SEO can be a daunting but necessary part of any business that wants to succeed in the digital arena. SEO can reap the most return on investment from any marketing initiative a business undertakes, largely due to the fact that it can be inexpensive to implement and can result in relevant traffic for years to come. Unlike pay per click, your business won’t incur a fee every time a customer clicks on your Google search result.
What are Your Customers Searching For?
This is the first building block towards creating a successful SEO campaign and will establish the all-important keywords that you will need to use. There are a whole host of tools available to help you establish what your customers are searching for and what’s trending — including Google Trends and Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
The great thing about Google AdWords is that it costs you nothing and will provide you with details on volume for certain keywords (i.e. how often that keyword is searched) as well as the competition for that word (how many other people or businesses are trying to rank for that word).
Have a Look at the Competition
Have a look at where your main competitors are ranking and who is ranking highest for the keywords that you have identified. Understanding how your competition is performing can provide you with some valuable insights and help you put a strategy together to outperform their web presence.
Optimize Your Pages for Search Engines
You need to create a website that is well structured and provides a positive user experience for your customers. Your website should be easy to navigate, and the content well laid out and simple to consume. The more relevant information you have on your website that relates to the keyword you are trying to rank for, the more likely you are to appear in searches for that term.
Also, make sure you adhere to Googles advice on URLs: ‘A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).’
Make Sure Your Website is Accessible to Both Bots and Humans
There are some basic steps that you can take to satisfy both the bots and humans that visit your site. Making sure your site loads quickly is essential, as is ensuring that your site is mobile friendly. Sitemaps are used by search engines to find your content and index new pages on your website faster.
There is clear evidence that backlinks are one of the most important factors when ranking on Google’s algorithm. This is a labor intensive process that will require significant resources unless you decide to outsource to an agency. Building backlinks should be done slowly and considerately using reputable sites and relevant content.
Avoid shoehorning keywords and links into articles and make sure that your content is of value. Guest blogging is one way of achieving this kind of link building and contrary to popular belief, Google does not discourage this practice as long as the articles are helpful and knowledgeable.