SEO: The False First Page Promise
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a group of strategies aimed at increasing visibility in organic search results of popular search engines like Google. Improving your page ranking increases your website’s visibility and attracts potential customers who show interest in the products and services you offer.
Everyone wants their site on the first page of results, so how do you compete?
Many SEO practitioners believe they will get their website on the first page of search results, guaranteed. Even Google warns users of this empty SEO promise.
The truth is, SEO isn’t a silver bullet – a one and done solution. Rather, it’s an ongoing process consisting of numerous techniques to help your website traffic and engagement continue to grow.
Leverage these effective SEO strategies to meet your real-life marketing goals.
Start with Keyword Research
When it comes to SEO, your entire strategy should begin with keyword research. Sprinkling in the right keywords throughout your content is essential to achieving relevancy. The purpose of your web page should be understood throughout body content, as well as in the title, URL, and image alt-text.
An effective web page should only address one topic or theme. Content should always be specific to the topic that is presented. Make sure important keywords are abundant throughout your content, but don’t overstuff at the expense of relevancy or readability.
There are a variety of tools available to help you along your path to developing a sound keyword approach. Resources like SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, and Moz’s Keyword Explorer help you determine how a given keyword would rank in monthly searches, and how often people are searching for it.
Keeping search intent top of mind when developing keyword strategy is important. Does the user get the answer or benefit they came for? Integrating long-tail keywords throughout blogs and other pages on your site can help increase search traffic by satisfying specific inquiries that are important to your business.
For instance, a shorter term like “ad agency” may be relevant to what you do, but including a longer term in your content like “ad agency that offers SEO in Kansas City” will help improve your rank for a specific topic.
It’s best practice to validate keywords and see what type of content shows up in search engine results pages, or SERPS. This will help ensure your page is showing up for relevant searches. Plug a keyword into Google and evaluate the content that ranks highest for that search. Does your content answer the query similarly? Or would it be out of place in the search results? If so, consider a new keyword.
Provide Relevant Content
Aligning your content with searcher intent is key. This goes hand in hand with quality. You want to give the user relevant information, so they stay on your site.
A good website features a variety of content including blogs, answers to frequently asked questions, and service landing pages that speak to what you offer. These pages provide the user with an answer or benefit. If the user doesn’t find the content useful, they may not stick around.
A drop-off in traffic may lead to an increase in bounce rate, and lets Google know that your site does not have high-quality, relevant content.
Make Sure Your Content is Quality
The length of your content matters more now than it used to. The longer the blog or article, the more likely it is to rank. Shorter pieces of content, in the neighborhood of 300-500 words, don’t hold the same weight.
Speaking at length about a given topic positions you as an industry expert and a trusted source of information. This is an indicator to Google, and other search engines, that your content is quality.
Research indicates longer content leads to increased visits and more shares. Forbes notes that more than 85% of online content contains less than 1,000 words, but content above 1,000 words receives more links and more shares.
Utilize Onsite SEO
Onsite SEO focuses on allowing search engines to crawl your site and get a feel for the general structure. It helps engines understand your website, so you can optimize pages to be more search engine friendly.
Submitting your sitemap, or a model of your website’s content, lets Google find your pages more easily. Doing this also helps Google identify any crawl errors. These errors occur when a search engine attempts to reach a page on your website but is unsuccessful.
The more information about you on your website, the better off you’ll be. Optimizing both the content and HTML code on a page can also help improve your onsite SEO.
The main goal of onsite SEO is to help search engines and users understand what a web page is about, determine if that page is relevant for a particular search query, and find a page that’s useful and relevant in search engine results.
Don’t Forget About Google My Business and Online Reviews
Local listings and online reviews are other SEO components that play an important role in determining your page rank and overall visibility.
You can achieve optimal visibility and boost your rank by making sure your business information is updated and easily found via Google My Business, Google Maps, Apple Maps, and other directories and listings. The more coverage you have across different sites, the better.
People care about reviews, and they’re valuable to your business. Google suggests high-quality, positive reviews improve your visibility. It’s no surprise that customers want to know what to expect when inquiring about your products or services.
According to Search Engine Land, 70% of consumers will leave a review if asked by the business. Additionally, 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Because of the impact of reviews, it’s become increasingly important for companies to manage their customer feedback properly. Review management platforms like BirdEye are useful tools for managing your business’s reputation online.
These platforms allow you to manage email drip campaigns that drive response, answer customer feedback, and see when and where customers left reviews.
Are You Covering All the Bases?
Is your SEO strategy missing something? Are you employing the right tactics?
We won’t promise first page results, but we’ll help you build brand awareness, increase website traffic, and rank higher in Google search results.
Get started building better SEO today by learning more about our online review management services.
Published in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)