How SEO Basics Contribute to Your Success in 2020
By Joe DeWitt
Market Hardware Content Marketing Expert
Forward-thinking businesses had it easy a decade ago… If they chose to run an SEO campaign, the lack of competition when it came to Web Marketing made it easy to show up on Page One and get their phones ringing. 2020 presents a different story. An unprecedented amount of small businesses are running Search Engine Optimization campaigns, meaning you can’t just run an SEO campaign – you have to run an effective SEO campaign using the Web’s latest best practices.
Stay on Top of Your Reports
Since SEO is an ongoing effort to boost your Website traffic and new customer calls, it doesn’t make sense to utilize a static strategy. If you’re a DIY-er, make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your site. This will provide you with metrics (like page views, traffic sources, which device people use to view your site) to measure your campaign. If you work with a Web Marketing provider, make sure they send you reporting that makes sense to you (it’s a big red flag if they won’t show you results of their work).
One of the simplest measurement tools are keyword rankings. You (or your provider) should regularly perform searches on Google for combinations of your services followed by an area that you serve. If your company shows up as one of the first results when you search “garage door repair Potomac MD,” you are performing strongly. If you can’t find your company until the 4th page, you've got work to do. Now, as for how to improve those rankings...
Remember to EAT!
You could argue that a well-balanced diet can have a good impact on your SEO campaign, but when we say EAT, we’re referring to your company’s Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness online.
Search engines like to reward Websites for having educational content. When customers are searching for services, they’re also looking for information about this service. Google intends to provide the best match possible when they fetch results for users. Make sure you’re optimizing your site to include informative content about your company and services. This will work wonders for your SEO campaign in the long run, by establishing your company’s authority and expertise on the subject.
Trustworthiness can be boosted by staying on top of your online reviews. Any small business can attest to this: customers will hold you accountable to their experience with your company online (whether they’re right or wrong). To show customers, and Google, that you run a reputable operation, be sure to respond to ALL of your reviews. If you get negative reviews, respond to let them know you want to make the situation right. Make sure to say thanks to the positive reviews, too!
Pro tip: review generation is an excellent way to build your reputation fast. Make sure you have a system in place to reach out to satisfied customers to leave a review online.
Step into the User’s Shoes
User experience has always been a hot topic in Web Marketing, and for good reason: it’s well-known that Google takes this into consideration when ranking sites online. If you want your SEO efforts to work for you, be sure to optimize for the following:
- Page Speed: No one likes to wait, especially online. Make sure that all of the elements of your site (the design, photos, videos, etc.) are optimized to load quickly while still retaining quality. There are plenty of tools online that will tell you how long your site takes to load.
- Mobile Friendly-ness: When someone sees signs of a burst pipe, fallen tree, etc., it’s more likely nowadays that they’re grabbing their phone before they settle down to their desktop computers. More people are visiting Websites online and making a call ASAP, so make sure your Website is kind to mobile visitors. A mobile-friendly Website kills two birds with one stone: you’re pleasing your prospects and search engines!
Pro tip: You don’t need everything on your site to transfer into the mobile experience. Talk to your Website provider about the most important things you feel should be visible on the mobile view of your Website.
Additional SEO Tips:
- SEO doesn’t need to be broad. Focus on local markets for your company first, and then branch out. Make sure your Google My Business listing is claimed, accurate, and consistently updated.
Pro tip: falling behind on your GMB listing maintenance can – and will – result in the listing’s suspension or removal.
- Link building is still a quality way to build on your SEO campaign. When links to your Website are posted on other reputable Websites, Google notices. Offer to write guest posts for local news sites or community blogs. Reach out to complementary businesses to add links to their sites (if you’re a home inspector, ask the electrician that you often refer your customers to!). Exchanging links with businesses in your area or industry contacts you have outside of your market can favorably affect your SEO efforts.
If you’re looking for help measuring your current SEO rankings, Market Hardware is happy to help. Just click this button to request a free ranking report, and we’ll be happy to put one together for you!