Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has changed drastically in the past few years.
There are basic principles that remain the same. For instance, if you want a page to rank for a phrase like “kitchen supplies,” then you’d better be sure to make kitchen supplies the core focus of that page. Your title needs to mention kitchen supplies. Your content needs to talk about kitchen supplies as soon as possible, and it’s always helpful if you can get links to your amazingly insightful page on the topic of your choice.
SEO has expanded to favor a number of other factors. The process is no longer just about writing a page full of keywords and hitting the publish button. Websites are expected to be useful. Content must be full of relevant information that can help inform customers.
Sounds like common sense, right?
Sure, but not that long ago, you could easily find (and still can) two types of pages that simply were not helpful to customers who were trying to figure out what to buy. The first type was just plain filler. The content had an abundance of keywords, but the content was so shallow that it was practically worthless. And, you know what? It worked at the time. Search engines unintentionally rewarded that type of content because it met the basic criteria.
The other type of content? Sales pages. Tons and tons of sales pages. Rather than taking the time to truly demonstrate the value of products, companies simply made ways for clients to purchase their items. Never mind that customers weren’t even sure if companies were carrying the exact product they needed. This was guesswork.
Today, Google and Bing are relying on a much wider variety of factors in an effort to serve searchers with more valuable results. Now, your social media plays in to the search rank of your site. Your design inadvertently factors in (search previews have delivered a blow to shoddily designed sites).
If you’re a business with a physical location, then your proximity to the searcher plays a role in how high you rank in the results. If you have copied information from another site, your site will be hurt in rankings.
The list goes on and on, but it really boils down to one main idea:
Make your content very useful to your customers.
If they want to know how to buy your product, make it easy for them to do so. If they need to contact you, make sure your phone number is clearly available.
Yes, you still need to perform onsite SEO, but those efforts must go hand-in-hand with a solid content strategy, effective social media, and an attractive design. SEO considers the whole worth of websites today and not just the number of keywords.
To get even more return on your web marketing, look for ways you can combine your advertising dollars (PPC), social media advertising, and an effective SEO plan. Each of these areas helps the others to succeed. Not only will people know what your business is, but they’ll also be able to connect and purchase exactly what they need.
I’d call that a win for everybody. Contact us if we can help!