You hear about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) all the time. You know it’s important, but do you know how it affects your business? SEO increases the traffic that’s directed to your website through search engine results. There are steps a company can take to make those search engine results more favorable, but that requires a strategy. Does your company have an SEO strategy?
Before discussing SEO, we’ll need to define one important term: search engine means Google. Yes, Bing and Yahoo are also search engines, and they use different criteria to rank websites. But since Google has a 72% share of the search market, and a 90% share of mobile searches, it’s probably a good idea to do whatever Google wants us to do.
With 91.5% of traffic share generated by sites appearing on the first page of search results, Google has planted itself between business and consumer, creating a new marketing dynamic which benefits consumers via a non-traditional route. Instead of companies marketing directly to potential customers, companies try to please Google and Google tries to please their search engine users. Companies benefit because they don’t have to guess at what customers might find appealing; Google has done the research and tells businesses exactly what attracts website visitors. Consumers benefit because the information they seek will probably be found in the first few search results.
Google ranks websites based on over 200 factors. Some are under the site owner’s control—content length, use of keywords, density of keywords, use of video, and site ownership—and some are not—direct visits, time spent on site, and pages per session. Of the many factors you can change, what are a few of the most important steps that can be taken to improve where your website ranks on a search engine results page (SERP)?
- Improve the Quality of Content – When Google presents a user with a page of search results and the user clicks one of the results, Google monitors that user’s activity. Do they do they hit the back button and try another result, or do they stay on the site they’ve chosen? If a visitor stays on the site, do they visit other pages on that site? Successful websites must offer something of value, something a visitor won’t find anywhere else, and—most importantly—something that will make a visitor want to stay.
- Freshen the Content – Google gives new content a better ranking. The best way to provide your site with fresh content is through posting new blogs or videos several times a month. Make blogs relevant, use graphics or videos, and you’ll rank even higher. Business blogging has resulted in 97% more inbound links and 55% more visitors, both of which lead to higher ranking.
- Research and Use the Right Keywords – If you were searching for a company like yours, what search terms would you use? Put the search term you’ve chosen into Google and see what type of competition you’re up against. One-word keywords have a lot of competition in that they return a lot of results. For example, if you sell TVs, and TV is your keyword, good luck; Google returns 8.6 billion results. Make your keyword longer and more specific—called long tail keywords—like LG C8-Series 4K OLED TV, and you’ll come up in a lot fewer searches, but the competition will be far less—only 2,850 results—and the likelihood of someone finding your site and converting their visit to a sale is high.
- Build Quality Backlinks – Make your content link-worthy. Post information which other sites will find informative and trustworthy enough to link to. Links from other sites to your site, called backlinks, show that your information is relevant and that you are an authority in your area of expertise. As expected, Google rewards quality over quantity, and so a huge number of backlinks doesn’t impress Google as much as fewer backlinks from more reputable websites.
Want to know how your website ranks? Enter your web address in Nibbler and see. If your numbers could use improvement, contact the SEO experts at McFadden/Gavender. Our team of experts can improve your Google ranking and your sales by analyzing your website’s content, conducting keyword research and tracking, and posting regularly scheduled blogs. Get in touch with us today!