Many business owners have heard of search engine optimization (SEO) and know it can offer a variety of benefits. Some have even tried their hand on their own websites. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about SEO, especially as ranking factors have evolved over time and continue to change somewhat each year. Today, pulling off a successful SEO strategy involves much more than incorporating plenty of keywords in your website content.
Here are five tips for using SEO to boost your business:
TIP 1 | Create engaging content tailored to your target audience
It’s not all about the keywords (although we’ll get to that topic in a moment). Google is always looking for the best possible results for the searcher. Therefore, providing comprehensive, engaging content is the best way to attract customers while also becoming the kind of result search engines are looking for.
- Fresh and Evergreen Content. Sharing unique, relevant content each month is important, because search engines reward sites that provide new content on a regular basis. Plus, with fresh content comes additional opportunity to gain authority within your subject matter and be seen as an expert in your industry. However, you don’t want most of your content to be “timely” in the sense that it won’t be useful in a month or two. Evergreen content that has staying power is more likely to be shared and visited over and over as time goes on.
- Video. It’s long past time to stop ignoring the potential of video marketing. Through video, you can expand your digital presence, drive more engagement, and strengthen brand recognition—all good things for SEO.
- Niche Markets. The key to creating engaging and relevant content is doing some research on your target audience to find out which topics they care about most. Think about the specific products or services your ideal customer is looking for, as well as what factors distinguish your business from your competitors. Getting specific about the products and services you provide boosts your chances of ranking for the searches your ideal customers are performing.
TIP 2 | Focus on user experience
Creating a positive experience for your visitors drives engagement and encourages them to spend more time on your site, which can improve your ranking.
- Mobile. Having a mobile-friendly website is a must these days to satisfy tech-savvy consumers and search engines alike. In fact, Google now considers the mobile version of a site to be the primary version. Optimize your site for mobile users, or risk taking a hit in the search results.
- Video, Images, and Infographics. We’re mentioning video again because it’s that important. The majority of today’s customers would prefer watching a short video vs. reading a 500-word article. Additionally, offering a variety of ways for users to absorb content, including high-quality video, images, and infographics, helps capture readers’ attention, driving traffic and engagement.
- Clear, Meaningful Copy. Write for people, not search engines. Keyword stuffing and rambling paragraphs aren’t appealing to your potential and existing customers, which is what truly matters at the end of the day. That being said, search engines do like longer, more in-depth content; it shows that your company is professional, authoritative, and trustworthy. Just make sure your content is easy to understand for your target audience, and use terms that they would use when searching for the topics you’re covering (avoid industry jargon unless you’re explaining what it means).
- Internal Links. Linking internally to helpful blogs or web pages not only guides your visitors to useful content, improving user experience, but also signals to Google that your page is of value, which will improve your SEO.
Tip 3 | Use the right keywords
Although keywords in SEO aren’t used the way they were once upon a time, they’re still a critical component of any successful SEO strategy. Along with focusing on content that’s most interesting to your target audience, it’s important to choose the keywords your audience is searching for. Research can help you discover how your ideal customers are searching for products and services like yours.
- Medium-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords. Consider using these types of keywords, which are less competitive. If you focus on a keyword that’s too broad and very competitive, you may never rank well for it.
- Search Your Keywords. Before using keywords, take the time to actually Google search them. This is a simple way to ensure the content you’re using the keywords for aligns with the content that Google associates with that keyword. For example: a children’s photographer that captures team sports photos may think they want to try ranking for “sports photographer.” But if you Google “sports photographer,” you’ll see the results are focused on photographers for professional athletes. “Youth sports photographer” would be a much more relevant keyword in this situation.
Tip 4 | Manage your reputation carefully
Reputation management (aka review management) isn’t always something that’s discussed when it comes to SEO, but it should be. Online reviews have become a cornerstone for potential customers’ decisions when choosing which business to hire or purchase products from.
Cultivating as many high-quality, current customer reviews as possible can help keep a few tainted opinions from destroying your hard-earned reputation. Plus, Google looks at the frequency, quality, quantity, and timeliness of your online reviews. Businesses with a high star rating and large number of reviews are often favored in the results.
- Respond to Reviews. Good or bad, online reviews deserve your attention. Never miss an opportunity to engage with a customer, no matter how unfavorable the review is. Take a breath, and respond to negative reviews quickly, calmly, and professionally. Click here for more tips.
- Gain Insights. Encouraging customers to leave a review also offers your company access to valuable insights about all aspects of your business. You can use this data to make changes to your web design, social media pages, content, product quality, shipping practices, etc. that affect the user experience.
Tip 5 | Leverage social media
Even as digital marketing experts, we can understand why some people just don’t want to use social media. However, just because you could never see yourself having a personal profile doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it for your business. Social media is one of the fastest-growing components of a modern SEO strategy, and an increasing number of consumers turn to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to connect and engage with their favorite brands.
- Promote Content. Sharing your content on social media can bring more quality traffic to your website pages, improving your SEO. As you grow your presence on social, you can expect increased visibility and improved brand awareness. In turn, you’ll get more engagement and better search engine rankings.
- Backlinks. When you produce compelling content and share it to social media, you have the opportunity to reach a much wider audience. Influencers and complementary industries may even include backlinks to your content in their posts, blogs, and articles. Getting quality backlinks from multiple sources is perhaps the most effective way to boost the reputation of your small business.
A Final Note From Triton's SEO Expert
Here’s what our Search Marketing Analyst, Jared, has to say about using SEO to boost your business:
“The biggest thing to focus on is providing a quality product or service and getting good reviews. Without decent reviews, many people won't give you the time of day online compared to competitors that have great reviews. You should also find ways to engage with your customers and provide them with content they want to share—that’s usually content that provides an answer to their question or fixes their problem. Essentially, build your brand so it becomes well known. All of those things are indicators to Google that you care about and want to engage with your customers, and will help you climb in the rankings.”
Interested in learning more about how an SEO strategy can help you grow your business? Contact Triton Commerce today for your free Digital Marketing Blueprint! We’ll take a look at your current digital presence and provide you with detailed feedback to help you promote your business more effectively online.