Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The root of nearly half of your spam solicitation emails and more than likely the source of your digital frustration as you try to claw your way past your competitors to the top of search results.
Every year, SEO’s best practices seem to change - we throw some practices out, and add more sophisticated practices in. It’s confusing, it’s elusive, and worst of all, if you want a good search ranking you can’t ignore it, even if you would really like to. For those of you reading this, your dedication is about to be rewarded! Here are the top six SEO do’s and don’ts of the current search environment.
Analyze your website traffic. You can’t optimize if you don’t know where you are now. A great place to start is Google Analytics. Google makes the code implementation process on your website simple and once implemented, their easy-to-understand dashboard can help you see where users are going, what information they find valuable, and what they don’t. Based on your traffic, you can gather some pretty valuable insights as to how to structure your goals so you can take the next steps toward reaching them. If your site is hosted by PlaceWise, you’re already setup! If you want to take a look and poke around your Google Analytics, just let your account rep know.
Get spammy. The search engine algorithms are now smarter than the architects who built them. No one truly knows everything search engines consider to compile results, but there is one certainty; if you try to hack the results by employing some sort of trick, the algorithm is going to know, and your rankings will suffer. An example of this might be making lists of relevant keywords hidden on a page you’re trying to promote. The truth is, if a human won’t find your content valuable, then a search engine won’t either.
Have fresh, relevant content. This is by far the top of the value heap on the internet. If you consistently have new content to attract repeat visits as well as entice new visitors, you’re on the right track. Google tends to index your site on a daily basis, so if it’s seeing new content added regularly, then you should see your rank increase…IF that content makes sense on your website. Make sure the content is not only relevant to the industry you serve, but also valuable so users can put that content to good use. For example, PlaceWise authors and frequently publishes relevant trends articles on our sites to inspire shopping and so your shipping center site doesn’t go stale. Google knows and rewards your site for fresh content with high search rank.
Copy someone else’s content and pawn it off as your own. Just like #2 above, search engines are ever-evolving and getting smarter by the second. They can detect if you’ve copied content from another source and if you’re giving credit where credit is due. If you’re not, you’ll be banishing yourself to the digital desert island, a very lonely place…
Make sure your business info on your website is correct, and located in several places. The best first step to take here is setting up a free resource called Google My Business. It’s by far the easiest way to influence Google Maps and Google Knowledge Graph (more about that here). Once verified, users who are searching for something related to your business in your local area will be shown your business card in maps and in search. This “card” details your business name, address, phone number, and a link to your website. If you like this idea, you can even take it a step further with a paid service to push your business content (name, address, phone number, hours, website link) out to dozens of business listings websites. This creates a similar effect to backlinks: Google sees your business’s dedicated website, then sees dozens of other sites displaying all the same correct business info. Your business info is then seen as “authoritative” and is rewarded with search rank prominence. In short, this means you win.
Wait any longer. If you haven’t taken action to make sure you’re as visible as possible to your potential shoppers, you’re doing yourself and your property a disservice. If you’re not already a PlaceWise client, contact us and let us show you how to improve your website ranking so you can get the results you’re looking for.
If you are already a PlaceWise client, you’re in great hands. Don’t hesitate to ask your rep what we’ve done to optimize your search engine results or for access to your site’s Google Analytics. We’d love to show you what we’ve done to ensure you the best possible results in the current search environment.