In this day and age, an online presence is one of the most crucial elements to a successful business. After all, the Internet has become our go-to for finding out anything we might want to learn, and when most of us hear about something intriguing, the first place we go to get more information is the web. But in the vast online world, how do you make your site stand out and bring in traffic? The answer is interesting content and search engine optimization, or SEO: a set of strategies used to help search engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo) recognize your website as relevant when a user searches for a word related to your company. SEO is a complex and ever-changing field. In fact, at McCauley Marketing Services, our SEO professionals are constantly updating their knowledge bases to stay on the cutting edge and give our clients the best possible results. So it goes without saying that SEO can’t be summed up quickly, but if you’re a beginner, these quick do’s and don’ts can get you started.
…keep search engine optimization in mind from the very beginning stages of building your website. Successful SEO requires a combination of the right web design and site organization as well as an ongoing effort, so incorporating it into each step of the process and consistently re-evaluating is key.
…take the time to write carefully worded page titles and descriptions which are brief but complete.
…keep your URLs as simple as possible, rather than using complicated strings of seemingly random letters and numbers.
…continuously monitor your site’s SEO performance. After all, how else can you know whether your SEO and overall business strategy efforts are working or whether you need to modify?
…post new content to your site frequently. Blogging is one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this.
…make sure the fresh content you’re posting is interesting, original, and useful, especially in medical marketing where people are searching for health-related information.
…include internal links – links to other pages within your site. For instance, if you’re a pediatric office writing a blog about the flu, include a link to the page on your site where you offer flu-related information.
…balance your links correctly. You want to include enough internal links on each page to benefit from them, but having too many links too close together can actually have a negative effect on your SEO.
…promote your site through other means, too, like through word-of-mouth and social media marketing. The more people visit your site regularly, the more relevant a search engine will see it as.
…use enticing page titles that don’t actually describe your content in order to increase traffic.
…forget or choose not to write a description for each page. The description is an opportunity for you to carefully select keywords that will attract the right users to your page, so don’t miss out.
…create multiple pages with the same content. This could result in your site possibly being penalized with a lower priority in the search results.
…use “keyword stuffing”: the unethical tactic of piling dozens or even hundreds of frequently searched-for words in your page, so that your site will show up in more users’ search results even though you don’t have relevant information for them.
…write content purely for search engine optimization. Write with your audience in mind first, with the goal of educating, entertaining, and enticing them when appropriate, then tweak your content as needed to maximize your SEO.
…underestimate the importance of your site being responsive and mobile-friendly.
…believe everything you hear about SEO. Best practices change often, so make sure any advice you’re getting is up-to-date.
If you’re a bit overwhelmed by all this information at once, you’re not alone. SEO is a much more complex field than most people realize before they truly delve into it, and it’s constantly changing. If you don’t have the time to devote to mastering SEO but still want your website to help your company grow, schedule a meeting with McCauley Marketing Services to learn more about how we can help. For more marketing tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.