Today, almost every business has a website — the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker alike. If you are happy with the number of customers you currently have, then don’t read this article. If you would like to bring your products to new markets, read on.
There is a catch: Getting more quality traffic means you will have to do some work.
These are all white hat tactics that will bring more traffic and help you get to the first page of Google, which is the goal, right? Not always. Yes, landing a position at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) is important and a huge accomplishment, but search engine optimization (SEO) is about more than ranking on Google — and on other search engines, for that matter.
SEO is about enabling your business to be found by users who are interested in your product category.
1. Get Listed
People launch searches in more places than browser-based search engines. They search on YouTube, Yelp and map apps. You need to be present on all of them. The good news is that these are free to sign up for. If you have an office or store-front location, you should have been on these yesterday, so get on them today.
Google My Business is also a great way to get yourself listed on maps, and it allows Google to understand how you are relevant to local customers. For example, if you sell pies in Philadelphia and someone in Cleveland searches for “pies near me,” Google won’t list you. This means that you could be in the top five search results for someone in Philadelphia, but not for someone in Cleveland, or anywhere else, really.
If you run a local business, use this tool to your advantage by targeting those who matter. Sign up for Google My Business and all the other free business listing sites you can. This will get you in front of the right customers and help your positioning on SERPs.
2. Write Evergreen Content
If you are reading this, you should already know the importance of creating honest content that is relevant and helpful to your customers. What you may not know is that your content must constantly be up to date. Sound like a lot of work?
In a recent meeting, we discussed replacing the use of a specific year in our blog’s URLs with a more general term. For example, the end of the URL (the resource ID) used to read: “italy-travel-blog/rome/hotels-rome/where-to-stay-in-rome-may-2018/”
Now it reads: “/italy-travel-blog/rome/hotels-rome/where-to-stay-in-rome-this-year/”
A simple change of “may-2018” to “this-year” makes the post timeless. Every six to 12 months, we will schedule an update for this post. Fresh content is added, making it current and constantly relevant to our readers.
Why would we do that?
While Google normally notices your new post or URL within a few weeks, according to a study by Ahrefs, most web pages ranking at the No. 1 spot are three years old. If you are looking to create evergreen content, instead of saving a post on your blog about what to do in Rome in May 2018, you should update that exact post each year and keep it relevant. Using the term “this year” makes it evergreen. You can and should, however, put the year in the post and update that annually. So, “Things To Do In Rome May 2018” could be a great title.
3. Keep On ‘YouTubing’
If you are posting videos on YouTube, great work! If you are not, get started.
Your YouTube strategy should be focused on answering super relevant issues or even problem-solving in a user-friendly and interesting way. The main point here is that your video channel is an incredible asset, and more people are searching on YouTube or clicking that “video” button after starting a search.
4. Use Tools When Targeting Keywords
There are a ton of great tools out there like Moz, SEMRush and Ahrefs. Based on my experience, most cost around $100 per month, yet not everyone has that type of budget or the time to actually use the tool. So, who cares?
If you don’t have a team focused on SEO, there are a few other tools you can use that are free, or that you may already be paying for. If you have a Google Ads account, you can use the Keyword Planner to calculate the search volume of certain keywords and related keywords. This is a great way to help you prioritize or get inspiration for new content. If people are searching for a topic in some way related to your business, then it is likely a perfect topic for your blog or YouTube channel.
SEO is more than just keywords. Make use of Google’s other tools like Google My Business and the Keyword Planner that comes with Google Ads. Create evergreen content that won’t leave you drowning in a sea of outdated blog posts. Finally, use other channels like YouTube to boost your brand exposure, be the expert in your field and link back to your website. Although keywords continue to be important to many SEO strategies and tactics, your business will only truly be optimized when you start to think outside the box.