Many people who are just starting out in the world of search and internet marketing are under the impression that all they need to do to build a presence for their brand online is launch a website. However, just because a company has a website doesn’t mean that customers will magically flock to it. The key to traffic, visibility, and sales is ranking well in search engine results pages. Unfortunately, ranking well on Google and other search engines is not a one-and-done thing.
Ultimately, boosting your rankings and developing the content you need to get the right organic traffic require an investment of time, energy, and resources. This means developing a coherent strategy, keeping the content on your site fresh, and taking the time to conduct comprehensive keyword and competitor research. Achieving results in terms of Google rankings is like making an investment. You will see slow results at first, but eventually, you will reap the rewards of your diligence. So, what are the key ingredients of a successful search engine ranking investment strategy? Let’s take a look.
Invest in an Overarching Strategy
The first thing you need to invest in when it comes to Google rankings is a robust, coherent SEO strategy. Who is your target audience? What keywords are you trying to rank for? How are you going to integrate keywords into your content? How are you going to build links? How are you going to measure and track your progress? An overarching strategy helps ensure that you are working toward predefined goals and stay on track.
Invest in Developing Excellent Content
An SEO strategy is only as good as its content. Content is arguably the single most important component of any SEO investment strategy. Of course, you will want to populate your website with written copy, but you also need to think beyond that. Visual content is especially valuable in attracting customers’ attention, as is video content. But no matter the type of content you are developing, it is important to remember that you will need to make a sustained investment in content development before you begin to even nudge in your rankings.
“There are no ‘secret formulas’ that will allow your brand to organically rank for relevant search terms overnight. When it comes to search engine optimization, there are no shortcuts...regardless of all of the emails your info box is getting promising those results. To ensure that your website or webpages are discovered by users conducting searches in Google, you must implement the right tactics that appeal to the needs of users and search engines alike,” digital content marketer Gabriel Shaoolian advised in Forbes. “Whatever your industry may be, tailor your content according to the needs of your audience. Stay on top of relevant trends, create ‘how-to’ blog posts, and frequently update older content to make sure you’re continuing to serve your audience with useful and timely information.”
In addition, keep in mind that in today’s world, excellent content isn’t just compelling and relevant. Excellent content also tends to be easily shareable. “There's no guarantee that your amazing content will be shared and seen by the masses. But it's no secret that with social media and other forms of active sharing (for example, email lists and backlinks), great content spreads like wildfire,” iDoneThis CEO Walter Chen explained in Inc. And when your content is shared widely across social media, it feeds back into your SEO strategy positively, as Google is increasingly attuned to social signals. To maximize the chances of content being shared, make sure that it is interesting, evocative, and relevant to your target audience.
Invest in Keyword Research
Keywords are an important element of the SEO equation, so it is important to put the time, energy, and resources into getting them right. Keywords can be divided into two main groups: short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords tend to be generic phrases, whereas long-tail keywords are more complex and specific phrases. The main advantage of short-tail keywords is that they can drive a lot of traffic to your site if you can rank well for them. However, because they are generic terms, it can be relatively hard to rank for them on the first page of SERPs. By contrast, long-tail keywords are much more specific. The bulk of search queries is long tail — searches with five or more words account for close to 80 percent of all searches. However, long-tail keywords don’t tend to generate traffic at the same volumes as short-tail keywords. So, what’s the solution? Well, in order to succeed, you need to invest in both short-tail and long-tail keywords.
Invest in Competitor Research
To boost your rankings, it is a wise idea to invest in developing an understanding of what your competitors are doing. “If you’re trying to get more traffic to your business website, your best strategy is often to start by taking a closer look at what your competitors are already doing to attract visitors to their sites,” SEO expert Kevin Rowe explained in Forbes. “By identifying certain SEO keywords that are in demand, you can build an SEO strategy that helps you maximize your competitive advantages versus other sites — whether that means targeting certain keywords or avoiding others.”
The good news here is that there is a vast number of SEO tools out there that can help you analyze competitor data, including SpyFu, SimilarWeb, and SEMRush, among others. For many of the tools, all you need to do is enter a competitor’s URL and the tool will display the list of keywords for which your competitor ranks, as well as the ranking for each and a variety of other useful metrics, like the total volume of traffic.
Invest in a Great Website
Last but not least, if you truly want to improve your Google rankings, you absolutely need a fantastic website. Not only should your website be visually compelling and informative, it should also be easy for all of your customers to navigate, including those using mobile devices. If you haven’t already invested in mobile web design or responsive web design, you will absolutely want to do so sooner rather than later.
You will also want to make sure the on-page elements of your site are optimized for SEO. This includes meta descriptions, H1 and H2 tags, image alt text, etc. Many people overlook the more technical elements of an SEO strategy, but these on-page elements are ultimately just as important when it comes to rankings. If you need help optimizing any aspect of your website for SEO, it is a wise idea to call in the help of a professional web design agency, like 10twelve. Without an optimized website, your strategy simply won’t succeed.
The bottom line is that when it comes to Google rankings, you simply can’t expect to launch a website and become number 1 overnight. Boosting your rankings and seeing results require a sustained investment of time, energy, and resources in the long term. However, with patience and diligence, your hard work will pay off. Most of our clients don't have the time to do this themselves, or want someone who has the knowledge of content strategy and SEO to help their rankings. Contact us today to discuss your business needs.