Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an important component of any online marketing strategy. SEO can help customers and prospects find you online when searching for your products and services. And, good SEO can complement your other digital marketing tactics, like search engine marketing.
So, with the holidays right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take a look at your SEO to determine whether it’s naughty or nice.
1. SEO Keywords
Naughty: Keyword Stuffing
We all know that SEO is important so searchers can find your business online. But, SEO is also complex and constantly changing. You used to be able to stuff your website with your keywords and appear on the first page of search engines. But, search engines like Google and Bing caught on, and now keyword stuffing can penalize your site so you may not appear in search engine results pages at all.
Nice: Focusing on Topics Rather than Keywords for SEO
Search engines are trying to show searchers the most relevant results for their searches, so they’re getting more sophisticated with keyword matching and keyword phrases. Think about how you usually search: Rather than typing in “Auto Detailing Dallas,” you probably search “car wash near me.” In order to accommodate your website for searches like this, it’s important to have topic pages that take into account the additional keywords associated with your top products and services.
2. Website Content
Naughty: Writing for Search Engines
Have you ever visited a website and found it completely unreadable? This goes hand-in-hand with keyword stuffing, but your website should be readable for searchers rather than written for search engines only. You don’t want to drive visitors to a website they can’t navigate or understand.
Nice: Writing for Searchers
When you develop your website content, it’s important to keep the searcher top-of-mind. Because search engines are adapting to show searchers the most relevant information, they’re able to determine whether or not your website is readable by the common user. Make sure your website content is clear and actionable so you’re driving visitors to contact you.
Naughty: Focusing on Keyword Reports
Many businesses focus too much energy on keyword reports. If you’re ranking on the first page for a keyword no one’s searching for, is that really an indicator of success? Keyword reports don’t tell the full story when it comes to how your website is performing.
Nice: Looking at the Full Picture
You want to measure metrics that matter when it comes to your SEO campaign. These metrics include the number of searchers visiting your website and how many people are converting after finding you on search engines.
Naughty: Inconsistent Business Information Across the Web
One of the things search engines look for when determining which websites to show searchers is consistency. When your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are displayed consistently across the web, it gives the search engines greater confidence in your website. If your business name, address, and phone number are different in multiple places, like directory listings, search engines may not know what’s correct and may not show your website.
Nice: Consistently Checking & Updating Your Business Information Online
It’s important to keep your business information consistent across your website, social media pages, and directory listings. And, you need to make sure you’re either checking this information regularly or managing your listings. This will help you keep your business information consistent wherever you appear online.
5. A Well-Rounded Marketing Strategy
Naughty: Only Running SEO & Expecting Immediate Results
While SEO is important for any local business, it’s not the only marketing strategy to rely on. A good SEO strategy takes time to gain traction while search engines continuously crawl your website as you’re making updates, so expecting immediate results isn’t realistic.
Nice: Pairing SEO with Social & PPC for a Well-Rounded Marketing Program
SEO is the perfect complement to strategies like PPC and social media marketing. PPC and Facebook advertising allow you to instantly start reaching prospects while you’re building up your organic presence on search engines. And, once your website is appearing organically in search results, you can start seeing a lift from running both PPC and SEO campaigns. One study found that 82% of ad clicks are incremental when your business appears in both paid and organic results. This means you may see more conversions and improved clickthrough rates.