Investing in Search Engine Optimization
How can you market your business online during Covid-19? Many brands are asking themself the same question. There are even some that say they need to pivot their marketing strategies to adjust to altered customer behaviors. However, many of these businesses are unsure on how to accomplish this and may not know how to revise their marketing campaigns accordingly.
During this economic downturn due to Covid-19, many businesses are struggling financially. Subsequently, they are having to cut costs where it makes the most sense. Recent research has shown that online businesses are cutting their ad spend (PPC) and re-focusing their attention to keep visitors informed (SEO).
If you already have a solid SEO Strategy for your website, this may be a great time to re-evaluate its performance and optimization opportunities. In contrast, if you have not been paying search engine optimization much mind, now may be the time to look into it further.
Why Should I Care About SEO?
SEO is a powerful way of putting your information in front of the right audience within search engine result pages (SERPs). And let’s face it, the bulk of your audience is online more than ever these days. This is not the time for any business to go dark, and the right sustained SEO campaigns can help keep your business relevant.
Full transparency, the rumors are true. SEO is not an instant marketing ROI factor, but it will pay off over time. So, what can you do if your budget is low or if you’ve traversed a portion of your marketing budget over to optimization efforts? Start with the basics.
Providing that your content had already been drawing in organic search traffic (or lack thereof), there are some tactics that you can implement while you wait for the market to turn around.
4 Tips to Proactively Improve SEO
Do Your Research (Keywords & Trends)
Understanding your target audiences and their specific personas can help generate content and nurture engagement. Focus on search intents and what’s been trending for your industry.
If you don’t have the right keywords that answer search intents, then it will be difficult for you to increase traffic to your website. Because of current events, and an influx of mobile device users, I would recommend initially selecting 5 target keyword terms. Once you isolate those terms, conduct a keyword analysis to determine keyword variations of that target term. Those variations or secondary terms should appear in on-page content.
Already have page content? Great! Now, review that content to see where you can add those keyword variations.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
You’re off to a good start, but let’s look at issues that go against SEO best practices. Many website owners ask:
“Why is my website not ranking well?”
One major reason could be that their domain/web pages are saturated with too many keywords. By taking your main keyword term and intentionally repeating it as many times as you can, in an attempt to rank better for that term, will backfire. All day, every day.
Basically, keyword stuffing is an attempt to manipulate search engines so that pages can rank better in search results. If you do this or if you notice that this is occurring on your website, it’s time to refresh and properly optimize your content.
If you want to start ranking better, create on-page content that reads naturally. There is no need to be repetitive with your keywords. Additionally, there are enough Google algorithms programmed to identify this type of poor behavior. If keyword stuffing is detected, search engines like Google will assume that your pages have low to no value to visitors.
In other words, why should Google place your site favorably in SERPs (on page 1) if it has determined that your pages hold know value to the user?
Fix: Avoid these SEO bad practices:
– Repeating the same words or keyword phrases (if it sounds unnatural or not like human conversations- then don’t use it)
– Excessive listing of cities or state names to manipulate Local SEO rankings
– Listing too many phone numbers on any given page (including your “contact us” page)
Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
You’ve already done your research, identified the right keywords, and have created compelling content that engages visitors in a conversational manner. All of a sudden you realize that your most important pages are not ranking as well as other pages.
Stop the presses! There is a fairly good reason to why this is happening.
Keyword Cannibalization happens when you have multiple website pages trying to rank for the “same keyword” in search. The result is that your domain now has multiple pages competing against each other for rank.
In essence, when you have several pages that are focusing on the same target keyword term, you’re not showing a deeper sense of value. You’re not improving the quality or authority of your domain as a whole either.
I mean sure, you might have great content. But Google will rank the multiple pages and may give the stronger page ranking to a page of less value.
Also, if you have internal links from posts or other pages linking to multiple pages trying to rank for one keyword term, this sends visitors all over your site instead of to the most authoritative page.
Fix: Choose 1 topic per page, then research the best target keyword term that speaks to that topic the most. Each page of your website should have 1 target keyword term that is unique, accompanied by its keyword variations.
Optimize Page Titles That Influence
Just like avoiding keyword stuffing, you don’t want to stuff a lot of target terms in your page title. Use your page title to influence users to click through on your domain in SERP’s by being as specific as possible. If you try to force too many keyword terms into a title tag, who are you actually speaking to or trying to reach? If you try to reach everyone, you’ll reach no one.
When a user searches for something, they don’t fill the search query box with as many search words as possible. But they will be as specific as possible so that they get the best results they can in the fastest amount of time. So, craft an optimized page title that acts like a headline and has the main search intent / keyword in it.
Do this for all of your web-pages, ensuring that each page title speaks to the value of your on-page content. The faster a user sees what they’ve searched for or a clearly defined variation of their search intent – the more that visitor will stay engaged.
Fix: Make sure that you’re using 1 target keyword term in your page title. This informs users and search engines about the content of value a landing page will provide.
As an extra SEO tip, maintain a page title length that does not exceed 60 characters (as this limit will fit your title tag nicely in mobile search results). It’s ok if you go a “little” over, but I would not advise pushing past 65 characters.
Stay Connected With Your Customers
Armed with these SEO tips for businesses, you can prepare your domain to perform better in search and deliver better answered search intents. In a Current-Covid and Post-Covid world, the performance of your domain may fluctuate. So, feel free to use these basic SEO best practices to engage visitors more effectively, while improving your page rank potential over time.
Creative MMS is always available if you’re ready to take back control of your online business. Contact our professional digital marketing and SEO team to discuss your next project.
Upcoming Topic: Search Intent Optimization
Check back soon to learn more about Search Intent Optimization and how it can meet the immediate needs of your customers.