We often rely on search engines for life's big and small questions. Whether you need to learn more about a business, conduct price "research" on adult-sized Mighty Morphin Power Rangers costumes, or find out Dr. Seuss’ real name (Theodor Seuss Geisel, by the way. Call us Dr. SEO-SS. ), Search Engine Optimization plays a huge part in the results you see. And if you’re a marketer, your strategy can greatly affect your visibility online.
When a customer searches for a product or service that you provide, how can you make sure that your company is the one they find? Easy: by optimizing your web presence for search engines and how they're used. SEO is a necessity in the digital age. If you’re going to put the work into making your business the best it can be, make sure that people can find it.
Are you up to date with state of SEO today? Explore how it operates at a Global, Local, Mobile, and Social level, so you can lean how best to keep up.
It's a Small World
As you know, it pays to understand search engine optimization and how it affects your digital marketing. There are major benefits to ranking competitively in search results. The closer your website is to the top of the first page, the more visits your website is likely to get from consumers across the world. Website visitors are potential leads, so you want to get as many visits as possible.
Search Engines like Google rely on proprietary algorithms. Those algorithms are constantly changing and being improved to better reflect the way people search online. For instance, signs for 2017 point to an increase in voice searcing and a move overall from desktop to mobile-only. How will your business react to these developments? How will your content target not just a local or national, but international audience?
To stay on the front page of Google or Bing, your website and marketing must always be ready to adapt. Everything from keywords, to content and social media, is involved in making your website searchable. For a more thorough breakdown of what’s happening in search engine algorithms -- specifically Google -- check out sites like Moz for info on the state of SEO in 2017.
Right Place, Right Time
Of course, it’s important to show up at a global level, but for many businesses, it's even more vital to rank in a specified geographical area. If you run a dental practice in Knoxville, Tennessee, it doesn't help you much to rank for "whitening treatment options" in Seattle.
According to Moz, the move to mobile-only also means that your local SEO rankings are more relevant than ever in 2017. There are a few simple steps to take care of before you can make further moves to extend your reach with local customers.
1. Claim your online business listings.
Believe it or not, there are more than 100 online listing sources where your business information could be incorrect, from Google Businesses to niche-specific directories. It’s important to find and correct this information to avoid confusion.
2. Be easy to find.
On your own website, it’s also important to feature your contact info and location prominently as well as including keywords specific to your location, services, and industry. After all, there's no point in marketing to local customers if they can't reach you.
3. Make a good impression.
If you really want to go for gold, include local reviews and ratings on your website. A lot of potential clients will put stock in what previous clients have said, particularly if they're familiar with each others' businesses.
To see how you’re doing locally, check out our free local listings scan.
For Marketing on the Move
As we keep mentioning, it is 2017. There's no good reason your website shouldn't feature responsive design. A consistent user experience across mobile devices is necessary for keeping visitors on your site. Google even penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly by decreasing their likelihood of showing up in smartphone search results.
Another SEO trend slated to continue through this year and into the future is the focus on images and video to drive marketing, whether it's on your website, your ad campaigns, or your social media accounts.
Luckily, Google has released tools to check your mobile-friendliness levels, including a Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool and a Mobile Usability Tool. Using the right solutions will help to ensure you aren’t losing out on an audience that can find you on the go.
Over the years, great SEO has become less about the techy, "back-end things" and more about providing great content that visitors find helpful, relevant, and sharable on social media. You can spend lots of time and money on on-site SEO, but be sure you're also concentrating efforts online where your brand is present.
Maybe you've seen the ads on Facebook and Instagram that seem to magically (or embarassingly, depending on what you've been searching recently) cater to your interests. Per Moz, predictive and personalized search may also take on a larger role in 2017, especially as the use of home assistant technology and mobile continue to rise. Your customer's online search queries and habits make their way onto their social media experience. Your business should meet them there.