You want search engines to find your small business, but where and how do you start?
Years ago, this question was a lot easier to answer. Back in the early days of search engine optimization (SEO), all you had to do was stuff your content with keywords to gain the favor of web crawlers. But as internet marketing is dynamic in nature, most of the things that worked in the past no longer work today. Safe to say, launching a successful SEO campaign has become significantly challenging, and you need to be in tune with the trends to create a potent and measurable SEO plan.
What SEO strategies should you relegate to times past? Which ones deserve a double down? How do you know which is which?
We round up the actionable steps you can take to launch a foolproof SEO campaign in 2019.
Set realistic goals
You know the saying: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This saying holds true for SEO.
Before applying a technique or blowing your marketing budget on an SEO service, first you need to decide on your definition of success. Set your business goals. With clear goals, you can clearly measure your progress and returns.Make sure to set realistic targets, too. Snagging the top spot on page one for the keyword “women’s dress” will expose your growing boutique to more customers, definitely. But if you’re working on a lean budget and time is a problem, ranking for that keyword will be a long shot. That’s because brands that currently rank for those terms are likely to have spent years (and wads of marketing dollars) to get to where they are. Instead of targeting a broad term, go for more specific and highly relevant keywords that bring in the right audience.
Do a site audit
Auditing your website lets you zero in on, on-page and off-page elements that you need to improve as well as those you can capitalize on. It lets you identify missed SEO opportunities and tweak poorly executed techniques. It also allows you to gauge how friendly your site is to search engines just as whether your technical framework and infrastructure simplify usage and navigation for users.Then, you can use the results of the audit to formulate an action plan for your SEO campaign.
Here are some tools that you can use to perform a site audit:
- 3Google Search Console.
- 4Google Analytics.
Conduct keyword research
Keyword research is crucial to any SEO campaign. And to generate revenue, using the proper tools to find the right keywords is key.
Here are some of the best keyword research tools available to you:
You’ll also gain the following when using digital marketing methods:
Remember that search engines are getting smarter: they now understand user intent. They also place the same level of importance on keywords and content quality and relevance. So, when doing keyword research, keep user intent in mind and whether your keyword of choice will make sense in your website copy.
It also pays to select the brands to compete against. With the hundreds of millions of websites on the internet, it’s smart to focus on a targeted audience than to compete with the big brands for broader keywords.
Perform a thorough competitive analysis
Know the nuts and bolts of your top competitor’s marketing strategy. This includes their target market and the techniques they use to appeal to their prospects, as well as which of these techniques are effective and which aren’t. You can use the results of your analysis to form your own strategy.
Pro Tip: The right keywords, relevant topics, and well-written articles published at the optimal time are all pivotal. - It could be the key to larger profits in 2019 for you.
Establish a pillar content strategy
Plan your future content by creating an editorial calendar, including the lead time for publishing blogs.
When creating your content plan, specify your target audience (also known as buyer persona), so you know the topics and content types they would find interesting. From here, perform long-tail keyword research to find search phrases that you can integrate into your content, from pillar articles (long-form articles) to blog posts.driving website traffic and boosting your keyword rankings
Mobilegeddon was the buzzword in 2015, but Google’s mobile-first index officially set sail only last year.
This tweak in the search engine’s algorithm works to favor mobile-friendly websites, as more than half of global searches now happen on mobile devices. This means that if your website is optimized for mobile devices, you get a higher chance of being indexed by Google.Build a website that looks good and loads fast on mobile devices
Set up - or - optimize - your social media accounts
Maximize social media by doing beyond simply setting up your accounts. Tie your social media strategy with your SEO plan.
Create official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Make sure that you link these accounts to your blog and to add share buttons to every post.Then, create a social media calendar using the same guidelines for creating your content calendar: include industry keywords, create quality and relevant content, and publish at the most optimal time. If your audience finds your post interesting, they are likely to share it, along with your brand, your information, and the link to your website.
Link building is the process of using links that point back to any page within your website to boost your SEO rankings. Search engines see these links as votes of validation: if another website is willing to direct readers away from their page in favor of your content, then you must be an authority in your niche. The more sites that link to your website, the more chances you get to secure a top spot on search engine results pages (SERPs).
But remember that search engines are becoming smarter, and eventually, they have also refined the way websites and link data are evaluated. For your link building strategy to work, you need highly relevant links.
Use Google to find relevant links. To make your clothing store rank for a keyword like “women’s clothing store in Denver,” for example, you want a link from a page that currently appears on the top 100 results for the keyword “women’s clothing store in Denver.”
