Search engine optimization is a must-have in every business's online marketing strategy, whether you are large or small. Over 90% of online experiences start with a search engine. This means that when a potential customer is looking for the product or service that you sell, more than 90% of the time, they go to Google rather than visiting your website directly. Then, when Google gives them a list of results, 70% of the time, they'll skip right over any paid advertisements and click one of the first organic results. If your website landed after the first page of Google’s search results, 75% of the time it will never see the light of day.
In other words, you want your website to be well-known in the household of Google. To help you achieve that goal, we've put together a list of four actionable ways to improve your search engine optimization (SEO):
1. Keep your website fresh with relevant content.
The most common phrase in the world of SEO is "content is king." Make sure that your business's website is not just a static billboard that hasn't changed since 1995. In order to keep Google's attention, make sure you regularly add engaging posts related to your industry to your website. One of the factors that the Google algorithm uses to determine your website's ranking is how recently you have updated it; Google doesn't want to send its users to a website that is dusty and full of cobwebs. Also, the more content your website has, the more area you have for keywords that will flag Google down when a potential customer is looking for your service.
2. Utilize link building.
Another factor that the Google algorithm uses is how many offsite links there are that a point to your website. In other words, when a lot of other websites are talking about your website, Google thinks, "Hmm.. There must be something to see over here!"
You can accomplish link building by being mentioned in blogs related to your industry (or guest posting for them), having your website listed in a reputable directories related to your industry (avoid spam sites, as it can actually hurt your site ranking if Google thinks it's shady), and through social media shares.
3. Use deep linking within your own site.
In addition to using offsite links to point to your website, you should also be strategic about link placement that references other pages within your website. When the content of your website has links to other content within your website, it keeps your online users engaged and interacting with you. This shows Google that your website is more than just a shallow landing page that a user exits out of one second after they open it, which improves your site ranking.
4. Leverage social media for SEO.
Yes, we know social media marketing is its own beast. However, your social media strategy can also improve your SEO. Two birds, one stone, my friend.
One of the factors that Google uses to rank websites is the number of followers you have on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Bear in mind that Google can tell if you have organic followers, or if you purchased one million proxy followers just to improve your rankings; so keep it on the up and up. The more you post relevant content, interact with your followers, and have your social media posts shared by other users, the more Google will recognize you as an authority in your industry, and that will impact your site ranking.
Social media is also helpful for SEO because it gives you a platform to post links that reference your site, and optimize your link building (see point 2). It also allows you to utilize keywords that helps target search engine inquiries related to your business. To sum it up, social media marketing and SEO are online marketing strategies that go hand in hand.
The strategies used in SEO are so extensive that there are entire marketing companies who revolve around Google's algorithm. While we could go on for days about SEO, if you want Google to take your website seriously, you should create regular, good-quality content, be strategic with links offsite and onsite, and make sure your social media activity is SEO friendly. You can take that advice to the bank and cash it!