By now, most small businesses will have created a web presence of some kind, but simply building a website or Facebook page will not leave a recognizable footprint. Every website, blog, or social media property you build will rely on the traffic you can drive to it. Unfortunately, without a coherent plan there is little chance of ranking highly in the search engines, and few eyeballs will ever see your site. While there are plenty of online marketing strategies you can implement, SEO still remains a low-cost, effective, and reliable option, providing results long after the initial work is done.
Before anything else, keyword research can provide valuable insights into your particular market. Keyword research will reveal all the relevant keywords and phrases that people use, including their search volume and average cost-per-click. This insight can form the basis of your SEO plan, with a range of terms, both weak and strong in competition, being targeted over a particular schedule. Good research can also uncover some untapped potential, where certain high-volume keywords are not being targeted by other businesses.
From a huge market to a small niche, you can expect to find competition from a variety of websites. These can include other businesses, social media properties, bloggers, wiki sites, and plenty more. Competitive analysis allows you to see exactly how strong the competition will be, enabling you to make good assessments of the SEO work required.
On-Site and Off-Site Optimization
On-site optimization is something you can directly control, but it can damage your site within the search engines. An over-optimized site, where keywords are used far too frequently, may face a Google penalty, whereas no optimization creates an uphill battle in trying to rank for any keywords. Optimization, including title tags, descriptions, site structure, and keyword density, will determine how search engines view your site as a whole, and also each page you create.
Off-site optimization often refers to building backlinks towards your site, but it can also involve creating interesting content which other people decide to repost or recommend. You won’t be able to control every aspect of your off-site optimization, but there are plenty of things you can do, including social media activity, guest blogging, video marketing, press releases, and citations for local business.
SEO does not have to end when you are ranking in the search engines. When a searcher clicks on your link, a marketing funnel should be in place to achieve a particular action. Whether you are building a list, selling products, promoting a service, or monetizing through advertising, you want to increase your conversion rate. Successful strategies are based around tracking and testing, enabling you to find out what is the most effective way of gaining a conversion.
Video marketing is one of the biggest growth areas for an online business, and it can provide a high return on investment when used as part of an SEO campaign. There will be a certain proportion of your audience who prefer to watch videos ahead of reading articles, so if you can get your video content featured in the search engines you access a part of your audience that was previously unavailable to you.
Keeping track of data is the best way to understand what is producing SEO results. While many people don’t like studying spreadsheets, being able to monitor where you are ranking, the traffic you are getting, and what is producing revenue can allow you to focus on achieving the right outcomes. SEO can take time, so tracking progress over an extended time period is an essential aspect.
It is possible for a business owner to do all of the above, but each part requires a level of skill, experience, and patience. SEO is a difficult skill to master, particularly if you want to achieve consistent results, and an SEO agency is the best way to get this consistency. Regardless of the market, top search rankings can transform a business, bringing in a whole new audience that was previously impossible to reach. If you want results that last, SEO is no longer a part-time activity, but instead requires the capability and experience of a quality SEO agency.