Gone are the days of traditional print advertising being successful in driving traffic to your website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the new traffic generator.
Think about it for a minute…how many times do you use Google in a day? With every use you have an intent; either you are looking for something or have a question.
According to Internet World Stats, there are more than two billion Internet users across the globe. That’s about 35 percent of the world’s population, which equals A LOT of potential customers. Wouldn’t you like to attract just a small percentage of those users to your site?
You can start by implementing an SEO strategy. With SEO, there are multiple factors that you must consider in order for your site to rank with search engines. However, you must first understand what SEO means.
Search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via organic or paid search results (click here for an explanation of organic vs. paid search results). However, showing up in search results doesn’t happen overnight or by slapping some keywords on your pages. SEO involves many factors working together to achieve the best search results.
You might ask how one company would receive optimum search results with each search engine? Although you should attempt to rank for all search engines, you should prioritize your SEO strategy by focusing on Google searches. Google received more than 92 percent of search engine traffic in 2010 according to Statcounter.com, while Bing received just 3.17 percent of search engine traffic.
The key is getting your site to show up on page one. Below are four main factors you need to consider when starting your SEO strategy.
1. Site Architecture.
This is all about the way your website is laid out and how the pages connect to each other. When Google crawls a website, all it's really doing is following a set of links, reading the content at each URL and then moving on to the next link.
Google uses the link structure of a website as one signal to understand how important each page is within the overall site architecture. The more relevant the content on each page as it relates to the keyword, the better the odds that page will rank high (considering all of these factors are implemented).
There are two types of links: inbound and outbound. Outbound links start from your site and lead to an external site, while inbound links (or backlinks) come from an external site to yours.
Backlinks play an essential role in SEO. The more backlinks your site has indicates to search engines the importance or relevance of your site. Google uses backlinks as a ranking factor and gives more credit to sites with a large number of backlinks from reputable/strong sites.
Content is king in SEO. This is the major factor in rankings. Sites that offer the most relevant information rank the highest.
Be sure the content that is posted on your site is fresh and relevant to the keywords you wish to rank for. Most importantly, the content should be original, comprehensive on the topic, and something you'd want to share, recommend or bookmark. A great way to generate content is to have a blog with daily posts.
Engage. Engage. Engage. Social media is a unique way to build your brand awareness with customers and has recently been factored into SEO ranking.
A successful SEO campaign works hand in hand with a social media strategy. Be sure to include at leaset one keyword in your social media posts. It’s never been more important to be targeting customers socially.
Ready to get your search strategy on? Check out Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.
SEO is one of the core components of a strong Inbound Marketing strategy. If you would like to learn more about Inbound Marketing, CEDIA published a white paper that is available in the CEDIA Marketplace and free to CEDIA members. Plus, learn about how social media impacts SEO in CustomRetailer’s recent article Social Network: ROE vs. ROI, Part II.
About Jamie Riley
Jamie Riley is CEDIA's Senior Director of Marketing & Public Relations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org