A decade ago, most businesses that wanted to climb to the top of Google's search results were focused on search engine optimization, and some used unethical tactics to increase visibility in search results. However, the algorithms for search engines have since evolved, and marketers need to focus on creating high-quality, value-added content in order to earn a prime spot in search results.
Thanks to these advancements in search engine algorithms, many of the shady digital marketing firms that used these black-hat search engine optimization tactics are out of business. While it's become more challenging for businesses to earn a high search ranking, they've discovered that creating content with substance is the key to earning genuine links pointing to their website.
Trying to master search engine optimization can sometimes feel like rocket science; however, if you stick to the basics, you're going to see results. Here are four fundamental components of a successful search engine optimization strategy in 2018:
1. Responsive Website Design
If you're invested in growing your business online, you've probably heard a lot about responsive website design. Although, just because you've heard this buzzword doesn't mean that you have a clear understanding of what it means.
Responsive design provides your website visitors with an optimal viewing and navigation experience regardless of the type of device (smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer) used to access your website. With responsive design, the device that you're using to access the website is taken into consideration, and the screen is automatically resized to provide for a positive user experience.
The reason why responsive website design has become so critical to your search engine optimization strategy is because more consumers are now browsing the internet using mobile devices than desktop computers. As a result, search engines like Google now give preference to mobile-friendly websites in search results. While there are a few ways to create a mobile-friendly website for your business, responsive website design is the preferred method.
2. Online Reputation
It's always been important for a business to have a good reputation, and it's even more critical to be a reputable brand with the accessibility of online reviews. If you're trying to attract local traffic to your business, you should know that online reviews play a crucial role in how your website is ranked.
The reason why Google ranks websites with quality reviews higher than those with poor reviews or no reviews at all is because Google rightfully makes the assumption that consumers want to do business with reputable companies. Are you asking your customers to write online reviews for your business? Building up a reservoir of five-star online reviews for your business will help your search engine optimization strategy and bring you more business.
How are you currently monitoring your online reputation? In the event that your business receives a bad online review, you need to promptly address the review and resolve the situation. By using an online monitoring service, you can proactively manage your hard-earned reputation and minimize the impact of a negative review.
3. Quality Content Distribution
Investing the time to create authentic, value-added content needs to be a priority for your business. Consistently publishing fresh, high-quality content on your business blog and social media accounts will position you as an authority in your industry and help you to increase your search ranking. It's not enough to just use one platform to deliver content to your audience. You need to distribute genuine, useful content on multiple online platforms to maximize your visibility and truly provide value to your audience.
It takes time to create quality content. According to the latest research, marketers in 2017 spent an average of two to three hours writing blog posts. If you don't have the time to invest in producing and distributing quality content, it's in your best interest to use a content marketing partner to handle this critical aspect of online marketing for you.
It's human nature to want instant gratification. If you've spent hours upon hours of creating value-added content, you expect results. However, with organic content, it takes time before you realize the fruits of your labor. The companies that have already achieved a prime spot in search rankings got there for a good reason: they're consistently publishing high-quality, relevant content and are proactively managing their online reputation. You, too, can climb to the top of search rankings over time if you view search engine optimization as a long term strategy.
In summary, considering that 40 percent of all e-commerce transactions originate through search engines, developing a successful search engine optimization strategy needs to be a priority for your business. Use the four tactics outlined above to help you increase your online awareness, manage your reputation, and get your website to the top of search results.
Understanding the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization is no easy task, and it's in your best interest to partner with an agency that is well-versed in this area. Contact us at New York Ave to learn how we can help your business get to the first page of Google with organic search engine optimization.