trust and legitimacy of your business which help send positive signals to your website.
As social media platforms continue to become part of people’s daily routine, they are also being used as a search engine and Google knows this.
With Facebook’s recommend feature, users are now able to request and ask for recommendations from friends, family and the community for many products and services such as best dentist, local car shop, hair salon and so forth.
Combining social media into your SEO strategy is a great way to gain further exposure and tap into a new customer potential you possibly were missing out on.
If you haven’t already, create and claim your social media profiles before anyone else does. Even if you don’t intend to use them right away, claiming your business name on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and others ensures no one else can steal your startup business name if it becomes a big hit or promote false claims/bad rep to your established business.
Social media has amazing benefits and a wise company will take advantage of that. Put social to work for you by posting related content regularly. Stick to a schedule, we found that posting twice a week is pretty good for most businesses. If you can do more – great! Just don’t overwhelm your audience by posting multiple times a day as that can get annoying.
SEO Tip #7: Launch A Blog / Articles Section
Content is key to showing up for your targeted keywords. Having well-written content on your product pages, services pages, home page and everywhere else on you site but having a blog can help further improve those areas.
A blog or article section allows you to further talk about what your company does, provides and helps you stand out as a professional in your industry. Publishing original, genuine content will help engage your audience but also find favor in the eyes of search engines.
If you do decide to write blogs, articles or publications on your site, do it regularly. Regular updates provide your visitors with fresh content. Publishing once a month is a good timeframe. If you are writing the content yourself, remember to write for humans not robots.
What we mean by this is keyword stuffers who write blogs and/or articles think their content will perform better by mentioning their keyword in every sentence will find favor among search engines.
This is false as the writings tend to sound unnatural and search engines will pick up on this. Instead keep your focus on your audience in mind when writing, provide honest and real content they can benefit from, and share it in your social network.
After applying these tips, its time to move on to the fun stuff, let’s keep going!
Advanced SEO Tips
If you’re feeling comfortable with the SEO tips above, let’s try adding advanced & technical SEO into the mix. The suggestions below require skills in web coding and an understanding on how certain search engine features work.
Pro SEO Tip 1: Optimize For Featured Snippets
Featured snippets allow you to show up on at the very top of a search even if your not in the #1 spot. Simply, a featured snippet is content on your website that is about 40-60 words that are used to quickly provide an answer to the given search query.
Why are featured snippets important? Snippets steal A LOT of clicks from the number 1 spotter!
Common types or featured snippets are definitions, steps, lists, tables and short answers. So when trying to optimize for a featured snippet, use a software to determine which keywords your site already ranks for and try to use any of the mentioned snippet types into your website.
You can use free, but very limited, tools such as Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to find keywords your site already ranks for, optimize for a set of related keywords your site is ranking for by writing that 40-60 words blurb, and place the right snippet code along with it.
**Requirement: Your site must be registered and properly indexed in these data bases otherwise no data will be shown.
Pro SEO Tip 2: Check Your Meta Descriptions
If you’re wondering what the heck is a meta description, save yourself the time and headache by requesting a complimentary website SEO audit. These website descriptions are crafted (or should be) during the web development phase.
These are areas where DIY website builders such as Wix & GoDaddy don’t tend to focus on and end up lacking SEO boosting potential, not to mention their excessive code weighs heavy on website loading times and Google bots ability to scan them correctly.
In short, meta descriptions are “summaries” for each of your website’s pages. Each web page has a heading and a description underneath them. Often in our audits we find empty meta descriptions or poorly written ones that have not been updated in years.
These descriptions help give a clearer, convincing picture as to why the Googler should click on your web page instead of a competitors.
The description appears right below the main heading (or blue words) in a google search. When writing your meta descriptions, keep your target keyword in mind but don’t over do it. Write it so its easy to understand while using your focus keyword.
Search engines push updates regularly and that’s why we believe metas should be revised throughout the year.
Pro SEO Tip 3: Use FAQs Schema
As mentioned previously, people are searching the web to find a solution, often times that involves a quick answer. Having a FAQ section on your website is a great way to provide quick answers to your customers, vendors, and helps eliminate repeated emails and phone calls.
However, properly integrating schema into your FAQ can give you a greater chance in being featured into search engine results quicker and easier. Take a look below!
Google has said it’s using rich data such as FAQ schema to provide answers through the voice guided experiences. The info Google is likely to feature is a company’s hours, purchase options, shipping destinations, return policies, frequent project questions, and timeframes.
Remember to monitor and check for any errors in Google Search Console after implementing a FAQ or any other schema markup.
This is where having a professional WordPress website shines! In addition to taking advantage of schema, a WordPress website has the capabilities of using advanced SEO techniques not commonly known by the average joe website designer.
At iSeed Digital, we build all our websites on WordPress and have exclusive programs/software we use to really enhance the SEO performance of our clients websites.
Other Noteworthy SEO Tips
Now It’s Your Turn
So these are the SEO tips and tricks you can start working on in Q1.
All are actionable tips you or your company can implement today and start getting more web traffic, sales, inquiries to grow profits and/or beat last years numbers.
Proper SEO takes dedication, time, and web skills to get the best results in the shortest amount of time. If you’re having trouble with more than one of these tips, perhaps its best to hand this off to an SEO pro such as iSeed Digital. Having an SEO partner is often the most time-saving and cost-effective solution.
The online marketplace is getting extremely competitive, especially now after the COVID-19 effects on businesses. Those who did not have a website or a strong SEO presence are suffering the consequences of relying too much on old school ways of doing business. The future is going digital, it’s always best to plan ahead.
We hope you found this article useful and you can always request a FREE SEO audit below. We’ll give you a detailed report of the problematic areas we find and offer our suggestions to fix them if any.
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