It is that time of year when you need to review your website and SEO marketing strategy; then start looking ahead to what you may need to keep the same or do differently in 2013. Search engine optimization and SEO marketing have changed over the past year, Google continues to make updates to its search algorithm and content is evolving. Websites that are actively managed will continue to perform well and stay ahead of the pack.
Online marketing competition for user attention is fierce; below are a few things you must do to stay agile and keep pace with the others who are vying for your SERP spot.
SEO marketing resolutions to consider in 2013:
- Optimize your website and blog with SEO best practices. No easy out on this one. As I say to clients, not doing this is the equivalent to having a store and not putting the lights on. Here is a great guide by Google to help you get started with your website review: SEO Guidelines
- Content is king. Repeat this phrase until it becomes a team mantra. Great, unique content will continue to rule in 2013 and it no longer just means well-written copy. We are certainly not dogging the written word because excellent copy is critical to your website. The definition of great content is just becoming broader. Your SEO marketing toolbox now needs to include infographics that are compelling for your product or service, photography that helps your audience visualize your brand and video that tells a brand story. Humans are visual beings and love to look at pictures, not to mention our attention spans are not what they used to be.
Create visuals that encourage viewers to explore and SHARE your brand. There is a reason why content curation sites like Pinterest and Scoop.It took off in 2012, people like to stop and look.
- Be socially active. Actively participate in your social media presence. Social media is an online marketing must have, not just a nice to have. It is true that not every social media site is right for your target audience, but there is most likely a place where your B2B or B2C customers are going to look for information or make connections. You need to find out where that is. If you still aren’t convinced, think of it this way, you have a target market and they are online in huge numbers. If you are not there, I can assure you that your competitors are. Don’t miss out on the conversation and opportunity to hear from your customers.
- Work smarter and know the competition. Gather intelligence on your website and competitors. There are many online tools that give you access to important competitive marketing data.
Can you answer these questions?
- Do you know what keyword terms are driving visitors to your site?
- Do you know what search engines think your site is about?
- Are you analyzing your website pages to ensure they are fully optimized for the keyword terms you are targeting?
- Do you know how your competitors rank for relevant keyword terms that are important to your business?
- Own your brand identity. Manage your online business listings and maps. Claim your online business listings on all of the major search engines and directories. Fill out complete and accurate information. Businesses that have complete and consistent listing information across directories and maps will perform better on search engine results (SERP.) Search engines look for relevancy and consistency.
- Think local. Make local business SEO a priority. In addition to creating complete and consistent business listings across search engines and directories, create pages on your website that are rich in detail for your local market. Consider creating landing pages that are unique for a particular market. Local business SEO can lead to big business for those who make it a priority for their online marketing strategy.
- Become mobile. Your website needs to go where your customers are going and they are increasingly going mobile, in huge numbers. Hand held devices are quickly outpacing traditional computers and that market is just going to continue to grow. You want to be sure your target market can SEE the information they need while they are on these devices. Don’t lose their attention because they can’t access what they need on your site.
- Know thyself. Assess your online marketing know-how and manpower; know your strengths and weaknesses. Successful SEO marketing requires consistent attention over time. If your marketing team is resource limited, and let’s be honest…maybe it is just you, strongly consider exploring a partnership with an online marketing and SEO marketing agency. It is very likely there is an agency that can work within your project parameters.