Are you not seeing results from your well newly search engine optimised website? Are you losing trust in SEO? Is your small business online marketing strategy getting you nowhere near your goal? The problem is that you’re solely relying on SEO to drive traffic to your small business website.
While you may dance to that resounding SEO song that marketers keep singing all over the internet, SEO alone won’t bring you website traffic, it’s not enough on its own to generate the amount of leads a small business needs in order to keep growing.
Google’s algorithm is continually changing, which means that your SEO strategy is constantly evolving with it. Luckily, Google’s webmaster guidelines clearly spell out what they’re looking for:
Note the first bullet point and its emphasis on people. Although your site should be incredibly enticing to search engines, technical SEO efforts can only go so far. Keywords can get you on the front page of Google and drive a ton of traffic after investing huge amounts of time, money and effort to get your Search Engine Optimization right, but if these visitors are not turning into leads, you’re ultimately wasting your time and money.
Web users perform trillions of searches every month. Most of them happen on Google. In fact, Google owns nearly 80% of the search market as of July 2017. So, how do you get your content to stand out when 80 million blog posts are published every month on WordPress alone?
According to Moz, SEOs should be focusing on four things:
KO Marketing Lists a total of 30 SEO best practices for B2B brands, including creating optimized landing pages, personalized content, security, and link acquisition.
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In 2016 during a Google Q&A session, Google’s Audrey Lipattsev revealed that links, content, and RankBrain are the top three ranking factors Google considers for organic search.
This is important information, but it still doesn’t tell us what aspects of those factors matter.
We’re left to figure out the details on our own.
With so many “best practices” and hundreds of ranking factors to consider, it can get overwhelming to figure out what really matters when all you want to do is rank well.
The reason you shouldn’t focus on SEO alone is simple — No single strategy is going to help every business rank #1 on Google. More than 200 factors are used by Google to determine your search ranking, meaning there is no magic bullet.
Instead of chasing every new update from Google (about three updates a day!), you are much more likely to succeed using these simple not SEO strategies:
Let’s look into what each of these strategies entails.
Companies want people who know what they’re doing. However, relevant alt text isn’t what convinces someone to stay on your site; quality content does.
The “quality content” debate isn’t anything new to most marketers, but the latest SearchMetrics Report on ranking factors offers a new approach by coining the term “holistic content.” According to the report, holistic content incorporates relevant keywords that are similar to your target keywords in order to answer search intent more completely.
In other words, additional keywords are used to provide more comprehensive content, and if “you write a very good, readable text with lots of high-quality content,” not only will you generate more shares but your site will “rank equally well with search engines for many different keywords at the same time.”
Quality requires you to look beyond an extensive keyword list, though. An easy way to ensure your on-site content is up to Google’s high standards is by actually looking for what would signal low-quality content.
Below are red flags that are in your control and easily managed:
Quality content also plays a big role in your ability to generate backlinks – an authoritative backlink profile is a key ingredient Google looks at when determining rankings. Sites will link to your content so long as it provides value, and below are three ways to ensure it does:
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that your content should provide answers to real questions. This is what gets others to link to your content — and the more backlinks you have, the more value Google will add.
SEO alone can’t get your content in front of a large audience, but the increase in traffic that comes from highly shareable content is something Google will reward.
So what are some ways social media and SEO interact?
Social Media Profiles Typically Rank High on Branded Queries
Although social share counts don’t have a direct impact on your site’s ranking (according to Google), social profiles are typically some of the top results when people search for brand names. Social channels make the experience of getting to know your brand more fun and engaging, but they also let Google know you’re the real deal.
Did you know that social networks are search engines too?
Facebook gets 2 billion searches per day. That means that a lot of people are using sites other than Google to get answers.
Brands should expand their concept of SEO to extend beyond traditional search engines.
Remember – social channels actually can serve as the initial source of information about your brand.
Amplify your content with social media advertising after the initial launch
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have paid amplification options that can help you reach larger audiences, and considering more than 75% of B2C marketers are using paid social, it’s definitely a tactic worth investing in on your best content since these platforms tend to be a bit of an echo chamber.
Both SEO and social both help to build your brand identity to naturally attract visitors.
However, what social does that SEO can’t do is get your content in front of a much larger audience organically — which indirectly generates more backlinks and referral traffic that will help you rank higher.
If you market your business on Facebook at all, you know it’s become more difficult to get attention on the social site with organic posts. In order to get more customers through social media, you generally need to pay for advertising, too. It’s the same concept with paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
Search engine optimization of your website will boost your site in organic search engine results — but adding PPC advertising to the mix increases the odds that your target customers will see your business website. (According to some estimates, companies make $2 for every $1 they spend on pay-per-click advertising with Google AdWords.)
Paid search relies on keywords, just like search engine optimization does, and you will need to test different offers, headlines, and advertising formats to see which ones work best. You can also get help from digital marketing experts to guide your PPC campaign and help your ads come out on top.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your business is listed in Google’s local search directory and shows up in Google Maps when users search for what you sell. If your business is local, seeing that you’re just a few blocks away could be enough to make a customer come knocking on your business’s door instead of your competition’s.
Google’s algorithms are constantly changing. These changes are out of your control, which is why an effective marketing strategy shouldn’t focus solely on SEO.
You need to think of SEO as a companion to your social and content strategies.
Your ultimate goal should be to answer your audience’s most pressing questions through valuable content — and in return, they’ll reward you with more traffic.
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