Search engine optimization has been the focus of discussion in all content marketing circuits in recent times. The smart practices adopted by Google are giving content marketers a run for their money. Google is known to change its algorithms quite frequently to keep the content marketers on their toes in their effort to keep their content on top of search results. The ever fluctuating standards and best practices of SEO are proving to be immensely challenging for both big and small businesses. Though all businesses are aware of the importance, role and impact of SEO on the success of any business today, many are still clueless as to how to develop sound SEO strategies. Here are some simple steps:
Identify and Understand Your Target Audience
SEO is all about getting top rankings in the search engines to attract more traffic to your website. But simply being visible does not account for success. Your website should be visible to those who care. First step is to know your precise target audience and to gather as much information about them as possible including demographics, preferences, geographic location, search patterns etc.
Use Analytics Tools
Once you have identified your target audience it is time you started using the free tools provided for website administrators by search engines. It is a good idea to sign up for Bing’s Webmaster or Google Analytics to understand all about your site traffic. Google Analytics account assists you in monitoring organic traffic on a day to day, weekly or even monthly basis. Information obtained from Google Analytics can be of immense help and you can develop a great user experience which would result in more traffic, more people linking to you or sharing your content or appreciating your site. This would ultimately culminate in better search engine rankings. By using Webmaster tools you would learn about ways in which a search engine actually interacts and correlates with your site. This could be useful in solving key technical problems that would also, enhance your SEO. Make use of a rank tracking software or service for monitoring search rankings over a period of time.
Find out details about your target audience from Google Analytics Account. The data that you collect should be used while developing your strategies. Once your target audience has been well-defined, it is time to set objectives according to the identified audience. You should know precisely what you would wish your audience to do while browsing through your website. Find out the best way to make your audience do exactly as you wish, based on the information you have collected about the audience. You should not operate your website like a rudderless ship. Without a precise set of goals and objectives you cannot get the desired results despite putting in a lot of effort. Your focus should primarily be on growth metrics to get an idea on what content is well received by the target audience and performing well and what is not. It is absolutely necessary for you to know what is working with your target audience and what is just not working. You should aim to create more content similar to the ones that is doing well and try to boost the ones that are not performing well, by using better optimization techniques and efforts.
Go About Doing Keyword Research
Once you have defined your target audience, you must devote your efforts to keyword research. The success of your strategy depends partly on your decision regarding what keywords you should focus on or what keywords you shouldn’t target at all. Start by creating an Excel Sheet showing keyword categories according to the target audience personas. It is a good idea to use Google Keyword Planner for doing research on keywords and finding appropriate keywords.
Focus on Building Relationships than on Building Links
Until recently SEO was nothing but link building exercise. Getting links for any content seemed to be a smart strategy. Strategic linking could still be useful in boosting your search engine but it is more fruitful to develop real relationships with industry’s key influencers. There can be no substitute for good, relevant, genuine and honest recommendations coming from the key influencers in the business. Look for key influencers in your business and discuss ways to help each other.
Stay Abreast With Latest SEO Trends
An effective SEO strategy is to stay updated on all the innovations and latest trends taking place in the SEO scenario. Get news updates and browse through blogs and continue the learning process and if you could afford it, nothing can be better than hiring a SEO expert. Your business is sure to succeed if you are able to offer excellent user experience and exceptional content. According to a well-known SEO expert you can maximize the optimization effort only if you have a sound and updated knowledge and understanding about the business of Search Engine Optimization.
Author Bio: James Fleming is a business journalist who has been focusing lately on SEO and its various facets. His insights have been helpful to many. In his free time he loves to relax and have a quality time with his wife Linda and only son Jason. He is an avid blogger.