Culture, Digital Marketing

Search Engine Optimization

Amy Holcomb — September 17, 2015

In today’s digital age, it is more important than ever to establish a strong online presence for your business.

There are a number of ways to accomplish this including digital marketing, social media, search engine marketing, and of course search engine optimization (SEO). With Google and other search engines establishing themselves as the go-to place for information gathering, we are seeing more and more of our clients place an emphasis on SEO strategies and initiatives.

If your business is looking to improve their SEO, here are some things to consider:

1.) Keywords

Most great SEO strategies start with keywords. If you want to rank near the top, you first have to ask yourself what people would be searching for in order to find your company. What are the search terms you’d want to rank for? It’s important to note that certain keywords are more competitive than others, and sometimes you may have better luck with long-tailed search terms. For example, ranking near the top or on the first page for “used cars” is probably very difficult as thousands of different companies are likely trying to rank for that term. On the other hand, if you look at search terms like “2012 Blue Used Honda Accord,” you are probably going to have better results. When choosing keywords, consider ones that are (1) relevant to your business, and (2) have a potentially high search volume. Note too that ongoing keyword evaluation is critical to the success of your SEO strategy.

2.) Content Optimization

Once you’ve established your target keywords, the next thing to consider is your content. What type of content will make your site seem relevant and authoritative for your target keywords? Search engines read and interpret your site differently than real people do, so it’s important to consider both user types when developing content for your site. There are a number of different ways to optimize your website content, and entire books have been written about the various strategies and tools you can use. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Your site structure should be logical and easy for people and search engines to follow
  • URLs should be concise, informative, and logical
  • Target keyword phrases for a specific page should be included in the URL
  • Meta titles for a page should match the keywords you’re targeting
  • Meta descriptions should also include your target keywords
  • On-page content should be optimized for people first, and search engines second
  • Content quality is more important than quantity
  • Content strategy starts by understanding your target audience and customers

3.) Link Building Strategies

One way to establish yourself as an industry leader and expert is to have links from other sites back to your own. However, this approach should be done cautiously as Google has gotten smarter at identifying improper link building, and your site could be penalized if you’re not playing by their rules. Any links need to be relevant to your content, and quality is always more important than quantity.

4.)Tracking your Results

A key part of your SEO strategy should be tracking and measuring the results of your efforts so that you can continually refine and improve your strategy. Google provides a number of tools such as Google Analytics and AdWords that help to track keyword rankings, site visits, bounce rates, page visits, conversions, etc. If you don’t know whether or not your current strategy is working, there is no reason to have a strategy in the first place.

The ultimate goal with SEO is to establish your website as a leading source of information for your particular industry or user base. Search engines want to see that users are coming to your site and staying there, and that they are getting the information they need. Through keyword strategies, content optimization, and careful link building, you will start to build relevance and authority in your industry, leading to better rankings and a stronger online presence.

Lastly, keep in mind that search engine optimization is a long-term process that will create long-term value for your organization. Being successful requires strategy, execution, patience, and ongoing evaluations and refinement of your approach.

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