If you've been procrastinating on your digital marketing, I won't shame you. Instead, I'll present you with some of the best advice that you can use to kick off your own SEO campaigns.
We'll likely have a lot more to talk about by the time 2016 comes to an end, but the following tips will provide you with a solid foundation to start seeing results in the new year!
You're probably sick of hearing about content by now. Every so-called "expert" in digital marketing tries to convince you why content is the solution to all of your problems with SEO.
They're right by saying it's a solution, but it's by no means going to solve all of your SEO problems. Especially if you're doing it wrong.
That's because content shouldn't be created for the purpose of boosting SEO results alone. In 2016, you likely won't see the results you're looking for unless the content you create actually has value. What that means is, putting a strategy in place to create content that people are actually looking to find.
How do you accomplish that?
Research, research, and more research! The Adwords Keyword Planner Tool is the absolute easiest way to uncover data that will help you better understand what users are searching for and what type of content to serve them.
If you're a Chevy dealership, you might find a lot of people researching the new 2016 Malibu in your area. By crafting a page that hosts details about the new model, as well as your inventory and business. You don't want to solely concentrate on selling the car, though. The searcher has already indicated interest, so you're really trying to add value as a business offering the product in their area.
You should think this way about any type of content you create for local users, especially as Google finds more and more ways to rank pages based on intent.
For blog content to supplement pages like this, you can also turn to the Keyword Planner.
Your website's code and layout are some of the most important aspects of SEO. If you don't have an SEO-friendly structure, you may experience downgraded results compared to your competition. And if your layout is not user friendly, you may be throwing away a large percentage of potential conversions, as users find it difficult to find the right information.
One of the most important site structure issues still plaguing countless business websites today is the lack of a responsive design or mobile-friendly design. If you're out of the loop, a responsive design conforms to any browser size without changing the code structure specifically for desktop, mobile, or any other platform. Google recently made it clear that mobile-friendly is the new standard and that sites that fail to distinguish themselves might be overtaken by mobile-friendly competitors.
If you feel your site is not converting enough users, you may have a design issue. The easiest way to identify issues is work with a conversion rate expert and take the notes to a web design company. Oftentimes, web design and development firms offer this type of service as well, so be sure to do your research. By making just a few key pages and updating your design for better usability, you could see huge results.
SEO is about more than just content, links, metadata, or local; it's about diversifying your efforts to bring your site up to higher standards and building authority.
You may have a few wins with content or links, but this isn't day trading stocks. This is your business, and you need to be in it for the long haul. You do this by ensuring that no stone is left unturned.
You have crappy, ineffective metadata? Take a few days off of other work to concentrate on that. Need to build more citations or correct old, out-of-date information? Don't skip that because you can't take time away from other efforts.
If you can do it all at the same time, more power to you. But if you've got a limited budget, don't shoot yourself in the foot to save your hand. Get the quick, one-time tasks out of the way so your site has a solid foundation to build upon for the future. Doing this will help your content and links be even more effective over time.
No one has a crystal ball to predict where your rankings will be in 3 months or a year. Not even Google's search team could tell you that one site will outperform another for a certain keyword.
That’s because SEO isn't magic. You can't expect everything to go the way you expect it to go, or even believe the promises of SEO companies. All you can do is provide value to users, stick within Google's guidelines, and keep up with the times to continuously outperform your competition.
Originally Published to Wikimotive.com on January 4, 2016