Here in the 21st Century, every business uses content to market and grow profit. You can’t just operate a storefront anymore – you need a website, and that website needs to be fine-tuned to maximize online visibility and thus, brand awareness. So how do you pull this off?

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1. Define Your Goals

To get started in SEO, first you need to understand your business objectives. What do you want to get out of your website? Are we talking ecommerce, b2b, booking services, or something else? Whatever your objective, the website needs to provide a destination where visitors can take action, i.e. a purchase, contact form, etc.

Defining your website’s strategy will allow you to figure out who best to target, which is a pretty big step. It informs virtually all of the other SEO strategy choices you’ll make down the road.

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2. Make Your Website Attractive

Your website ought to provide the optimal experience for its visitors, and that includes how it looks. In other words, your site should be beautiful! This will go a long way toward making visitors feel comfortable, and it will ultimately draw more people to your business.

Use high quality images, modern site design layouts, and employ a color wheel to get an idea of which colors work best with one another. But also keep in mind that there is an important balance to strike between page speed and quality imagery. If all your pics are huge, hi-res masterpieces, the site could load slowly, causing people to click out of the page! The best formats for website images are typically jpg, png, or webp.

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3. Communicate Using Quality Images

Appealing images are important, but it’s not enough to load up your site with nice pics. Your site’s pictures must communicate important messages to visitors. A legal business’ website probably shouldn’t have a bunch of smiling children plastered all over it – instead, the people in your images ought to look studious and professional.

This will visually communicate to your visitors what is your website exactly about. And try not to use old stock images that have been used in excess. The newer and more original the pictures, the better. Don’t forget the alt text!

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4. Meet Technical Best Practices

This one is non-negotiable. Your website needs to meet certain technical best practices. This is to ensure it gets indexed in the first place. Without technical SEO, all the wonderful content you create will be just a waste of resources.

Remember that visitors are coming to your site for a reason – they want information. The info you give them must serve a purpose. A good SEO strategy will see your site offering helpful resources that visitors can engage with. Blogs, email updates, informational PDF downloads, links to relevant apps, etc.

But before even being indexed, Search Engines also need to understand your website and every piece of content in it. Technical SEO makes sure that this happens, by making sure all elements are working perfectly to offer Search Engine bots and spiders a great crawling experience – this ranges from including a valid sitemap to setting up your htaccess file to tell google what pages they can or cannot index.

Remember to always include a relevant description of your page within the page title tags and meta description.

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5. Get Blogging

Whether you offer products or services, a good SEO strategy must always include a blog. A blog can give a kind of face to your business. It tells customers that you have plenty of expertise to share about your industry, and it creates a sense of personality.

Blogs can help you reach larger audiences, by simply targeting more generic keywords. And you can’t just write any old blog either – your posts must be planned, carefully strategized, informative, and ultimately helpful. Blogs are particularly helpful for businesses that sell products because there’s only so much content you can include in your product pages. Blog posts fill out the website, making it more robust.

Your blog posts should feature a voice that is tailored to your customers. For instance, a business selling athletic merchandise should not blog with the voice of a lazy person who binges aggressively on potato chips – instead, the voice should sound energetic, like that of a gym enthusiast who loves the great outdoors.

Blog about your company’s activities and explain the honest pros and cons of whatever your business is selling. It’s also really helpful to consistently produce new blog posts (like once per week) and post them on social media.

And did we mention your business needs a social media presence? Because it definitely does.

What are the best SEO strategies to follow?

Follow these general SEO strategies to get you started. Keep in mind that every website is different, and Search Engines ranking system can seem positively mystical at times, but you can’t go wrong with the following strategies.

check your website’s engagement metrics. This includes time spent on page by users; bounce rate (how many people look at a page of your site before jumping to a new page); dwell time (total time spent on your site by visitors); comments left by visitors; social shares by visitors; and return visits from previous visitors.

So if any of these metrics (which you can measure via Google Analytics) are low, you can refine your content to better capture whatever it is your customer base is looking for by accessing your site.

3. Capitalize on Voice and Local Searches

Voice search is a growing trend – speech-to-text functionality is way better than it used to be, and people everywhere are using it as an alternative to the slower process of typing. This is especially true for Google searches.

This translates to less overall website traffic due to voice searches with a single answer, and any customer’s search will tend to be more impulsive given the lesser investment of voice searching vs. typing. In other words, it takes less energy to voice search, which means the decision will be made with less forethought than if it had to be typed out.

The answer to most voice searches will be taken from the search page’s featured snippet at the top. If your SEO and marketing are top-notch, your business’ website could end up being selected for the “rank 0” snippet result! This is difficult to get though. Voice technology makes results more personalized, so targeting longer, more specific key phrases could be helpful for your business.

If your business has a physical location, you can pair Voice Search with Local SEO and you can get a solid strategy to attract more potential customers. We suggest you get started with your Google MyBusiness presence as the very first step.

SEO, Your Business, and the Evolving Internet

In essence, winning the SEO game is going to be an effort in research, careful customer targeting, and attractive—and above all, functional—website design. The tricky part is that SEO is always changing – as new technology pushes new trends, business has to stay quick on the uptake and adapt to the new landscape. The one thing that will never change? Angle your business toward pleasing the customer. Figure out what they want and give it to them! Then everybody wins.

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