Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Vital for Online Visibility
Being found on the modern web is a problem. There is so much out there, how do you percolate to the surface? This article tries to answer some of that, but it is not all encompassing by any means. Also, it is important to know, that you can’t possibly just set it and forget it, because the way people look for things changes over time. At Basal Smart Solutions we are experts in how people search for things, and we can help as this process is certainly not a sprint, it is the marathon among marketing marathons.
For any online presence to be successful social media is only part of the solution. SEO must be part of the overall online plan. Just in case there was any doubt, the ultimate goal of any SEO team should be to get that website to show up on the first page of search results.
This is achieved doing many things, often, but first and foremost by setting appropriate search terms, in addition to optimizing content as well as structure in a way that is friendly to selected search terms. This can be aided but linking from multiple social media accounts to the website under consideration.
The team can even optimize social media posts in the same way as optimization for a website. This process has become vitally important to brand recognition, especially for new brands as in the modern web search engines (Google, Bing, etc) are moving into semantic analysis which alters the search results based on geographic location and the users previous searches.
Why do SEO instead of just Social Media Optimization (SMO)
Internet users in younger demographics tend to search social media first for product recommendations before going to the main web search engines. This may not be true for all younger users, but it flips as age of the user goes up. The older the user the more likely they are to start at a search engine rather than social media.
Inbound links to websites remain one of the keys in achieving a high ranking in search results, especially on Google (really the only search engine that matters other than Bing). Social Media platforms are a fantastic resource for these links.
SEO is a vital component, but certainly not the only method of ensuring a website is visible based on methods other than just raw numbers of social media followers.
SEO isn’t the only necessary tool. Qualified visitors must be able to find your website and from there take some action that turns them from a prospect into a customer.
How do you get visitors that actually desire conversion from someone who happened upon your site to someone who actually wants to become a customer? Well, put simply, great content yields great results. Lack of content on your site, or lack of anything but the most generic of content will yield only the most generic of results. In short, you get out of your online presence what you put into it. But never fear, Basal Smart Solutions can help, while you focus on satisfying your customers.
No amount of work on improving SEO results will drive increasing business through your website if once a user visits the site they find disappointing content. They will immediately leave, which is not the goal. Getting eyeballs on your website (or social media feed) is only part of the battle.
There are two general schools of thought for SEO tactics where social media is concerned:
- The website and all social media account should use the same search terms
- Social Media can be used to obtain great results for rarely used term, and drive those results to a website.
There are a lot of search engines on the web. However, Google and Bing share the same search algorithm (mostly), and account for more than 92% of all searches. Therefore, if you really want to dominate on being found versus the competition it makes sense to pay attention how to specifically optimize for those two as an important part of your SEO strategy.
Choosing Search Terms
Traditionally people would just brainstorm what they think the target audience may use to search for your company. We at Basal Smart Solutions have a much better method, give us a call and we can fill you in (it gets weird). But here are a few high-level concepts to consider:
- Certainly there are some known terms to use. Those terms should be given prominent placement on the website and Social Media Posts to your product or service.
- Incorporate industry specific search terms when trying to reach B2B clients.
- If your company is local or regional be sure to include locations
- g. Dallas, Texas, Boston, Massachusetts
- Continuously update your website with news, discussions and videos so that it does not get stale, and search engines have even more ways to find and index your site.
- Keep an eye on the competition’s website as they may get a leg up on you.
Location, Location, Location
It is very true that Google, Bing and other search engines will look through the entire page for ways to index that information, but keeping search terms of importance in the first paragraph is known to be of assistance.
To make things even more interesting to the SEO team in the early days of search engines a common trick was to hide a lot of search terms in white space on a website so that humans couldn’t see it, but search engines would. A practice we here at Basal Smart Solutions are still seeing on clients coming to use from other companies. However, Google and Bing are onto this trick and will actually downgrade your site if they catch it.
Added Points of Common Confusion
Tags is a term that is thrown around from time to time. Tags are simply speaking a couple of words stuck together like Artificial Intelligence. These are most commonly found on content heavy sites like Social Media and larger corporate sites to help search engines categorize content and as a result these are important.
Tags can also be used to understand the popularity of certain terms, and as such through our managed SEO services at Basal, we can help navigate that process.
Optimization is Vital
A few recommendations:
- Write as optimized a first paragraph on your page as possible.
- If you write articles for your site, keep your word count above 300, or search engines will not give as much credence or weight to that page.
- Make sure every sub page on your web-presence can be found in no more than three clicks from your home page.
- Updating your page often or search engines will flag it as stale and downgrade it.
Things to Avoid
- Graphics without description
- Duplicate content with other URLs
- Original content matters, you never want to be a “me too”
- Splash pages
- Mobile unfriendliness
As we said at the start, this is just a broad overview of how to achieve the best SEO results. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and it must be given constant attention. Reach out to us if you have questions, and we will do what we can to help!