No digital marketing strategy is complete without a comprehensive SEO marketing plan. In many ways, your website’s performance on Google is determined before its developers write a single line of code. Because, just like building a functional house, building a high-performing website requires careful planning, clear blueprints, and an experienced team. If you’re here for quick tips and questionable hacks that’ll yield fast results, you’re likely to be disappointed. They just don’t exist. These days, search engine optimization is about engaging visitors with interesting, authoritative content that is laser-focused on their interests.
Beyond that, SEO is about properly presenting your website to search engines. In many ways, it’s a careful balance between speaking to human beings and speaking to algorithms. Without appealing to both, your site may have difficulty climbing in the search rankings. Worse yet, it could struggle to convert visitors into profitable, qualified leads. So, in developing your first SEO strategy, it pays to follow a proven process.
Select the right keywords
Keywords describe the core concepts of your website. Typically, they’re short phrases that are commonly searched on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. As an example, this post’s primary keyword is ‘SEO marketing,’ which is included in its title, meta description, and text content. By judiciously using variations of your site’s keywords, you can steadily improve its search rankings. But, overuse – or improper use – of keywords can negatively affect your site. It’s important to focus on creating keyword-rich content that engages readers without sounding unnatural.
Build for search engine optimization
From day one, your website design should focus on search engine performance. As visitors spend more time on your site, your SEO rating improves. Because of this, every structural element, every image, and every word should work together to create a positive user experience. You should focus on reducing load times, optimizing images, providing a crawlable sitemap, and ensuring your site is mobile friendly. In addition to this, your site’s text should be peppered with internal links that give visitors clear paths to relevant content.
Write for your website’s (human) visitors
As we said above, it’s essential that your website’s content sound natural. One of the most common mistakes that people make – even experienced web copywriters – is to focus too intently on search engines. However, Google has been refining its algorithm for decades and it’s no longer fooled by hackneyed SEO marketing tactics. Factoring in human behavior, it prioritizes authoritative content that sustains searchers’ interest. What does this mean? It means that you should carefully – and naturally – utilize keywords in content that is written to be read, understood, and enjoyed by actual human beings.
Create a meaningful web of internal links
We’ve mentioned internal links before, but what are they? In search engine optimization, an internal link is a link that directs visitors to another page on your website. In the previous sentence, one of this post’s keywords was made into an internal link that points to additional information. Internal links encourage visitors to stay on your site. They provide paths to meaningful, relevant resources and ensure that visitors always have a reason to stick around. Because your goal should be to keep visitors on your site for as long as possible, building a proper web of internal links is crucial.
Craft informative metadata
Your site’s metadata provides a glimpse into its content. The first thing that searchers see when your site appears in their search results, it’s critical that you create well-written meta descriptions that focus on conversion. With a limited number of characters available and a whole lot to say, writing these descriptions is both an art and a science. And, while Google can automatically generate descriptions for your pages, writing custom descriptions gives you an opportunity to include more keywords. For these reasons, a professional with experience writing for websites can be a priceless asset that helps your site attract more visitors, convert more leads, and produce more sales.
Monitor the effectiveness of your SEO strategy
A huge part of search engine optimization is keeping a tally of your site’s wins and losses. In order to make sound decisions, you need to know what keywords are ranking, what pages are working, the general health of your site, and much more. SEO monitoring software gives you a view of your site’s performance. Tracking metadata usage, keyword frequency, page structure, organic traffic, bounce rates, and a host of other metrics, it compiles all of this data into easy-to-understand, actionable reports. For small-scale projects, experienced users may be able to make due with Google Analytics, which provides a range of raw reports that can be compiled manually. But, if you’re gearing up for a long-term strategy, you’ll absolutely need to invest in software that provides a real-time, bird’s-eye view of your site’s search engine score.
Improve, expand, and iterate
Armed with the information you gathered from your monitoring software, you should strive to make regular improvements to your website. As Google wants to see continual additions to your site, you should look at your keyword rankings, find gaps in your site’s performance, and craft fresh content to fill those gaps. Whether you’re writing a blog post about underperforming products, adding a video to a page with a high bounce rate, or anything in between, every improvement you make – no matter how small – contributes to the growth of your site.
At Creative Marketing Group, we’ve worked with companies of all sizes to improve their search engine rankings. With the area’s leading SEO marketing experts and the industry’s best monitoring software, we have what it takes to drive more customers to your doorstep. So, if you’re having trouble getting found online, contact us today to discuss how we can help.