Share your content. Write guest posts. Help people discover your content (and create buzz around it) by sharing your posts on social media.
Launch a retargeting campaign
There is actually a way to lure visitors who bounced from your website back to your page: retargeting.If a visitor landed on your page through organic search but left without taking any action, you get a second chance to convert that visitor with a solid retargeting campaign. Retargeting involves various techniques. This may range from emails that keep you top of mind and ads that remind prospects of the product they viewed to pop up messages (Don’t leave yet!) that appear the moment your visitor is about to leave your website.
Do ongoing content development
Continuous content development helps your brand stay relevant.
At least once a year, rework your website copy. A rework could be as simple as freshening up one of the pages or as major as a total overhaul.
Did you expand to a new location? That should go on your contact page. Did you update your inventory? That should show on your service page. The changes on your website should reflect actual changes in your company.Dwell time depends on the length of content on the page. If your visitors spend only ten seconds on average for a 1,000-word long-form blog, If your CTRs are low despite high keyword rankings, try tweaking your metadata to make it more appealing. If you’re seeing a high volume of impressions but your CTR remains low,
Remember: To help your SEO campaign, it also helps to produce new blog content at least once a week. If you can’t create your own content, onboard a writer or a digital marketing agency. These professionals would know the topics and types of content that will appeal to your target audience and they also have the capability to help you publish more content eventually.
Measuring Your SEO Campaign Success
Measuring your campaign shows you if your SEO efforts generated higher results and spot areas of improvement.
Here are the metrics to look out for:
Track your keyword rankings to see where you stand on the SERPs. Studies show that sites that appear on Google’s first page receive more than 90% of the traffic. Keeping an eye on your keyword ranking helps you land on top of SERPs and gain more visibility.
See where your traffic is coming from using Google Analytics. This tool also lets you identify the pages your visitors frequent and the time they spend on your website. Google Analytics allows you to segment your sources of traffic, and when measuring organic SEO success, look for the “non-paid search” segment.
The ultimate purpose behind ranking keywords is so you could drive warm leads to your website and get them to take action – to convert. Conversion comes in many forms. Your visitor can either fill out a form or register an account, sign up for a newsletter or make a purchase.
A solid SEO campaign goes beyond simply generating traffic: it converts visitors. If your goal is to increase leads, check the number of quotation or newsletter requests you have received; if it is to improve your ROI, track your check out page.
Bounce rate measures the number of visitors who leave your site without taking action or at least checking out to other pages within the website. A high bounce rate indicates that visitors “bounce” back to the Google search results to find another site that offers more relevant answers to their query.
Look at the bounce rate by landing page. Re-examine pages with a high bounce rate, from the content to other site elements such as page load time, so you can zero in on the factors that may be repelling website visitors.
Average Time Spent on Page or Dwell Time
Dwell time is simply the average amount of time visitors spend on a certain page. When your visitors spend an average of at least a minute on your page, it means they have stayed on your site long enough to consume your content.
it can indicate that most of them do not really read the post.
Click-through rate is the ratio of the volume of clicks your website receives to the total number of total users who view your ad, email, and other marketing material. For example, if a banner on Facebook had 100 views and 10 users clicked on it to get to your website, your CTR is 10%.
create a more compelling call-to-action.
As stated earlier, backlinks act as a vote of confidence, a social proof that tells search engines that you’re an authoritative source in the industry. If you’re seen as an authority in your niche, you get a higher chance of being indexed.
Pro Tip: Check the quality and quantity of your backlinks to point back to your site, otherwise, you might risk getting penalized. The number of backlinks matter, too.
While it’s possible to outrank your competition with a few links, if your top competitor has 10,000 links and you only have 10 quality backlinks, it’s almost impossible to outrank them. Use Search Console to check for crawl errors. This tool will show you site-wide and segment.
You want quality, relevant websites.
Search engines can only rank your website if they can crawl all your pages. Missing pages, 404 Errors, and other crawl issues may cause your rankings to dip, however solid your SEO campaign is.
New vs. Returning Visitors
A good number of returning visitors signals healthy retention rates, while a steady stream of new visitors shows that your business is gaining traction. If you see an upward trend on the number of return visitors on certain pages, check their on-page elements to get an idea of what your readers want to see when they go to your site.
Ready to Build a Solid SEO Campaign?
Supercharge your SEO with help from Alkries LLC. Our SEO services in Virginia involve creating a potent SEO plan based on the latest industry trends and best practices. We monitor your and constantly improve its performance to make sure it’s aligned with your business goals.
Call us at (540) 808-0996 or schedule a free initial consultation with us, today.