Being in the website development and online marketing industry for as long as we have, we can say that one of the most frequently asked questions our clients ask us is ‘how do I get found?’. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a term you’re likely familiar with, but what does SEO actually look like? At the end of the day, all SEO is about findability – making sure your business gets found online. There are many aspects to SEO, and while we will not be able to cover all of the intricacies in this article, we have chosen to highlight seven of the most important things you can do to increase your online visibility. 

1. Build a Website that Accurately Reflects Your Business

It is well known that your website can either make or break your business. Website design is constantly evolving, and so are the trends when it comes to colors, typography, graphics, video, and more. Every tiny detail of your website makes up the larger whole, and all aspects need to be properly optimized.

However, even if your website is beautiful and modern, if it does not accurately reflect your business as it operates today, then you are missing out on valuable opportunities. You need to ensure that your content is up-to-date and successfully speaks directly to your ideal audiences. It is also important to include images and videos that are not out of date, meaning you shouldn’t be using a headshot from ten years ago. 

Finally, your logo and theme colors should be used in a way that enhances your website’s messaging. Too much color can be off-putting, and too little color can make your website look barren and old. Be sure that your website strikes the perfect balance between color, content, and images to create a message that is easy to understand and speaks directly to your audience.

2. Research and Use Relevant Keywords

The words you choose to use (and not use) can make a big difference in not only how your business gets found online, but who is finding your business. Using the right keywords can ensure your messaging is targeting the right people. Be sure to thoroughly research keywords before you begin to write your website content. While there are many great premium tools out there you can use, including SE Ranking, some of the best research you can do is free. 

The first step in discovering what keywords you should be using is to identify who your competitors are. However, if you are not sure who your direct competition is, then focus on finding businesses across the country that are similar to yours. The key difference here is that if you know who your main competitors are and the messaging they are using to attract their clients, then you can better determine what they are doing successfully. Plus, if you know exactly what you do differently, then you can more easily speak to that versus what your competition does.

Keep in mind that when doing this research, you should not only focus on singular keywords, but long-tail keyword phrases as well. These keyword phrases can even be questions, which we will speak about in the next section.

Once you have identified what keywords and key phrases you want to use, then you can finally begin writing your website content. Your keywords should be used in multiple places as well—in your image alt tags, in your meta titles and meta descriptions, in your headlines, and of course in your page content itself.

3. Write Content That Answers Your Client’s Questions

While having a list of strong keywords to use is important, your content is arguably even more important. Your content needs to be read and understood by human readers, and ideally should be answering their questions along the way. That means using easy-to-understand headlines and content that doesn’t take forever to get to the main point. 

Let’s look at a quick example as we follow a potential customer’s journey. Jodie is currently looking for a solution to remove a stain from her favorite blouse. She types her query into a search engine and your website appears. Now, Jodie has a choice of choosing between your website and the plethora of other entries. If you have properly optimized your metadata, then it’s likely that Jodie will click on your link. If Jodie does, you only have a handful of seconds to capture her attention. As Jodie scans your headlines and content, if she can’t find an insight into her problem, she will click away and move onto the next link.

Of course, that is just one example of many, but the important take-away here is to ensure your content provides answers to your customer’s pain points. Also, make sure that you are not keyword stuffing your content, as that can not only bring down your ranking in the search engines, but people may find your content difficult to read as well.

4. Create Product or Service-Specific Landing Pages

Whether your business sells products, offers services, or both, your website should include product or service-specific landing pages. While there are varying definitions as to what a landing page is, the main idea is that each landing page needs to have a singular focus. The most effective landing pages give visitors only one option, such as “purchase this product”, “sign up for my newsletter,” or “join my webinar”. Providing people too many options will only serve to confuse or distract them, and your goal should be to ensure your visitors stay focused.

Another reason specific landing pages are important is that they increase findability. If your landing pages are well-optimized and speak directly to what the offering is, then search engines will rank your page higher than ones that are more generalized. While you can have a main products or services page that lists out all of your offerings, you will be missing out if you don’t drill down into each of those offerings. 

5. Optimize with Google

While there are other search engines out there, Google provides some of the best tools to help your website rank well in the search results pages. The three tools every business website needs to be utilizing are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Business Profile.

Google Analytics provides business owners vital information on how their website is performing. It shows how many visitors browse the website each day as well as what country they are coming from and what technology they used to find your website. Knowing this is important as you need to be sure your website is optimized for all screen-sizes and browser types. Also, Google Analytics 4 now offers a way to track the order of the pages each customer visits.

Google Search Console (GSC) provides valuable insights on how your website is being displayed in the search engines. This tool can tell you what pages are being indexed as well as which pages are not being indexed. GSC provides multiple reasons for why certain pages may not be displayed in the search engines, so be sure to pay close attention to these errors and warnings. GSC also provides page insights, which provides data on your top performing webpages. 

Google Business Profile (GBP) is arguably the most important of all these tools, as it provides users with valuable information about your business. Google Business Profile is how someone can find you on the map, as well as locate your contact information and read and post customer reviews. You can even add frequently asked questions directly into GBP that can show up as zero-click content. See the screenshot below for an example of what your GBP can look like.

Google My Business

6. Ask for Reviews and Testimonials

One of the most effective ways to show your expertise is to provide your potential clients and customers with helpful reviews and testimonials. There are many ways to collect testimonials, including through Google Reviews, but one of the best strategies is to ask your clients directly for reviews. If you are a service based business, then ask if they can provide a few thoughts on their experience with working with you.

If your business sells products, consider setting up an automated email that asks customers for product reviews. While you may receive some negative feedback along the way, understand that even negative feedback can help you make your products and services better. If you find out what your customers don’t like about your products, you can work to fix those issues to provide even better customer experiences. 

Once you have a few good reviews, be sure to add them to your website in a way that makes them seen. Also, consider the page type when adding testimonials. Some pages may only require one testimonial, while other pages can support multiple testimonials. 

7. Create a Consistent Social Media Strategy

Here at Blue Zenith, we firmly believe in the power of Social SEO, meaning using social media to help increase our client’s SEO visibility. We recognize that everyone uses the internet differently and it is important to show up where your customer base is.

When it comes to social media, it is better to choose the right channels than trying to make all the different social media platforms work for you. Read more about how to decide what platforms to choose here.

Once you have identified what platforms to use, then it is important to come up with a solid social media strategy. That means planning ahead and creating a social media calendar that outlines your specific posts and when those posts will go out. Consistency is key when it comes to social media, meaning you should be posting regularly and not randomly. Also, keep in mind that the best strategies reuse content in meaningful ways. For instance, if you write a blog, announce on your social media channels when your blog gets posted. 

Ready to Increase Your Online Visibility?

We have only begun to scratch the surface of each of these seven components of SEO. If you would like to learn more about how Blue Zenith can help your business grow and succeed, contact us today!