As Atomic’s digital marketing and SEO pro, it’s up to me to know the latest in keeping web content optimized for Google. It’s not an easy job. The tricky thing about SEO is, the rules are always changing—and what’s right for one industry doesn’t necessarily work for another. But there are a few tips I try to apply to just about every client project. And lucky for you, I’m willing to share.
1. First things first: You need a strategy. If there’s one thing you don’t want to go at blind, it’s your website’s SEO. (Okay, and maybe climbing Mt. Everest. But SEO is a close second.)
That’s because when you’re optimizing your site for search, you have to be clear about what exactly you want it to show up in search results for. Google’s site-scanners are smart—but they can’t read minds. And if the words on your site don’t reflect the search terms you’re after, you’ll be banished to the far pages of Google’s search results. So decide where you want to stake your claim before you start developing content.
2. Choose your keywords wisely. You have a general idea of how you want to position your site. Now, how do you make sure it pops up on Page 1 of a search?
First, try tools like Google Suggest (those words that drop down when you’re typing in a query) and Google Trends (which shows how many people have searched for different terms, over time and by region). Type in a few terms related to your industry or product, and see what people are searching for. You’ll see that more generic terms tend to get lots of hits, which is a plus—but it also means that lots of sites are likely “optimizing” (read: competing) for them, too.
The key is to strike a balance between using keywords and phrases that people are likely to search for—and carving out a keyword niche that your brand can own. For example, if you sell rock climbing gear, a word like “climbing” is probably too broad. But optimizing for a phrase like “rock climbing shoes”—or whatever other product you want to spotlight—will help deliver users straight to your homepage.
3. Keep content up to date. A big SEO no-no is a site with broken links, incorrect meta tags, and outdated content. To make sure your hard-earned ranking stays strong over time, you’ll need to perform regular maintenance to make sure all of your site’s nuts and bolts are tight.
One great way to do this? Pair your SEO strategy (remember Tip #1?) with a regular content marketing strategy. If you’re regularly publishing blogs, social media content, and case studies on your site, Google will see that your site is alive and well. That’s called organic marketing—and it’s great for SEO!
Plus, there’s no better time to check that links, title tags, and other back-end stuff on your site is up to date…than when you’re already updating. Plan to schedule a regular “SEO check” at the same time you’re uploading your blog posts for the month, for example.
I can’t predict what Google’s next algorithm update will demand of SEO marketers. But I do know this: if you want your site to get noticed, you can’t afford to ignore SEO. It doesn’t have to be scary—but like climbing a mountain, running a marathon, or anything else, the first step is to winning is getting in the game.
Need help developing an SEO strategy or keeping your site ranking strong? Call Atomic, and we’ll show you how it’s done.
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