8 SEO Strategies which could make or break your business this year
March 27, 2017 SEO
Starting a business is not easy, and keeping a running business steady is even more challenging. Startup owners are passionate individuals who believe that their idea can change the world.
This enthusiasm is good in early stages, when a lot depends on positivity and maximum effort. Business owners look for tools and tips to ensure greater success. SEO is one of those powerful tools that is a key promoter of a business website.
Any business, be it traditional or online, needs a website. In 2017, you can’t imagine a business without a website. SEO or search engine optimization is the life force of an online business. This is how the word gets out. No matter how good you are at theory, you can’t go forward without the knowledge of algorithms and the correct ways to optimize according to them.
This means that by carefully recording and analyzing the SEO trends of today, you can not only predict the performance of campaigns, but also devise clever campaigns that attract strong leads.
You need to work on a complete action plan to market your business online, and a strong SEO strategy alone is going to keep your business going strong. If you ignore this message, you can lose your startup. Search engine optimization is like a game, where you have to play smartly and gain an edge over competitors.
Let’s discuss some facts which prove that SEO alone can help your business stay steady for longer. First, you need to revise the basics of your strategy to match it with the key performance indicators of this year. Here is what the basic SEO plan requires:
You need to have a list of keywords which are relevant to the nature of your business. To find out which keywordsare frequently used by searchers for your industry, use Google’s Keyword Tool to find relevance. Most businesses don’t know where to begin. This tool will give you some information about the leading keywords in your niche.
Use two categories – search volume globally and competition – as your scale to narrow down the results to 10 most important keywords. It’s good to run this search every month and cross out any keywords which have gone low in search results. SEO is an ever-evolving field and you have to keep up.
Making keyword-focused pages:
It is all about ranking and answering user queries online as a business, so make sure that some pages on your website are specifically tailored to cater to certain keywords. You can use the keywords list to specify which keywords you will use. This will help potential clients easily find your business and interact with you.
Create a list of pages you want to rank and prioritize them by importance. Then get a content plan in order to start building these pages. Keep enhancing and adding new tailored pages as your business expands.
Running a blog:
The importance of a blog can’t be emphasized enough. It is a place where business owners are able to build a relationship of trust with potential customers. Blogs are also great for SEO.
You can freely use certain keywords in your blog content, and it will not look ugly at all. Just make sure that you are creative in the art of blogging and helpful at the same time. In other words, you are consistently posting content that your readers learn from, value and enjoy.
While keyword optimization helps in on-page SEO, link building is a strategy which helps your off-page SEO. It has a huge role in how search engines rank your website. You should make a link building strategy which not only gets you inbound links from other sites, but also exchanges links with other sites.
Write guest posts and tutorials and publish them on other business websites. Share these posts on social media to get leads from a whole new channel of communication. When you are posting about current trends and news, it automatically increases the chances of your links being shared massively.
Analyzing and improving:
SEO does not show results in a day. It takes several months for your first efforts to show results at all. It is good to wait this long for SEO to rank your pages highly. In the meantime, you should continue to work on your optimization, both on-site and off-site.
In time you will create a cycle where your effort bears fruit regularly. Optimize your images and code, unify communication, use a content delivery network (CDN) like MaxCDN, minimize HTTP requests to the server and reduce load times.
Track your success and analyze the data you record during your campaigns. Create a dashboard or record data on an MS Excel sheet every few weeks or on a monthly basis. The reason behind doing this exercise is to stay aware of trends and to follow them for even greater website visibility.
Now let’s look at the SEO trends which can make your startup a hit this year:
Links are as powerful as ever
Google uses more than 200 ranking factors to judge sites. Linking is one of them, and is a very strong ranking factor. Linking shows the reputation of a website. This is why Black-Hat SEO is penalized by Google, because the spammy link tactics make a site seem doubtful and untrustworthy. According to Search Engine Watch:
- The number of external linksyou receive is important. Some of the top SEOs say external links are simply invaluable to your ranking power, according to Moz.
- Anchor text of external linksaffects ranking. Links with SEO focused anchor text needs to be relevant to the target page.
- The links need to be of good authority.For example, your links need to be from a reputable news source or academic journal.
This year, your main focus should be to build healthy, strong links to and from your website. The trust and outlook of your website rests in the hand of this strategy. Some more recent studies which support the importance of link building in SEO:
- Our study data strongly suggests that links continue to play a major role in rankings. In addition, our case study data makes the whole thing a slam dunk.When you aren’t facing page relevance or quality issues, links can, and do, continue to significantly impact rankings. –Stone Temple
- Previous research by Moz andSearchmetrics found a high correlation when comparing high SEO rankings and external links. However, data from other ranking factors were close behind links.
Mobile optimization will rule the game
Mobile growth has been an indicator of another dimension in SEO this year. There are no signs of slowing down, so your website should run fast on every mobile device. If you can’t manage every mobile device, then go for Apple and Samsung devices. Mobile searches have already surpassed desktop searches and there is no excuse to exclude it from your SEO strategy.
Optimize your website to cater more to the mobile audience and make the experience as smooth as possible. If this isn’t enough to boost your confidence, then keep in mind that Google wants to keep mobile-optimized sites a high indexing factor in the future. It is mandatory to optimize for mobile to rank higher in the SERPs and be user-friendly as a business website.
We are all familiar with voice search. Technology has kept us aware of its existence since the last few years. However, this year, voice search can be a big crowd puller for your business. It has grown faster as a searching medium as well.
It’s a hands-free and futuristic technology. Also, the advancement of technology has further reduced the chances of errors in deciphering voice searches. Behshad Behzadi, Google’s director of conversational speech, said in his keynote speech at the SXSW 2016 that speech recognition error rate has been reduced by 25 per cent. It now lingers around 8 per cent.
The voice search goals will move on from speech recognition, to speech ‘understanding’. Previous searches, location tracking, context and personalized information will be easier to understand over voice. Siri, Cortana and Google NOW have made users adept at using voice search, so as a startup you should be able to incorporate it on your site.
This year is going to be as eventful as the last. With the progression of technology, exciting new possibilities await us. Startups invest time, effort and money in the whole marketing plan of a business, so it is important to do so wisely.
SEO is surely not a magic bullet which can show instant results, but continuous seeding will pay off for savvy SEO marketers. Your startup will gain a competitive dominance if you keep a tab on search engine updates and trends.
ABOUT Audrey Throne
Audrey Throne is a mother and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from university of Birmingham. As a blogger she wrote quite a few posts on health, technology as well as management.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.