Keeping Conversion in Mind

RankVsConversionWhat is the goal of any website? In the world of SEO, the goal is always to draw visitors to your site; to increase website traffic substantially. In fact, when it comes to SEO, the return on investment is generally measured by web traffic. But – truly successful SEO – should ultimately be measured by conversion rates; the number of people who not only find their way to your site but eventually purchase your product or service. Conversion, while it is the most ultimate goal, is not something that is talked about at length when it comes to search engine optimization. Rather, the focus is on page rank and driving traffic. Those who thrive, however, always, always keep conversion in mind.

How? This works because those in charge of SEO practices understand that online marketing serves two masters. One is the search engines obviously. We want to make sure that everything that we do gets us noticed by the search engines and ultimately moves our page rank to a better position so that we are noticed by our intended audience.

The other part of that, of course, is making sure that when this audience finds their way to your site that they stay there; and ultimately they make a purchase or engage your services. And this is accomplished by making sure that your website visitor is met with information that they need and want. So keep your end user in mind when undertaking any SEO project and make sure that the website content not only contains the appropriate keywords to maximize page rank but also speaks – in human, non-SEO terms – to your audience by giving them information, entertainment, and value for their visit.

How Important are Keywords?

KeywordWhen the idea of optimizing a website for the search engines first came on the scene, keywords were the cool kids on the block. Everyone was choosing keywords for SEO to suit what they thought was their specific service and intended audience and including those keywords in their on-site content. A lot. Of course, the purpose was to align their website’s keywords with those keywords that their potential audience would likely use to find a business that was providing their particular service and products. Eventually, however – in the spirit of too much of a good thing is never really a good thing – keywords began sacrificing the integrity of the content on a site – and, ultimately, the integrity of the business itself.

Today’s online marketing looks much different than what it looked like in the beginning. There is still, of course, an emphasis on page ranking (every business surely wants to be at the top of the results for their intended audience) but the search engines – especially Google as it continues to refine their algorithms – has called upon websites to be more responsible and user friendly when it comes to their SEO practices. No more keyword stuffing. Today, content is absolutely integral to a website’s search engine optimization success and that content must be relevant and important to the reader.

Which brings us to the question – are keywords still important? Absolutely. Choosing keywords to reach their audience is imperative for any website but now they are choosing with much more care – recognizing that the same keywords do not necessarily work on every page of their site and that the tone, purpose, and delivery of the website content – while it can still contain those keywords – is much more important to the overall success of the site.

Working Off Site for SEO

SEO conceptThose who have been successful at SEO have learned a few key things – first, that the process of search optimization is ever-evolving and must be treated at such; there can be no such thing as holding steady and working the same campaign for an extended period of time; and second, that there are many, many components to successful SEO.

Of course on-site SEO is crucial and that has seen its fair share of changes over the years as search engines change their algorithms and internet users becomes more sophisticated. The inclusion of relevant, optimized (but not overly optimized) content has continued to grow in popularity in the face of search engine changes. Google especially wants to see content that is relevant to the reader and informative – not pandering for the sake of page rank.

But good, solid SEO – these days – is dependent on more than on-site work; there’s more that must be done to really propel a site forward. And in this day and age, that means a strong and compelling presence on social media. Sure, Facebook and Twitter continue to reign supreme in terms of online social connection – and it’s important that your website have a presence on each – but there are other social media platforms for businesses to help raise awareness and ultimately increase web traffic. Look for industry-specific social media opportunities, as well as local options for connecting with customers both on and offline.

Content Strategy and SEO Results

contentstrategyThere’s no doubt that, in this new year that is upon us, most of us are giving much more attention to our marketing efforts including our comprehensive online marketing. With so many changes that have taken place on Google in recent months, there is understandably a lot of confusion about which way to turn in optimizing marketing efforts to increase web traffic.

There is a certain amount of waiting around that has to be done while we all hold our breath for the Google chips to fall where they may and things to settle down a bit. But there is still much that can be controlled by website owners and when it comes to leveraging the use of content for SEO purposes, that control comes down to a well-thought out and consistent content strategy. Here’s how it works:

*Put some thought into how you want to develop your online content in terms of what will be relevant to readers, how it will help you to grow your brand, what events/milestones you can use throughout the year to tie into your content strategy, and what you want it to inspire your audience to do.

*Create a content calendar based on your planning that will allow you to look at how the whole year pans out. Surely there will be some changes along the way as a result of information that you may not yet know, but an overall plan will allow you to tailor your message ahead of time and fully develop the content appropriately.

*Integrate your keywords into your content as appropriate; an especially important component in maintaining your organic SEO program.

*Include photos and other media where appropriate.

*Consider social media. Not only should you tailor your message for your social media pages but you should also consider that your content will find its way to other people’s social media on its own. With the development of Pinterest and other platforms, your content can – and should – travel. So plan accordingly.

*Stay consistent. Once you have a plan in place, stick with the program. Consistency is ultimately the best way to stay at the forefront of SEO.

SEO & Preparing for the New Year

SEO-in-2014

With the holidays already behind us, it’s time to start preparing for a new year – and your online marketing is no exception. In the face of recent changes to Google, you may already be doing what you need to do to optimize your site and put your online marketing on a path towards success in 2014. But if you haven’t addressed your website’s needs in some time, the fast approaching new year is as good a time as any. Why not put together your plan to optimize your website appropriately and put yourself in the best position possible to increase website traffic in the coming year?

Here are some ways to put yourself in a great spot for 2014:

*Give your site a good once-over. If you haven’t done it in a while, take a look at each page on your website. Make sure that you’re using the appropriate keywords and using them in the best way possible – no keywords stuffing, just informative, entertaining content that naturally integrates your keywords.

*If you haven’t already, create a Google Plus Local page. This will continue to be very important to a website’s organic SEO program in the year to come.

*Consider Google authorship. This is big in the coming year and will add enormous credibility to websites.

*Get mobile already. This year promises to be bigger than ever for mobile optimization so if you haven’t yet made your website mobile-optimized, it’s time!

These are just a few of the ways to get started in making 2014 the best year yet when it comes to your website marketing. More to come in our next post!