As part of any digital marketing strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is integral to driving customers to your business via online platforms. Effective marketing demands it.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO is a collection of tools and best practices that help your website rank higher in search engine results, thereby driving more traffic to your site and potentially more business.

However, although SEO once involved adding keywords to your site for search engines to find, SEO in 2018 is far more complex and involves a much broader scope of considerations.

Nowadays SEO is a full-time job for small businesses and many are turning to website design and marketing experts such as Pronto for support.

How to Create an SEO strategy

Forget what you think you know about SEO and start thinking about it as an ever-evolving field. As users’ behaviors and search engines’ capabilities develop over time, standards come and go in the blink of an eye.

Assuming you can skip SEO and just ‘wing-it’ might keep you from reaching your full business potential.

It’s not just the online marketing industry that’s evolving; your business’s industry is also maturing. So when it comes to SEO, you really can’t “set it and forget it.” You need to be monitoring and tracking how well everything is working so you’re always one step ahead of the competition.

Here are a few points you need to consider when working out an SEO strategy:

  • Who is in your target market? – SEO today is not about just grabbing as much traffic as possible, but instead attracting high-value visitors interested in what you offer. In terms of demographics, what is your market searching for? How are they performing web searches? Where are they located? The more specific your answers, the more valuable your investments in SEO become. Google Analytics is a good place to start your investigations!
  • Most people search on mobile devices – You don’t need statistics to show you that in the past few years the online mobile market has exploded, overtaking desktops years ago. Optimizing websites for mobile browsers is critical if you want to rank well in search engine results pages. If you’re unsure how your website measures up, enter your site’s URL in Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
  • Search engines are expanding – When someone mentions search engines, do you automatically assume they’re talking about Google? The tech giant has such a big share of the market that ‘Googling’ has become a verb. However, a significant portion of searches take place on alternative sites, such as Microsoft’s Bing. Make a point to search for your site on Google alternatives to see where you rank. Just improving social media engagement and adding meta tags might be all it takes to boost you a couple ranks on Bing.
  • What’s your audience searching for? – Just a few years ago, the average user didn’t trust search engines to understand conversational questions. They were searching with clunky phrases like “flower delivery new york.” Now people feel comfortable typing in things like “who delivers roses near me?” Changes in searcher habits are usually subtle, but will affect which keywords will be most valuable for your site. Instead of focusing on keywords that get you more traffic, focus on those that translate into conversions, revenue and profits.