Business exists for one reason only, to sell a product or a service to a customer and SEO is a tool all business need to achieve this goal.
In this modern technological rat race, where millennials only reading is social media,
business better take note that the size of printed directories has shrunk if not gone
out of business themselves. Traditional news media is fighting for its survival touting
the “paywall” as the saviour of their fortunes. Sadly with the declining rate of readers attention spans, brought about in no small part thanks to Twitters 160 character limit or Facebook used on small mobile screens, readers are drying up. Websites and content marketers better take note or they too will be assigned to the same fate.
SEO is now more about relevancy, attention span and persuasion architecture than it ever has been in its short 20 years history. Sadly search engines are not really keeping up with an arms race they created. Googling highly competitive keywords yields a litany of over optimised blogs crowded with ads that found their place in the sun using clever blogger outreach techniques or worse yet Private Blog Networks (PBNs). It won’t be long before Google cracks the PBN arms race and grey hat SEO hacks find the next loophole to play with for a few months, leaving their clients with sales that look like a weekend roller coaster ride.
SEO does work, but there is a rule book that has to be followed and then there is a bunch of other clever stuff that needs to happen, not in isolation but as an integral part of the business strategy. SEO is not an isolated tool that business can throw budget at in the hope of finding the right strategy.
So how do you win the SEO arms race in 2019?
1. Keep it natural
Don’t do some wacky stuff like buy links, put 100 irrelevant articles on your site
or pay folks to click around. Write good relevant content and keep it coming consistently. Put it where it can easily be seen by readers and search engines. I usually recommend at least 3 blog summaries on the home page of your site.
2. Reach out…and in.
Links still drive SEO more than Google would like to admit. But it’s pointless unless they are relevant and come from a good neighbourhood. So make some friends and get some industry links coming into your site and send some back out (even if they don’t link to you).
3 Get Local
The importance of Google My Business for those with real store front’s is critical.
In 2013 SearchEngineWatch found that 70% of Mobile Searchers Call a Business Directly From Search Results. If your business is not there, your in trouble. If you are there you better have claimed your listing and be watching those reviews. Above all don’t do crazy stuff like pay people to post fake reviews. It’s easy to spot and there goes your reputation and sales.
4 Get Crazy
Making it big on the internet takes a certain amount of dedication and zeal. Work out a plan, get excited about it and make it happen. Once the customers start clicking you won’t regret the time you spent.
5 Get Secure
Internet Security is one of the biggest challenges and threats we are going to face for the next 15 years. Do your part or risk losing face when you have to explain to clients why you are not secure. Get an SSL certificate, ensure its properly implemented, get virus checkers on your desktop and ensure your host is taking the right steps to protect their infrastructure and your site.
Make sure you backup your website. I would suggest you get your hosting provider to do this and store it for you, but that you should also make your own backup that you keep in a USB flash drive.
6 Get mobile
Responsive design has been a big buzzword used in the last 3 years, but with Google now ranking websites on how mobile fast and friendly they are, it is quite important to ensure your website works on a range of mobile devices. Check it yourself as sometimes designers get it wrong.
7 Get fast
Slow sites drive clients away and reduce SEO scores. Your site needs to be fast not just in responding to requests but also in rendering them on the desktop or mobile display of your clients. This means making good choices about who to host with, what resources to purchase, what services to use, design, APIs etc. While your hosting provider can do the basics many don’t know how to properly optimise a site for speed and often with a shared hosting plan it is not going to be optimal. Your best checking with a professional SEO firm to do this for you.
8 get friendly
Now you have some traffic on your site, but is your website language and design welcoming? Are your responses to clients helpful and in a friendly tone?
9 have fun
If you are having fun doing what you’re doing, you have a good chance of making a success of it and taking partners, staff and customers on the journey with you. If you are not having fun you should reflect why and fix it, before the fun gets even less. Customers like to buy from happy people and happy companies.
10 Get Ready
If you got the previous 9 steps sorted, then you better get ready for an influx of business. Too much business is a good problem to have, but it’s better if you can plan for it.
Anthony is a Digital Marketing and SEO Expert with extensive experience. He has worked for financial services companies and web hosting business and in those roles has created many very successful online business and brands. He has a wide range of Business, Marketing, Financial and IT experience.