This blog was contributed by our partner, BlueSwitch. BlueSwitch provides a suite of services for ecommerce merchants, including website development, marketing, and branding.
According to Borrell Associates, companies spent a combined $65 billion on search engine optimization (SEO) services and strategies in 2016. With this number only climbing in 2018 and beyond, your company must invest in an SEO plan as soon as possible.
It’s important to know where you stand with your knowledge of SEO. Especially since 70-80% of search engine users focus solely on organic search results.
To launch your organic SEO strategy, start with these four basics elements:
- Internal and External Links
- Google My Business Local Listing
- Citation Sites/Online Directories
Here’s how to started on your search engine optimization strategy today.
Keywords are the core of your SEO strategy. These keywords represent search queries entered by users on search engines. Implement your chosen keywords throughout your website, blog content, and other forms of online content.
The keywords you target should be relevant to your industry, products, services, and local area. As tempting as it is to use all possible keywords, this is not a sustainable strategy. Instead, perform keyword research to identify the right keywords and competitive organic opportunities for your brand.
2. Link Building
When determining how to rank content, search engines crawl websites to evaluate their relevance and influence with regard to the search query. Part of this process includes examining a website’s links, both internal and external.
Internal links direct users to other pages and content on your website. Your company’s website should have an internal linking map to guide users to relevant content.
External links point users to your website from other sites on the internet. When search bots crawl various websites, they use external links as bridges between content. This helps bots understand your website’s context as well as level of authority. In other words, the number of quality links back to your site increases your online authority. This is why companies work diligently to build a strong portfolio of external links.
3. Google My Business Local Listing
Google provides businesses with a portal known as Google My Business. Here businesses can control how their company profile looks on Google Maps and other areas across the most used search engine.
Within this listing, brands can list everything about their business including:
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- Customer reviews
- Questions and answers
- Product/service categories
4. Citation Sites/Online Directories
As part of an online awareness and link-building effort, another important element of SEO is citation sites/online directories. Filling out listings on popular websites such as WhitePages, Facebook, and Yelp will help create backlinks to your website and spread awareness of your company.
Like a Google Maps listing, these websites list your company’s name, address, and phone number among other important information.
→ Be sure you have a sound SEO strategy that uses keywords catered to your company and your target audience. As mentioned before, don’t just grab the top keywords around your site and hope it will work out.
→ Utilize internal links to map your website and support a positive customer experience. Don’t forget external links will help increase your online authority and drive traffic from places your ideal target market may be browsing.
→ Utilize Google and make sure everything is up to date.
→ Lastly, the easier it is for customer or shoppers to find what they’re looking for on your site, the better. So use those online citations.