SEO Written by 0
If you’re still on the fence about whether SEO is right for your business, consider this: 81 percent of shoppers research their big purchases online before committing to a sale.

If you’re not conducting SEO for your business website, how will all those shoppers find your business? And going forward, how will you generate more leads? These days, it’s more important than ever to have a carefully crafted SEO strategy so that 81 percent can find you and possibly become your new leads.

You Gotta Enter the Race if You Want to be a Winner

The activity generated from SEO is the main driver for traffic and leads, but it has to be done right. The problem for most business owners is that keeping up with new techniques feels like running a marathon for which they haven’t trained. They continually feel left behind by those who are more prepared.It’s true: search engines never seem to stop forging ahead with new criteria for ranking. It’s enough to make many business owners give up the race. Plus, many are paralyzed into inaction by fear. After all, using tactics you’ve dug up from old blog posts floating around the web might be worse than doing nothing at all.

But don’t let that stop you from preparing for the race of your life. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Key Strategies for Building a Successful SEO Strategy

Appearing in the search engine result pages (SERPs) these days is a matter of using combined tactics. Read about them now, then choose one to start with and build from there.

1. Create an Influencer for Your Company

One important way to give your brand a voice is to make someone at your company an Influencer, with a capital ‘I’. Consumers seek trustworthy sources from whom they can rely upon for good information. Build up that sort of trust behind a name that’s attached to your company, and you’ve got yourself an Influencer.It could be the CEO or the owner of the company, for example. Your goal should be to create a complete and authoritative digital footprint, with profiles on major websites in your industry.

Here are the tasks of the Influencer:

  • Reply to comments on social media
  • Be an expert in the roundup posts you generate (see below)
  • Author guest posts
  • Participate in roundups on other websites
  • Be active on social media channels
  • Join discussions on Quora, etc

2. Generate Great Content

When it comes to content, there are admittedly dozens of approaches you can take. From articles to e-books and infographics to videos, it all helps to build authority and, hopefully, accumulate a growing supply of backlinks. But good content alone isn’t enough: you’ll want to incorporate keyword research into your strategy. Conduct a search for popular keywords in your industry. See who ranks high and what type of content they’re using to rank. Then one-up that content by writing better in-depth posts or pages for your website.

Additionally, you should be creating content not only for your own blog but for off-site blogs as well. This is called guest blogging and it works.

Content ideas that will work in 2017 and beyond:

  • Roundups posts: contact other business owners or bloggers and interview them. The idea is to get those people to promote your post.
  • Guest blogging: works best if you get published on authoritative websites in your niche.

3. Optimize Your On-Site Content

There’s writing, and then there’s writing for the web. Ways to optimise your content for SEO include:

  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short (some theorize that having better readability in your content helps with SEO)
  • Use headers to separate sections of your writing
  • Links to other pages on your website
  • Outbound links to authoritative sources
  • Put your keyword in the title of posts and headers
  • Use the keywords for image ALT-tags and image file name

4. Local SEO

If you don’t have a physical store, you can skip this. But if you do, start improving your local SEO. Start with these tactics:

  1. Build citations. This means getting your website listed online directories that feature name, address, and phone number (NAP).
  2. Optimize on-site local SEO. This means making sure your NAP is all over your site. You should also have a Google map with your location on your website.
  3. Verify your Google location. Get yourself listed with Google Business and go through the steps to verify your physical address. This means having Google send a postcard to your address for verification purposes.

5. Get Your Website Mobile-Ready

By now, if you haven’t made your website so that it’s easily viewable on mobile phones, consider yourself to have a small marketing emergency on your hands.  As of Q2 2017, more than half of organic search engine visits were performed on mobile devices. That’s just in the US, and it’s up 34 percent from 2016. Globally, more Google searches are performed on mobile devices than on desktop computers in ten countries, and it’s been that way since 2015.Everyone has a mobile device these days, and mobile search is even driving in-store commerce.

6. Make Your Website a Secure Site

Google literally came out and told everyone that having a secure website is now a factor in the SERPs. It just doesn’t get any clearer than that! You’ll want to purchase an SSL certificate to make your website https.

7. Finally: Measure, Measure, Measure

Measuring is key for looking ahead and improving your tactics going forward. If you’re not measuring results of all the SEO work you’ve put in, you won’t be able to take things to the next level.Begin by installing Google Analytics on your website. While you’re at it, you may as well get Search Console, too. And don’t just track visitors to your home page. Set up conversion tracking for all your web forms, sign-ups, clicks on emails, and phone numbers, too.

You’ll also want to know how your social media and other off-site campaigns are doing, so use UTM codes for the promos you do on off-site content such as social media, YouTube, and ads. Achieve all this, and you’ll be able to measure ROI.

Going Forward

You should now have a good idea of what it takes to create a successful SEO strategy. Now take the time to customize your approach: which tactic will you adopt first? Don’t worry about making the wrong choice: just entering the race means you’re already winning.

Mike Khorev helps small and mid-size businesses generate more leads and sales and grow revenue online. He offers expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO, digital marketing, web design, social media, search engine marketing and many other online practices. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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