There’s not an online business person alive who doesn’t spend at least some time considering the mystery of SEO. The landscape has evolved tremendously since the days of massive link shares and meta data, and for most, it’s hard to keep on top of the latest trends and nuances to Google’s algorithms. The good news is, one core thing has already remained consistent: Great content equals great SEO. It’s a more complex equation than that, of course, but if you start out with a solid, well-designed site brimming with intriguing content, you’ve just tackled half the battle. For the other half, keep reading.
Tip #1: Your Website Has to Rock
No amount of SEO prowess can ever make up for a lackluster website, so your first strategy should be building a killer online presence. Your site should look polished and professional, have scads of relevant keyword rich content, clearly articulate who you are and what you offer, and have intuitive navigation – for starters. If you’re an ecommerce site, that shopping cart process needs to be flawless and simple, and you should be executing smart retention tactics too, like suggesting similar products, email newsletters, and related outreach. If your site is failing, making efforts to drive more traffic will only showcase your flaws all the more. Resist the urge to rise the Google ranks until you have content you can crow about.
Tip #2: Outreach is Key
Once you have a site that you’re truly proud of, it’s time to make friends with like-minded sites and media hubs. You absolutely have to get people to talk about your brand and products, and one way to do this is to connect with folks already writing about your target niche. If you run a site that sells tires, as an example, have a comprehensive list of all automotive directories, bloggers, and related sites. And make friends! Offer to link to them as well, or create marketing campaigns that offer discounts to their customers. Whatever you do, ensure your citations are credible. If you link to someone who has questionable tactics, or even if THEY link to spammers, your ranking will subsequently suffer. It’s imperative you choose partners that are already Google-friendly. If they aren’t, they won’t move the needle for you at all.
Tip #3: Social Media
You should create a very strong and active presence on all related social media outlets. Don’t think you need to tackle ALL of them, however – target only those that your audience uses most. Sites like Pinterest, as an example, have a high volume of female users. If female shoppers aren’t the core of your demographic, don’t waste time trying to reach them. It’s integral that you have a clear vision of who your key customer is, and where to find them online.
Good social media needs constant care, much like a garden. Seeds are planted through the form of consistent profiles and business data, and then cultivated by staying engaged with your audience. Resist the temptation to use products like HootSuite to send the same status updates to all your networks. Folks on LinkedIn, as an example, respond to different updates than Twitter. Taking a little extra time to thoughtfully consider each demographic will increase your chances of engaging. If you’re not engaging with your customers, you business will suffer greatly.
By following a few basic SEO principles, you can build a solid foundation that search engines and customers alike adore. Content has been and continues to be king, so make every page count. Search engines aim to highlight the best sites for any and all searches, so it’s on you to make your site top tier. Have fun rising the ranks!