Search engine optimization is essential to your digital marketing success: It’s the process of raising your website’s visibility within search engines, so customers connect with your brand and offerings at the moment they identify a need.
Back in the early days of Internet marketing, SEO was as simple as getting other websites to post links leading to your own. Each link was seen as an “editorial vote” vouching for the quality of your site and giving it extra authority.
Today, search engine optimization is more complex. To remain competitive in North Carolina and beyond, small business owners need to craft an effective strategy. Luckily, it’s easy to put the basics into practice.
Search Engine Optimization Starts with Keywords
Keywords are the words and phrases prospective customers use to search for products and services online. Good search engine optimization begins with a strong understanding of your site’s visitors and the problems they want to solve and their online queries.
Once you have that basic information, you can thoroughly research to find appropriate keywords.
What makes a good keyword?
- It attracts enough search queries that convert to paying customers.
- It has low-level competition, making it lucrative, but not too tough.
- It tends to be longer (a long-tail keyword), having three, four, or even five words in it.
For SEO efforts to yield results, keywords need to appear throughout your site: In URLs, title tags, meta tags, headers, and in your text. As your knowledge about your customers evolves, so should your keywords.
Content Marketing is Key to Search Engine Optimization
Keywords are the foundation of SEO, but what do you build on that foundation?
Recently, search engines updated their ranking factors to include quality content. Companies with quality content are rewarded with greater visibility. “Quality” content is useful, informative, appealing and accurate – it answers specific questions your potential customers have.
The more content you produce, the more SEO opportunities you’ll naturally have, and the more traffic and engagement you’ll generate. The traditional text-focused blog post is the core of most content, but it also comes in many other forms: Videos, infographics, podcasts, and much more.
Social Media Amplifies Your SEO Efforts
Social media channels are also great places for publishing good content. Social engagement such as Likes and +1s on your website can send important “social signals” that amplify your search presence. Plus, updating your Facebook, Twitter, or other accounts can result in instant, free traffic.
A multi-pronged SEO strategy provides cost-effective ways to reach your business goals. Partnering with a trusted SEO company can accelerate ROI.