Between 70% and 80% of web users completely ignore the paid advertisements at the top of the search results. That means that if you're hoping to increase your web traffic, it's crucial that you rank highly in the organic search results.
In order to rank highly in the search results, you need a strong SEO game plan. Most business owners know what SEO is, and understand how it can make their business successful. But they don't understand how to develop a sound strategy.
Here are some ways you can create a solid plan for 2018.
The whole purpose behind search engine optimization is to rank highly in the search engines which will drive traffic to your website. But that doesn't mean much your website is ranking highly in front of an audience that's not interested.
The first step is to identify your target audience. One way to do this is through the creation of buyer personas. This is when you create a representation of your ideal customer so all content, copy, and advertising can be targeted specifically for them.
This means digging deep into the who your customers really are. Some of the things you need to know include:
Key personality traits
Demographics (income range, neighborhood, male/female, age etc.)
Typical buyer's journey
You can discover this information in a variety of different ways. These include:
Questioning your current customers
Meeting with sales, marketing, and customer service teams
Using Google Analytics
Implementing social media research
Creating buyer personas allows you to think about your marketing messages, and understand which SEO strategies will best reach them.
Once you know who you're targeting, you need to perform keyword research. Choosing what keywords to target can either make or break your SEO game plan.
Break up each keyword categories based on your buyer personas and the sectioning of your website. Once you've got a list of these keywords, you can use Google Keyword Planner to research each keyword and rank them based on the estimated monthly search volume.
Google needs to be able to understand what your company's website is about, and on-page SEO is vital for this. The first thing you need to do is make sure that Google can crawl your site efficiently, so it can see all of your content.
This means setting up your site with intuitive navigation, great internal linking, unique content, fast page load-times, and no broken links.
This is also when you can use your keywords to optimize your content. You can build specific pages around different keywords, and this will show Google what each page is about.
However, it's important that you avoid keyword stuffing. Write your content the way you would usually write it, just keep your chosen keywords in mind while writing.
Content should be one of the main pillars of your SEO game plan. Not only is content key for implementing keywords, but it helps guide your customers through your marketing funnel.
Content also helps you earn traction on your social media channels, rank well in search engines, and communicate your brand to the world.
Your content needs to enforce your brand tone and voice across all channels while creating specific strategies for boosting engagement and increasing conversions.
Some options for content include:
Blogging, in particular, is an excellent way to include your keywords and engage with visitors. Each blog post is another chance to rank in Google. However, it's important to remember that creating content is about connecting with your audience, and not the search engines.
Write about the things your prospects and/or audience are interested in, use relevant keywords, and you'll begin to organically grow your visitors and move up the rankings.
Link building is a massive factor in how your web pages will be ranked in the search engines. Building authoritative links from trusted and relevant websites drives referral traffic, improve rankings, and increase your brand's visibility online.
Links have always been one of the most powerful ranking signals in Google's algorithm. They determine a site's credibility and popularity.
Resources like Squawika managed SEO services are an excellent option for link building, but you should also work on building your links that will move the needle. One way to do this is through guest posting.
Not only does this help you get trusted, relevant links, but you can expand your reach and tap into new audiences where you may have otherwise been unknown.
SEO requires a great deal of time and effort. There's no point in creating an SEO game plan if you're can't see results.
There are plenty of metrics you can track monthly, weekly, or even daily. These will help you keep your plan on track so you can easily measure your success (or lack of success) and adjust your plan accordingly.
Use a web analytics package or an Excel spreadsheet to monitor how much traffic you're getting to your site from organic search. You'll also need to track leads, keywords, indexed pages, ROI, and your ranking for each keyword on SERPs. This makes it easy for you to see what's working and identify new opportunities.
The above steps will help you create a strategic SEO game plan that will help you move up the rankings. This will, in turn, ensure you have more website visitors, which will lead to increased conversions and profit.
By knowing your audience, choosing the right keywords, developing helpful content and creating a smart linking strategy, you should notice an increase in the search rankings within just a few months.
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Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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