Finding the Right Talent to Help With SEO
Marissa gets into her office, grabs a cup of coffee, and walks over to her desk. She's ready to start her day. She's the marketing director at a large company that does a sizable percentage of its sales online. In other words, her company relies on online traffic for brand awareness, engagement and purchase.
She opens her email and clicks on a report from her team that shows that organic traffic to the site has plummeted. She quickly decides to engage an expert for a search engine optimization project. She lands on an external resource who can bring both expertise, as well as outside thinking, to quickly solve her problem.
The process of search engine optimization begins with a few simple checkpoints.
- Does your URL describe what your site is about?
- Do you have a site description, page content, headings, and image titles?
- Do you provide information that is relevant to your target market?
Search engines use this information to put websites into indexes that are then used to pull up sites that match search queries. Just like a well written email, simple, direct writing is a good place to start.
But even with great website content, design, and structure, no one can guarantee that your site will achieve a desired ranking in Google search. People like Marissa's resource know that while there are many strategies for improving website discoverability, there are three introductory tools that can help lay the foundation for any good SEO strategy.
Can people find my business on Google? Google Search Console is a free tool that business owners can use to make sure Google can find their business and show it for the correct search queries. Microsoft provides a similar tool called Bing Webmaster Tools to help site owners get their site indexed and discovered on Bing.
Search Console provides a number of excellent tools that allow site owners to do things like:
- Check errors
- See search terms
- Listings and reviews
This means that you can quickly identify errors found by Google and fix them before you are penalized.
Want to know which terms lead to Google search results pages on your website? Search Console has the data, which you can use to discover your site’s most successful pages and products. Focus on what is working to increase traffic.
Back in the old days, businesses that wanted to be discovered would put their name in the yellow pages of their local phone book. Today online business listings help search engines and new customers find your business.
Start your business listings by showing people you are open for business, with your business name, hours, phone number, and address. This will ensure your business shows up, whether people are searching on Google Search or Maps.
Other listings that businesses may want to consider, especially for local search, include:
When making your listings, here are some things to consider that will impact your discoverability:
- NAP: Name, address, and phone number (NAP) must be consistent across listings. If these identifiers are not consistent, it will confuse search engines and hurt the ranking and discoverability of your site.
- Site ranking: Link on sites that rank high in traffic for your target audience. According to Alexa, an Amazon company, Google ranks number one in the world, based on monthly traffic as of October 2016. You can use Alexa to look up the top business directories and sites for your category, including local directories.
- Reviews: Search results are based on a variety of factors, including the number of reviews and recency of reviews that a company receives on site listings. While there are many sites where you can get reviews, Google and Yelp are where it is at for for local businesses. This is because the largest map apps, Google, Bing, and Mapquest, include Google and Yelp reviews in search results. Starred reviews on Google and Yelp show up in map listings for businesses in your category, and this will impact your site rankings as well as customer choice.
- Social media: Similar to reviews, social media accounts and activity impact search results. Set up social media accounts that will help you reach your target audience, like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, or other platforms.
How do you track your search engine optimization efforts? Google Analytics is a free tool that provides the kind of data and analysis you need to improve SEO strategy, boost sales, and increase visitors.
Website owners want to know how customers found their site and if they took valuable action. By understanding how customers interact with your website, you can learn how to get them to stay, where they're coming from and
Google Analytics helps website owners answer questions like:
- How many people visited my site?
- How much time did they spend on my site?
- How did they find my site?
- Where are they located?
- Did they purchase something or take another desirable action?
- Where did they leave the site?
With high quality feedback like this, you can make improvements to capture more potential customers on your site.
Ranking and discovery through search results takes some time. Using the right SEO tools and finding the right talent can help marketing directors build a solid foundation for organic growth.
___ For more information on how an expert can help your business, check out our whitepaper on Winning with a flexible workforce.