Search engine results have long been major measure of traffic to websites, even going back to the days before the venerable Google existed. According to Hubspot, 44 percent of online shoppers begin their shopping using a search engine, and the United States alone accounts for 12 billion searches per month. If you’ve been waiting to add search engine optimization (SEO) to your marketing plan, now is the time.
SEO is a major part of my job, and I’ve seen firsthand how well it works to increase the visibility of Calgary businesses online. Landing at the top of the page after a search greatly improves your chances of earning a click and enticing someone to learn more about you and what you do. To increase your online visibility, here are my top 5 tactics for achieving your SEO goals.
Make Search Engines Work for Your Business with Five Simple, Effective SEO Tactics
The world of SEO is competitive, so standing out takes effort. It also takes a carefully measured mixture of tactics, rather than a straight and easy path to success. The right mix for your Calgary business depends on your goals, website design, marketing priorities, and your future plans for your web presence. Fortunately, analytics make it easy to evaluate, update, and constantly improve your SEO over time.
- Geo-targeting – Anticipating the habits of search engine users is what makes SEO tick, and geo-targeting is a great example of that idea in action. The basic premise is that your SEO should be geared to the geographical area your business serves, so that people in your vicinity can find your company easily. In addition to increasing online presence for local customers, geo-targeting also helps ensure that you’re not competing for clicks with businesses located far outside of your territory.
- Social Media – In addition to being a great place to market and connect, social media plays an important role in SEO. Your social media pages are hubs that connect visitors with all of your online content, establish your industry authority, and spread the word about your business. Increasingly, social media users are also using the search function on their favourite social sites to find information in the same way they’d use Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Bing.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising – Organic SEO takes time. Not much time, but there is a process required for building credibility in the eyes of search engines. With PPC advertising, the payoff is much more immediate. Basically, PPC allows you to purchase prime real estate in search results when people are searching for the products or services your business offers. It’s a great way to increase visibility when you’re getting started with SEO, and will remain a valuable tool throughout your online adventures.
- Content Development – Your content, which includes everything from blog posts to your website’s homepage, is where you’ll put many of our SEO tactics to work. This is another area where you can anticipate the potential customer’s needs, most obviously by producing content that is relevant to them. In addition to short content like blog posts, long-form content, including whitepapers, is great for establishing expertise. Great content is also a powerful tool for earning shares on social media, and provides a blank canvas for your geo-targeting needs.
- Analytics – What is most important to know about SEO is that it’s always changing, just as your business, website, and online marketing will evolve over time. Google will always be updating its algorithms, and search habits will change with the introduction of new services. Your analytics, which provide detailed data on SEO performance among many other things, will keep you ahead of the curve. The data you collect will show you what’s working and what’s not, so you’ll always be able to make informed SEO decisions.
There’s a ton that goes into SEO, but these are the tools that I consider essential. Each of the five tactics I’ve chosen works best with the support of the others. By writing an interesting blog post, including geo-targeting information, and posting it to social media, for example, you’re checking off three very important SEO boxes. The right strategy for you will depend on how you wish to market your Calgary business, but you can’t go wrong by starting with these five SEO tactics.
Ready to learn more about what SEO can do for your business? Emphasize Design of Calgary offers everything you need for SEO, effective online marketing, and attractive, utilitarian web design. Just drop us a line, and ask for Joel!