Many, if not most, of your visitors will be directed to your website by results they get when they search for your service or product using a search engine.
That’s why it is so important to make your website and content stand out on the results page, as well as rank in the top results for keywords and search terms that are relevant for your business.
What you do to optimize and rank your website is referred to as Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short.
Getting Google, Yahoo, or Bing to display your website for different search terms and search keywords is a complex and multidimensional process, but it’s well worth the time to learn and implement.
There are, however, plenty of bad advice and tactics that will actually harm your website.
Don’t try to trick the search engines. The more genuine and honest you are in your web design setup and your content, the better results you will get.
Google, Yahoo and Bing are the major search engines. They each have their own algorithm that selects which results get listed on the first page and subsequent pages when a prospect uses its search bar.
These algorithms are getting more and more sophisticated. Google and the others want the results they deliver to be relevant and highly useful to searchers. The better the user experience, the more a searcher will use their search bar and click their links.
And because their algorithms are becoming smarter, you can not, and should not, try to trick them.
Here’s a short list on what you should not be doing:
Don’t engage with agencies that encourage or do any of the above. While you might gain rank positions in the short-term, these strategies are being penalized all the time.
Instead, here is an overview of proper SEO strategies and how you can harness the power of them to capture more search engine traffic and visitors.
There are specific key strategies and tactics you can use to improve your SEO local results in Santa Barbara.
The primary strategy to follow in 2016 and beyond is based, as always, on excellent content sharing and a technically correct website, but also includes a responsible mobile site and a well-crafted social media presence.
Here is a look at how you can make the most of improving your SEO in Santa Barbara.
Content is the reason that search engines exist. What Google, the major player, as well as Yahoo and Bing, is looking for is quality information that serves the needs of online searchers.
That means that if you website doesn’t provide usable, quality content, and if your content does not answer the questions that people have, search engines will simply ignore you and not rank you high enough to attract visitors. This results in poor traffic and very few conversions.
You also stand a better chance of appealing to most visitors, and showing up on the first page of results, if you offer up content in a variety of forms. Be sure to use audio, video, and infographics in your content, too. Text, audio and video each attract different segments.
You want to use keywords in a targeted, easy-to-read, manner. Use long-tailed keywords, not broad keywords, for the best results. They usually have the least competition and the most targeted traffic. Use them in your content in a natural way that keeps the copy readable and easy to understand.
The more you can streamline your website address, especially if it contains SEO-friendly keywords, the easier it will be to rank your site.
If you have a stream of symbols in your URL, it is difficult for both search engines and visitors to figure out what your page is about and what it can do for them.
You will lose credibility with long URLs as they are much less likely to be shared by your prospects. When a link looks long or confusing it is perceived as spammy.
For best results, use words in your URL that are short, easy to remember, and easy to share.
Having a “responsive design” means that your website is easily viewed on a mobile and tablet.
Numbers vary depending on industry, but a low estimate is that more than 25-30% of people who search online do so regularly from smartphones and tablets. The figure is closer to 50% in most markets and searches. And the numbers will keep going up.
Make sure your website can easily be navigated using an iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and other tablets. Whatever the screen size that visitors are using, your website should be easily viewable for them.
Using smartphones, tablets, and laptops are already the principal way buyers purchase tickets, check out new cars, lookup prices for comparison shopping, and shop for products and services of all types.
Google, for example, has a mobile-friendly testing tool to make this easier. It also labels websites that are mobile-friendly in the mobile search results.
In addition, your website needs to load fast, especially when being access over cellular networks. If it takes more than even 2.5 seconds to load, most potential visitors will hit the “back” button or close their browser.
If your site can’t be easily used from a mobile, you will lose out on a significant percentage of online business. It is predicted that mobile traffic will exceed computer traffic in just a few years.
If you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you are missing out on the chance of attracting, capturing, and engaging more visitors and customers.
Most online users spend about 37% of their time on social media sites, making it a must for an effective SEO strategy.
Customers expect you to have a social media profile. It is one the first places they look when checking out your products and services. These profiles also make it simple for visitors to share your information with friends, family, and even strangers..
It is a marketing tool that is cheap to implement and provides immediate access to the thoughts and needs of your target audience.
You don’t need to set up a profile everywhere. Pick two, three or four, keep your content fresh, and answer any questions quickly. You can also tweet your latest sale and offer special Twitter-only discounts. Sharing Facebook posts create trails back to your website.
A robust social media presence gives you credibility, access to your customer base, and a chance to grow exponentially when your posts and tweets are shared.
Because of recent search algorithm changes made by Google, now local businesses show up in the search results pages with much higher visibility.
But, if your content and address on your website isn’t handled correctly, or you don’t have local listings, like Yelp, Yellowpages, Google +, and more, you’ll have less of a chance to appear in local search results. For example if you are trying to rank well in Santa Barbara, it’s important that your local listings all uses the same addresses and details, so that the search engines have no doubt that you are in Santa Barbara.
Acquiring so-called “co-citations” and “concurrences”, along with proper “Schema” labeling will help you rank higher.
Make the best use of this fact by targeting your keywords to appeal to your local market. Don’t aim for keywords on a national level. Instead, use your town, city, county, and state in the keywords you want to rank for.
Inbound links are still one of the best ways to build credibility with visitors and with Google. It’s a sign of trust and credibility when another site links to yours.
But they must be high quality, and “earned” from relevant websites. This means that if your website, content, other online marketing activities, and your products or services consistently delights your customers, you will “earn” the mentions by them and others.
Also, make sure your site, in turn, link to trusted sources of information and valuable websites that will help your visitors. Providing quality in what you do, and how you do it, will always be rewarded.
It is best if other sources include brand mentions, social media link building and co-citations. These work on the SEO level and also to help you brand your product.
We’re serious about getting you results on the Search Engines. That’s why we only work with clients we are positive we can help. Fill out the form below, we’ll do some initial research and respond within the next 48 hours letting you know if we are a good fit.