In the pre-Internet days, customers’ choices when it came to finding a service or product were a lot more limited. They’d frequently go with a company they’d seen on TV, head to a shop they already knew about in their area or look up a service in the local Yellow Pages. These days, of course, searching on our laptops or smartphones is the first port of call for most of us when we’re looking to spend our money on something, or just want to compare our options.
How your company ranks in those search engine results has become the most critical factor in modern marketing, and if you want customers who are ready to buy to come to you, then investing in your SEO strategy is essential. By making sure your website is optimized, up to date, and friendly to both users and search engines, you’ll receive more organic traffic, more leads, and ultimately generate more sales. Here’s how to go about it.
Research your keywords and competition
Before you start making improvements, you need to assess how well you’re ranking now. This gives you a baseline to measure your successes against, so you can tell what it is and isn’t working and see the fruits of your labor to keep you motivated! Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and write down a list of search queries they might enter which you’d want to lead them to you. What problem are you solving for them, and how would they conduct a search to find a solution you offer?
To get a very rough idea, open an incognito or private window in your preferred browser, and test out some of those keywords. Where does your company come up in the search results you see? If you’re not at least on the first page and ideally in the top three positions for that keyword, it’s unlikely that customers are going to find you organically.
To fine-tune your keywords, you’ll need to use a tool like Google Search Console to get more in-depth information. A basic account is free, and you’ll be able to access useful data like related keywords, search volumes, where individual pages on your site are ranking, and what keywords are currently leading visitors to your site. Armed with this information, you can start creating a real strategy! It’s worth spending some time exploring the websites of the companies who are in the top spots, as this will give you a good idea of what they’re doing right.
Get an SEO audit done
Now you know what your website content should be ranking for, it’s important you also weed out any errors that might be hurting your rankings. You want to make sure the content you already have up is SEO friendly, and then start adding more content to boost your organic traffic. This process involves checking for technical errors, making sure meta descriptions include the main keyword you’re targeting with the content, optimizing image descriptions, ensuring the site translates well on mobile, and that your content loads quickly. If you’ve got a lot of existing content to work through or just aren’t comfortable with the technical side of SEO, then outsourcing to an expert like Ruby Digital can take the stress out of this step for you!
It’s important to understand that creating the kind of content that attracts organic traffic takes time – especially if there’s a lot of competition out there. If you need faster results, paid traffic is an option – but it’s not sustainable unless you’re also focusing on boosting organic traffic over the long term. One way you can bring in organic traffic more quickly is to target content at a more specific audience using long-tail keywords. If you’re offering a very specific service as part of your offering, making sure you have a page dedicated to it can capture a lot of searches simply because there isn’t much competition for it. As an example, let’s say you offer Math tutoring. This might be something like focusing a page on ‘private at-home tutoring for grade nine Math students in Camden’ rather than just ‘math tutoring’.