Whether your company is preparing to take your first tender steps into the world wide web or you’re getting ready to launch the latest revision of a wildly successful website, there are a few pieces of advice that are always relevant. One of the most important of these is keeping up-to-date with current search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. If you’re curious about what SEO entails, or just want to be sure you’ve done your utmost to help your company reach the top of web search results, you’re in luck. Today, our team has brought together a handy list of tips, tricks, and tools you can use to ensure your SEO game is on point for 2018.
First things first, if you want to reap the greatest rewards that a well-oiled SEO campaign can offer your business, you need to understand the various issues that SEO work can bring to the table. Initially, aim to understand these key points:
- SEO is an ongoing process: this isn’t a one-off project. To keep your website in the top of the search results for your industry, you’ll need to work diligently – and regularly – to manicure your keyword content and keep your website dialed in to the various tweaks web search algorithms undergo throughout the year.
- Build your site for your customers: build the best website experience you can for your clients, and augment this with SEO rather than aiming to appeal to bots and web crawlers with keyword content and hoping you can put a pretty frame around it all. Ultimately, you’re trying to attract – and retain – people for your business to court as customers.
- Set realistic timelines: SEO is not going to turn your business around in a day. If you’re looking to build your customer base over time, new SEO strategies can help – but if you’re hoping to get 7,000 newsletter subscribers this weekend, you might need more than solid SEO techniques. So be clear about what you’re aiming to achieve, but also, be realistic about the timescale for unlocking that achievement.
- You aren’t in this alone: there are scads of experts in SEO, if getting your head around these introductory issues seems difficult and you’d rather consult an expert, go for it.
Use Free Resources
While SEO seems to be the gateway to big money for many firms, it doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg to get good results. A number of the most reliable tools in the SEO marketing arsenal are actually free. Google Analytics is often touted as the most powerful free tool available to online marketers – get it installed on your website’s back end and you’ll find a veritable trove of data about everything from which sites people find your business through to which leads generated the most sales conversions. What’s more, each major search engine offers a utility you can use to better understand how that engine sees your site: Bing has Webmaster Tools, Yahoo provides Site Explorer, and of course Google has Webmaster Central.
Similarly, you can leverage more keywording power by using the unpaid versions of powerful tools such as Word Tracker, Keyword Discovery, and to a lesser extent Google’s AdWords. You can use these tools to actually figure out what keywords are associated with a business such as yours. If you wish, you can pay a nominal fee to get more in-depth information from WordTracker and Keyword Discovery. You can also utilize AdWords to gain more rapid returns from your SEO efforts.
With a firmer understanding of how patience, persistence, and keywords in general contribute to good SEO practices, you’re ready to dive into the more technical aspect SEO strategy. The balance of SEO work going forward is understanding the relationship between your keywords, sites linking to you (backlinks), other ways your business is discussed or named online (citations), and how search engines gather that information (spiders).
You need tools to see who is linking to your website and where online your business is being discussed or named. Again, many are free, and some work better than others. Trial and error can be the best course for determining which tools generate the data you need. In many cases, this is where SEO strategy becomes overwhelming, particularly for smaller businesses without large IT or marketing teams to support the workload.
Instead of hunting for tools, many firms opt to find an SEO expert to work with them to achieve their goals. Important things to consider when finding an SEO consultant that’s right for your firm include: local knowledge, industry-specific understanding, and clear communication. If you’re looking for more information about SEO or hoping to identify an expert that’s right for your firm, contact our experienced team today – we’re happy to help.