Is your Internet marketing strategy getting the right results? Everybody wants better search engine rankings and the secret is to focus on optimizing these important SEO factors. If you concentrate on the following search engine influencers, you will be able to increase your website visibility and ultimately increase your rankings in the search engines.
8 SEO Factors For Better Search Engine Rankings
In order to have an opportunity to rank in the search engines at all, you will need to get your website/house in order. Making sure you have an optimized structure on your website to organize all of your premium original content is vital. This is all part of providing a great user experience on both desktop and mobile devices, so visitors stay on your website long enough to convert or share your content on social media. If you even want an opportunity to compete in the organic search world than you must pay attention to on-page best practices like titles, descriptions, optimized images, URL structure, and Internal linking (to name a few). One thing to note is that optimizing your pages will only make you eligible to rank but there is still no guarantees. SEO is extremely competitive, so if you want to get in the game, you better examine your on-page optimization.
Local External Signals
Now that your website is optimized for visitors (and ultimately search engines) it’s time to build trust outside of your domain/URL. Citations are the name of the game here. Citations in the Internet Marketing world can be defined as any mention of your company NAP (name, address and phone number) outside of your website. They can include a link to your website but it’s not a requirement to be classified as a citation. So if your company is found on a online business listing (like Yellow Pages, MapQuest, Chamber Of Commerce and Yelp), magazine/newspaper website, blog, job posting site (to name a few), then each mention counts as a web citation. These local signals play a role in obtaining better search engine rankings because it provides more proof to the search engines that your business is real, alive and trustworthy.
Pro Tip: Make sure your NAP is consistent and up-to-date everywhere it’s listed online.
Quality Links Are King
Since the beginning, Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google) have valued links that point to your website and this is still a major part of the almighty Google algorithm. Links pointing to your website gives credence that other people find significance in your content. While the number of links used to determine which websites would be shown in high search result positions, in recent years we’ve seen a shift in this process. After numerous algorithm updates (some big and many small), SEO professionals are finding that the quality of the link has become much more important than the quantity. For example, gaining a one link from the Washington Post or the Baltimore Sun will provide much more value to your SEO efforts than 20 links from low-level blog sites.
Reviews, Reviews and More Reviews
Reviews on sites like Google and Yelp carry a big stick and will continue to account for a larger percentage of the search engine pie in the coming years. You won’t have to worry about the next Google update if you align your focus with theirs – the consumer! The goal of the search engine is to return quality results to users and highly rated websites are becoming a major benchmark for these results.
Good reviews provide three major SEO benefits:
- They provide social proof that you have a worthy product or service
- They instantly show the value in your work
- They are extremely valuable to local search
Google My Business Optimization
All businesses should have a Google My Business account. To learn how to setup your FREE account you can view our step-by-step tutorial here. That’s the first step to optimizing your account. Then add an informative bio about your business, upload photos and pick categories of the industry that is similar to your product or service. Also make sure you have your logo and a good-looking header image that is optimized for your Google My Business page. Once you have covered the basics, then be sure to update your page with company information, special offers and educational insights about your business that will benefit your customers. Last but not least, direct your happy clients to your Google My Business page to leave you a five star review!
What Social Signals tell us
Like quality links and good reviews, social signals are another indicator to search engines that your web content is valuable and trustworthy. If people are engaging with you online in the form of likes, mentions or links then you will see some SEO benefits. While on an average many Internet marketing professionals agree that this is probably the smallest part of the algorithm pie currently, the trends show that this slice is gaining in value. This is another great way to gauge who and what people like, so it makes perfect sense that most businesses should have a social strategy.
One caveat to note is not all products or services are the same, so it’s important to be careful when comparing social strategies to other industries that are different then yours!
The behavior of website visitors is often overlooked by those who are just starting to assemble an SEO strategy. Knowing how your visitors are using your website can provide an enormous amount of valuable information. For starters, knowing how long people are using your website and what pages they’re viewing, will offer insights about user experience (design and structure) as well as quality of content. Search engines will often evaluate your website on the above mentioned and will grade you based upon users completing a specific call to action. Having a high click through rate (CTR) or a steady click to call use on a mobile device, will carries a lot of weight when it comes to website behaviors.
If you can commit to focusing on these core SEO influences within your overall Internet marketing plan, then you will see better search engine rankings in the coming months. Continue to improve your visibility, so your target market can find your website. Then pay attention to their needs and provide them with the quality that they expect. If you can achieve this, then your customers will sing your praises in the form of good reviews and confidently share your brand with their network.