Without a doubt, search engine optimization is a must for any business that hopes to get noticed on the Web. But implementing an effective SEO plan can be a challenge. Strategies that worked well when SEO first became a popular concept are now outdated and unlikely to deliver positive results. To really take advantage of SEO’s possibilities, you need to keep up with the latest trends and best practices.
With that in mind, here are three search engine optimization tips for your business to consider.
1. Understand Google
The ultimate goal of SEO efforts is to improve rankings on Google and other search engines. To this end, SEO needs to take into account the ways that Google actually determines its results.
Put simply, Google relies on a number of complex algorithms for this purpose. The search giant takes into account a lot of different factors, giving priority to some over others. Every so often, Google will update its algorithms, somewhat altering the SEO best practices. It is these changes that you need to watch out for.
For example, last year Google unveiled the search algorithm Hummingbird. This significantly changed the way that Google ranked searches. According to KISSmetrics, the biggest change was the newfound appreciation for long-tail keywords and phrases. Whereas earlier algorithms prioritized individual, specific keywords, Hummingbird takes into account more context.
The result? SEO is now less about the repeated use of keywords and more about delivering unique, original content. Keywords still matter, but not to the same degree. An SEO strategy focused on integrating as many keywords as possible per blog post won’t be as useful now as it was 12 months ago.
While major algorithm shifts are fairly rare, Google is always subtly evolving. Keeping up with these trends and understanding their impact can have a major, positive influence on your company’s SEO efforts.
2. Social media’s impact
Another key point when it comes to SEO strategies is the importance of social media. A lot of business leaders and decision-makers ignore social media when considering SEO – the two seem like two distinct worlds. But they’re actually quite connected.
That’s because search engine results are closely connected to website and company popularity. If a lot of people seem to be interested in a given organization, Google will take that into account when ranking related keywords and phrases. And social media marketing is one of the best ways of generating that enthusiasm and curiosity in the first place.
By investing in and optimizing your social media outreach efforts, you’ll encourage fans and followers to visit your website and Google your company name. This traffic will have a direct impact on search rankings, making it invaluable for SEO purposes.
3. Imagery matters
Images are an often-underappreciated aspect of SEO. After all, most SEO involves keywords, the importance of original blogs and other text-based efforts. But image searches are also incredibly popular, and they can lead users to discover new brands and offerings. Ignoring this aspect of Internet searching will inevitably lead to countless missed opportunities.
In some ways, image SEO strategies are similar to text-based tactics. The name of your images matters a lot, so make sure each one is described accurately. When possible, incorporate keywords into these titles or descriptions.
You’ll also want to add new images to your websites regularly. Introducing fresh, original visual content will improve your chances of seeing your images pop up higher on Google searches, and it will make your sites more appealing to visitors.
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