Unless you are actively working on your organic position in search engines your competitors are taking your business apart bit by bit.

 

71% of consumers begin their buyer journey on search and 74% use search for consideration and purchasing (Forrester, 2016)

As the usage of the internet has skyrocketed in the past 10 years and advertising has shifted from traditional channels to online, developing a strong search engine strategy is now paramount just to stay in the game.

But the game has changed! With appropriate optimisation, the new Extended Search integrations such as Knowledge Graph, Rich Snippets, Instant Answers and the Local Stack can be used by businesses to steal organic traffic off competitors.

70 percent of enterprise purchase decisions begin on search engines.

Google is an ever-changing beast so we’ve outlined all the things you need to know to get ahead of your competitors and stay there. We’ve included practical tips and insights you can apply NOW to grow your business.

Let’s look at recent Algorithm updates to get an insight into what one of your businesses #1 clients (Google) is looking for…

Medic Update – The medical and finance industries took a hit with many sites observed to be lacking in industry authority, expertise and trust signals which are pretty crucial elements when you take into account the service being provided.

Fred – March: this update is targeting low-value content sites that put revenue above helping their users.

Read: valuable content is again king.

 

Penguin –2016 – Penguin is trying to remove sites from search results that have been buying unnatural/spammy links for their website.

Read: stop buying links from link farms and untrustworthy places!

 

Mobilegeddon – 2015- this algorithm update began penalising non-mobile friendly sites.

Read: your site better be mobile friendly!

 

Panda – 2011 this update penalised sites that aggregate (often steal) content from other sites in order to create large volumes of pages with the sole purpose of ranking.

Read: create unique and quality content that is helpful!

CORNERSTONES OF SEO NOW

On-The-Page

  • Content – quality, research, words
  • Architecture – structure, mobile, speed
  • HTML – tags,  meta descriptions, structured data

 

Off-The-Page

  • Trust – Authority,  engagment, history
  • Location – country, local area, visitors
  • Links – Quality,  text, number
  • Social – reputation, shares

 

7 SEO Strategies you NEED in your arsenal

 

1. Clear Strategy and Agility

A clearly defined strategy is the starting point to any success. Changing your key objectives from month to month will confuse the momentum that is necessary for SEO success.  It’s important to spend time and energy upfront identifying the keyword groups and keyword phrases you want to rank for. You don’t want to choose just the most searched terms as these are often unlikely to result in the traffic, leads and sales that you are looking for as they may be too generic, competitive and not likely to drive a return on investment.

2. Content is KING

Google can’t emphasise any louder how important consistent, high-quality content is to gain and maintain a strong organic presence. It’s the King now and will be for a long time to come. The forms of content include written text, images, videos and infographics and these can be part of the core site page structure or can be articles, blogs, galleries and even off-site content. But not any content will work for SEO and help your climb up the rankings. All content needs to be created based on keyword and competitor research and then created in a structured way, all the time keeping it engaging enough for the audience.

3. High quality links and Digital PR

Google prefers links from high quality and local sources that it knows are relevant to your business. Sourcing spammy links from poor quality sites that link to your site can do a lot more damage than good. Strategies that immediately add value to your business and SEO rankings include sourcing links to your site from Business Directories and customers,  supplier and partner websites in your business network. This can include writing content and information that is relevant to these sites and linking back to your own.

Digital PR is a tactic to increase your online presence through building relationships with key content writers and online journalists to get coverage and high quality backlinks from highly trafficked blogs and news websites. Digital PR involves combining traditional PR, social media, content marketing and search. The secret to success involves creating unique, newsworthy content, then writing a press releases and repurposing it into different forms such as a Slideshare presentation, a blog post and an infographic then sharing across your social platforms before reaching out to bloggers, content writers and online journalists.

4. A good quality website

The quality of your website is becoming an increasingly important ranking factor. The top performing sites are fast, easy to use or navigate and provide direct and useful information that is relevant to the users query.

The top ranking websites also regularly update quality content that has been well researched with a sufficient number of words and images written in a way that engages the target audience.

They also pay attention to the site architecture especially as Google continues to push for content to be mobile-friendly, has continued to emphasise the importance of speed as a ranking factor.  With more than 50 percent of Google searches done on mobile devices by the end of this year or in 2018, Google have said they will use a mobile-first index, even for desktop users.

The usability of your site is a factor that leads to higher general popularity and the search engines can then interpret this popularity as a higher quality website. Read: Google knows if people think your site is a shocker.

5. Top notch Technicals

Search bots are now very sophisticated but there are still many technical issues that could be present on your site that are impacting their ability to successfully read and crawl your site.

HTML structure: how the code or HTML is actually implemented is important. The proper implementation of  tags, meta descriptions, as well as the inclusion of structured data are all important ranking factors.

Duplicate pages: Most websites use Content management systems (CMS) and some of these make it very easy create duplicate pages in blog sections or product listings if not implemented correctly.

Crawling the site: if your robots.txt file isn’t’ setup correctly and you do not have the right settings in Search Console, this is likely to create issues when the bots come to crawl and index your site.

Poor link structure: if you don’t have a clear link structure then your website is likely to be misunderstood by search engines and they likely won’t reach of all your content.

Non-text content: search engines are improving their ability to read non html text however content in reach media formats are still difficult for search engines and could be affecting your rankings (think flash files, photos, videos and plug-in content).

6. Google Local listings and Bing Places for Business

Your physical business location and your how it is positioned in search has become increasingly important and competitive: 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles (WordStream, 2016); 30% of mobile searches are related to a location (Google, 2016); 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase (Google, 2016); Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day (Google, 2014); and 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases. (Search Engine Land, 2014).

The initial task of setting up a Google My Business and Bing Places for Business listing is pretty easy and provided you use a consistent Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) across your listing and your website you can start to appear in local search.

Optimising for local search takes a bit more time and effort. There are over 20 factors including Google My Business signals like categories and keyword in the business title,  along with local links, online reviews, click-through rate, mobile clicks to call, check-ins and social signals play a part too.

7. Social Media Presence

It is vital to have a social media presence to assist your organic search rankings and by leveraging social media platforms well, you can contribute to the long-term success of your SEO efforts.

While Google does not measure ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’ it does look at the people that come from social channels to your website and how they engage with your website. This makes it critical to treat your website as the content hub for what you share on social media and to link back to your website from social channels wherever possible. This will assist search engine rankings as it extends traffic to your website, and from there new unique users can view,  like, and share your sites content, which delivers an improved ranking.

A strong brand can impact positively impact SEO as people are more likely to click through to a page of a brand’s site they know, so having a strong social following can instantly create the credibility that creates clicks through to your content.

In 2016 social media channels became indexed by search engines. This made social networking very important to buyers in the B2B space. Google uses every social media post as a search result.

Contact Our Team Today

Scott Forrest
DIGITAL SERVICES
hello@bemedia.com.au
1300 193 482

Contact us today and one of our team will be in contact to learn more about your goals to develop a no obligation free strategy.