Last week, we talked about some SEO writing strategies that not only boost search results, but improve click-through and conversion rates as well. This week, read up on some other SEO strategies that Google wishes every website would use in 2015, and how we use these strategies to grow your small business.
Google’s many algorithm updates in 2014 had some search marketers and small businesses worried. As Google worked to reduce the visibility to low-quality websites that were stuffed with keywords and paid links, better quality websites rose to the first page of the search results. There is no shortcut to make it to the first page of Google’s search results, and this is a good thing! While Google’s algorithms may change and evolve, their intent on delivering the best, most relevant results for searchers is unwavering. Every new algorithm Google launches is in the support of this end goal, and so by creating good, relevant content, websites can continue to grow in an ethical and user-optimized manner. Here are some Google-approved strategies to boost your SEO:
The quality of the links pointing to your website is an indication of how valuable your website content is to readers. Websites gain links when they have compelling, shareable content, such as helpful blog posts or great offers. They are also linked to when customers either have an amazing or terrible experience with your brand, as consumers talk about you online in reviews, articles, social media, and more. Great content naturally draws links, as it often gets shared or posted in curated directories and social media sites. The more authoritative a site linking to you is, the more valuable that link is. This is why it is so important to focus on quality, relevant links when considering your SEO strategy.
Many black-hat SEO companies can guarantee you links to your website for a low fee, but that kind of behavior will invite a penalty from Google. Here are some linking strategies to avoid at all costs:
- Buying links, which is a direct violation of Google’s terms and conditions
- Publishing low quality blogs or articles stuffed with links for the sole purpose of â€œtrickingâ€ the search engine. Trust us, you can’t trick Google.
- Blog comment or forum spam
- Sponsorships of events for the purpose of gaining a link: don’t sponsor an event or partner with another company just to exchange links. Sponsoring events, gaining speakerships and attending networking events are great ways to market your brand, and it may be the case that you gain links naturally this way, but be careful to make sure they do not look like paid links. One way to avoid this is to request a nofollow link or just to have the other website link to a social profile, like LinkedIn or Twitter instead.
- Thin content: thin, low quality or spammy content is not going to keep readers on your website. When search engines see your high bounce rate, they will realize your website is not high quality
- Exact match anchor text: focus on your branding, not on linking your keywords
- Sidebar or footer links: site-wide links such as these come across as spammy
It seems like we hear about another credit card breach or website hack on a daily basis. It is important to take all of the precautions necessary to protect your website from being hacked and your customer data from becoming exposed. Google recently announced that HTTPS would become a ranking signal, boosting the search engine placement of websites using secure encryption. For eCommerce and transactional sites, HTTPS has long been a standard first line of defense for protecting personal information, account logins and email subscriptions. While it can be costly to purchase and install the SSL certification necessary for enabling HTTPS on your website and permanently redirecting URLS into HTTPS URLS, it is absolutely necessary to do so. Even this minimal security step can go a long way in protecting your business from harm.
Local SEO Strategy
Due to the sheer size and scope of the internet, locally-based small businesses often become buried in the search results. Larger websites dominate search rankings while small businesses are relegated to the back pages of Google. However, recent changes to Google’s search ranking algorithm have made it easier than ever for small businesses to compete. As search engines evolve to understand search based on location, demographic, search history and more, it is essential to make sure that your business is optimized for local search, especially if the majority of your revenue comes from within your town or city. Consumers have become more impatient, and as they expand search on desktop and mobile, they want information on local companies faster than ever before. We can help improve your company’s local search presence to make sure that your customers can find you online.
Good, natural SEO is not a cheap trick, but rather an ongoing investment into your business. SEO is the foundation of your website and without proper optimization and great content, other internet marketing strategies will have a difficult time succeeding. Your website’s SEO goes far beyond just on-page SEO and linking â€“ the site-wide, code-deep optimization practices that will protect your website and optimize it for the best rankings possible are necessary for your website to grow.
Our Rank-Click-Convert SEO package is an all-encompassing plan built especially for small businesses to get the most leads from organic search results.
Every small business should continually optimize their website by adding content and keeping it looking fresh and up to date. Do not make the mistake of launching a new website and then inadvertently neglecting it. CyberMark’s Rank-Click-Convert monthly SEO program continually improves your entire website, which makes expensive redesigns unnecessary. Get started improving the performance of your website with a free SEO and website analysis here