Almost all businesses in the 21st century depend on their website to be the backbone of their marketing. A company website fulfils many essential marketing roles; providing product information, closing a sale online, providing good customer service, public relations and publicity. But chief amongst these roles is the important business of acquiring new customers. And perhaps the most effective method of getting those valuable new customers, is developing an effective SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy.

However, technology and the complex operations of the search engines themselves develops at an incredible pace. The wise business owner is advised to hire or consult with a professional SEO expert to ensure their digital marketing plan is keeping up with the current online environment and that their company maintains high rankings in those online searches.

Any SEO professional worth their salt will suggest using a range of different SEO strategies to help you get the results you need. These might include AdWord campaigns or boutique outreach link building strategies. However, there are perhaps five basic SEO strategies which any expert should be looking at when trying to boost your company’s search rankings.

Identifying the most appropriate keywords

Any serious SEO campaign should start by answering the most fundamental question; what are your customers really searching for? Some careful and thorough keyword analysis will identify which keywords and phrases (search terms) are most relevant to your product or service, and are most likely to be used by your customers when searching for your product.

 

Putting keywords in the right places

Having identified the words and phrases customers are using in their online searches, an SEO professional will ensure these key words and phrases are in significant areas of your website. Including key words in page titles, page descriptions, headings, footers, body copy, links, and in the page URL itself can give your SEO performance a dramatic boost.

By focussing on this “meta-data”, search engines will recognize the regular and consistent use of certain key words on your site. This will boost your search rankings with relevant potential customers more likely to find and visit your site.

Developing an effective content marketing strategy

A well-managed regularly updated blog on your website can be a powerful way to improve and maintain your SEO rankings. An effective blog should include well-written, engaging and informative articles that customers will genuinely find interesting and useful. Furthermore, by ensuring the articles include keywords in their content and headings, your website will be more visible to search engines.

But be careful. Content that is obviously copied or plagiarized from other online sources, including other pages on your own site, can work against you. Search engines can effectively punish you for unoriginal content.

Likewise, don’t be tempted to simply cram as many keywords into your content as possible just for the sake of boosting rankings. Not only does it make content unreadable for your customers (putting them off your brand) but major search engines are savvy to this outdated “black hat” technique and will demote your ranking as a result.

 

Ensuring your webpages are responsive and load quickly

Major search engines recognise that web users get bored quickly and don’t like to wait ages for web pages to load onto their browsers. As a result, search engines tend to favour websites which have content that loads quickly and will adapt to different devices (desktop PCs or mobile devices).

A web designer with a good understanding of SEO will design a site that not only looks great on both large screens and smartphones, but will also carefully look at the websites speed. Ensuring images used are not too big, videos not too large, trimming unnecessary code, keeping copy and articles brief and punchy will both please visitors to your site and search engines too.

Use Social Media to promote your site

Search engines have been quick to recognise the significance of social media in the lives of the world’s web users. As a result, having people share your content via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. not only gets potential customers looking at your website, but increasingly, the number of shares and likes your social media content gets positively influences how Google, Bing, etc. rank your website in searches.

A comprehensive social media strategy will focus on the social media platforms most relevant to your customers, establish links with “influencers”, and post engaging sharable content at the most appropriate times of day.