In order to make the most of the internet as a tool for marketing your business, you must have a website that’s not only presentable and up to date, but easy for others to find. The name of the game is search engine optimization – by improving your SEO practices, you can increase the likelihood that when users type the name of your industry or service into Google, they’ll find you. From there, you’ll be able to generate more web traffic and ultimately win more customers.
If you work in a competitive industry and have dozens of competitors vying for clicks, SEO can be a very important element of your business strategy. Everyone has a website nowadays, so how do you make yours stand out? It’s easier said than done.
Danielle Cormier, a social media community manager at Constant Contact, recently wrote a guest article for The Globe and Mail in which she stressed the importance of SEO for small businesses. SEO isn’t just about your website, Cormier argued – it also incorporates your social networking profiles and the media content you share with others online. All of these elements combine to form your business’ cohesive web presence.
“Social SEO refers to the idea that social media links and interaction play a considerable part in a website’s search rankings,” Cormier wrote. “It sounds complicated, and in reality, it is, but basically SEO is all about optimizing content – whether it’s on your website or on a social media platform – in order to appear higher in search rankings.”
Conquering SEO isn’t easy, but there are a few small steps you can take. Follow these four pieces of advice to SEO improvement.
Produce quality content
The road to SEO success begins with producing strong material that readers will appreciate. Whether it’s writing articles or producing engaging media content like videos and podcasts, do it well, as consumers want quality. Kabbage notes that Google and Bing are cracking down on poor-quality media content that looks like it’s been generated by bots. Distinguish your business from the rest by putting superior material out there.
Make your material sharable
Your content will get better play on search engines if it’s being shared by others. Encourage dialogue when you post blogs and videos. Include a call to action – it can be a simple question that asks readers and viewers to respond and initiate conversations about your content. That will get more people posting about your business online, which will improve your search engine value. You should also be responding to others’ posts, as they’re likely to return the favor later, giving you a greater overall role as a thought leader.
Optimize social media profiles
Cormier recommends taking every step possible to add information to your social media profiles and make them comprehensive and fully searchable. Leave nothing blank, and be as descriptive as possible – if a field asks for background information about you or your business, don’t be lazy. Write as thoroughly as you can, including key words or phrases that describe your qualifications and are likely to be entered into web searches. Be sure to include your physical location and other contact information. You want web users to be able to find you easily within seconds of making a Google search.
The most important quality of an SEO champion is emotional control. You can’t get frustrated if your efforts don’t achieve overnight results – the internet is impossibly large and everyone is competing for attention, so you can’t possibly conquer SEO in a day. But by making incremental improvements each day, you can optimize your web presence and make your enterprise a more prominent part of the business world.
What have you done to improve your SEO value?