This post by Melissa Pepers, Lure Graphics
Like all new digital industries the landscape of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has seen rapid change over the last few years. If you are reading this article, like me, you have probably identified that ranking highly on search engines might be a worthwhile way for you to generate new customers.
I taught myself SEO because I wanted to show search engines that my business Lure Graphics was a relevant result for those looking for a strategically focused design service. I now rank on page 1-2 for the most competitive search term in my target market – Melbourne graphic design studios – without having ever paid a cent for it. The best advice I can give you is to learn SEO for yourself.
The power of SEO hinges on one central concept – relevance. As long as search engines have existed they have focused on ensuring the most relevant results get displayed and every algorithm change builds upon the idea of improving machine understanding of what makes a website relevant for a given term.
In its infancy, this involved things like how often keywords appeared on your page and resulted in a lot of ugly, spammy sites being ranked highly. Fortunately the industry has come a long way since then, here are some of today’s most important SEO tips:
There has been a global shift towards using mobile as a primary source of Internet access that is evidenced in Google’s ‘mobilegeddon’ algorithm change. This algorithm change means if your website is not optimized for mobile it won’t rank highly or at all on mobile searches, making it mandatory for all websites to be responsive.
Making your website responsive isn’t just about ranking highly in Google, it also means your users will find your website easier to navigate which leads to more traffic and potential customers. You can find out if your website is optimized here.
MAKE A BLOG
A blog is necessary if you want to rank highly because they demonstrate to search engines that your page is relevant. They bring new people to your website including potential customers (popularity) and they keep people on the website for a while, which demonstrates to search engines that your page offers people valuable content (quality). Blogs are also a great business tool for brand engagement as they enable you to show your customers why you are an authority on what you do.
The big question for everyone is of course what to post. I recommend a two-way approach of using posts to answer commonly asked questions about your industry (this creates a higher volume of traffic but is less likely to create leads) and cover specific areas unique to your business and its niche skills (this creates a lower volume of traffic but is more likely to create leads). You can also find guest writers through sites like Source Bottle who are able to write specialty content for you.
When you check how you rank for a search term it is important to ensure that the results are as accurate an indication of your websites ranking as possible. Unless personalization is forced off, most search results are bias as a result of your location, frequently visited sites and many other factors. To force personalization off, type your search query in and hit enter. Then add the text that is inside the quotation marks to the end of the text in the address bar: “&pws=0&filter=0” hit enter again and you will see your search results have changed.
So what does the future of SEO look like? Google, the largest search engine continues to be the trailblazer here and they are currently investing a lot of resources into a new team. Predictably, the work of this team is in line with that central concept of relevance – they are looking at the gargantuan task of defining what a fact is.
In the future they intend to rank highly those results that are most factual. For businesses, this means that those who rank higher will likely have content that demonstrates they are the best and know the most about what they are doing. Therefore customers will easily find businesses that are likely to actually be the best at what they sell – essentially ranking businesses based on quality of service.
Lure Graphics is a design strategy studio that solve business challenges through innovation.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net