The world of technology is advancing every second, and if you’re in marketing, it’s important to keep up with the changes.
SEO – short for search engine optimization – appeared on the internet scene around 1991. At the time websites were populating quickly, and every website owner was trying to direct traffic their way. It didn’t matter what industry they were a part of; tech, real estate, financial, personal marketing. It was all about getting customers to their doorstep, and although SEO might not have been a fully understood term quite yet, it quickly became a strategy to attract consumers.
SEO relies heavily on “organic” results from search engines.
This means that when someone searches a term, set of key words, or a sentence, if a website mentions any of those words, the site will show up in that search.
The problem here is that at the advent of SEO many website owners used spamming as a way to generate a huge quantity of key words and terms. Users weren’t always hitting on valid websites that were fitting their needs.
To combat this problem, Google came up with an algorithm that not only took key words into consideration, but quality and relevant content as well.
But we’re still evolving – which means that SEO can be approached in smart, sophisticated ways to best draw customers your way.
SEO for SEO Agencies
If you’re an SEO agency, then you know growing your SEO clientele can be difficult as the industry is very competitive. Not to mention that you always have to worry about constant Google updates and your clients’ websites getting penalized by Google.
Below is a general list of SEO strategies you can use on your own website or your clients’ websites, but for those with aggressive growth ambitions, there is also a guide available for getting high net worth clients for SEO agencies.
There are standard “best practices” when it comes to SEO, and we’ll delve into them briefly to give those new to the term an idea of how to best approach this process.
- When it comes to keywords, make sure you use an individual keyword at least four times within your content; but don’t overdo it!
- Use keywords wisely in meta descriptions (the short descriptions you see under the title of a page when you do a search), and make these descriptions interesting! Prospective visitors will decide whether or not to visit your site based on these descriptions.
- Title tags are exactly what they sound like – each page on your website will have a title (see what shows up in the search bar), and you want to format it a certain way. Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword – Brand. Again, keep it short and sweet but informative. Enough to let people know what you’re offering on that particular page.
- Lastly, make sure you aren’t duplicating information; search engines will penalize sites that seem to be duplicating or plagiarizing material, even if it’s your own. If an article appears on too many websites, word for word or near that, your site will be discounted.
A New Era
As we mentioned previously, the world of technology is constantly changing and re-shaping, and content editors need to keep up.
Educating yourself on the basics is great, but what can you do to stand out in this day and age?
- Pay attention to how you’re formatting your web pages. Not just with keywords, but with topics. Search engines are looking for experts, and if your site appears to be well-organized, they’re going to pick up on that.
- Write so that everyone can understand the information. Albert Einstein once said that if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Customers and consumers will be attracted to your site if they can understand the information being presented to them – especially if it’s an industry they’re new to, such as the real estate market or any kind of trade.
- Take advantage of internal links. Link one page to another on your site with like content. Have a recipe for gluten free meals? Link it to a page that lists substitutions for those with gluten and dairy allergies.
- Take advantage of external links as well. Work with others on the net to create a web of back-links and credibility. If your site is mentioned on other credible sites, you have a better chance of the search engine trusting and validating your content.
- Create a well-structured, well-coded website, or find someone who can. Google and other search engines don’t just care about keywords and content. They also want to see how you build your website, and if it’s done well, that will only add to your credibility.
- Pay attention to your audience. This one, we can’t stress enough. While we want you to keep # 2 in mind, that doesn’t mean you have to dumb your articles and pages down entirely. You can sound like an expert and still speak clearly about your industry and market. But consider who your customer is and how they’ll be viewing and taking in your content. Structure it in a way that makes the information easily digestible.
And finally, do your research! Try to stay up-to-date on changes in SEO strategy and marketing. You can never stop learning, and as the world around us changes, you’ll need to keep up with the times and ensure that your business, no matter what service it provides, is still relevant to the current culture.