Getting your site in front of search engines is one of the most important things you can do to drive traffic to it. By some estimates, as many as 93% of all internet experiences start with a search engine search. When you consider the fact that about three quarters of those people never venture beyond the first page of the search engine results, you can see why your search engine marketing strategy is so important.
- Do an audit of your site’s performance. Before you decide to shake up your search engine marketing plans, you need to see how your site and your current search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is working. Look into how your current keywords are working out for you. This is a lot like what you do when you start a diet, you take before pictures so you can see how well you do. Doing an audit of your SEO campaign and overall website performance will give you a starting off point to judge your new work by.
- Get the right keywords. When it comes to search engine marketing, this may be a given but it is worth repeating. You should look at what your competition is doing. You need to look at what words and phrases are working the best to drive traffic to your website, then you need to look at how these keywords and phrases are placed. If you use your words too often, you can be viewed as spam by the search engine “spiders.” You do need to put them in your URL, image descriptions and names, page headers, tags and within the content. Keep in mind, this is always going to be a “work in progress.” Your website and your list of keywords need constant attention and to be tweaked often.
- Your site needs to load quickly. Even the most beautiful and useful website will be useless if it does not load nearly immediately. It has been estimated that most consumers give a website three seconds, four at the most, to load before they give up and go someplace else. Your keywords and everything else in your search engine plan will mean little if people do not bother to wait for your site to load.
- Make your site look great on mobile devices. If you have a website that is not optimized for mobile, you are not getting what you need from your website. About half of people who own smartphones use them as their primary way to access the internet. This is especially important for local businesses because when people are looking for them, they often look to a mobile device to, say, find a place to eat. The long and the short of it is that you need your site to look as good on mobile devices as it does on traditional computers.
- Think globally and act locally. More and more people are using Google’s “near me” feature. Since 2011, use of this feature has gone up by a factor of 34, according to the 2015 Search Engine Journal. Including local keywords in your search engine marketing strategy is incredibly important. You should also make sure that Google has all of the pertinent information about your business such as the address, phone number and your hours of operation. The easier it is for people to find you, the better.
- Quality content is crucial to the success of your website. There is a phrase that was used a lot a few years ago but is still appropriate today. That is “content is king.” You can see an increase in revenue of about 40% when you invest in good content marketing, according to recent research. This means, of course, that you need to include your keywords in your content but you also have to pay attention to the writing and the usefulness of the content you publish. You need always be thinking about how your site can be more useful to your customers or clients. That will keep them coming back and will encourage visitors to share your site with their networks.
Spend some time on it and your search engine marketing strategy will yield good results.