If your prospects can’t find you at the Google search box, then it is well worth your time to optimize your content, keywords and entire web presence for organic search. And you want to because more than 1 billion Google searches are performed every day; 85% of those searchers are most likely to click on the organic side (left-hand side) of the search results.
Getting to the top of Google’s search results requires ongoing commitment to optimizing your entire web presence.
Here are five SEO tips and tactics that will help you improve your search engine rankings, increase eyeballs to your online store and impact sales.
1. How do you rank now?
Before investing any time in SEO it’s best to understand how you currently rank for the keywords that you want to be found for. Accurate SEO rankings are challenging to obtain because
Google personalizes search results for everyone.
If you go to the Google search box and search on your own product, it may appear as though you are #1 because you’ve likely searched on the keyword before and Google is personalizing the search for you. However, a prospect searching for your product for the first time might see your website or product page ranked #7.
SEO ranking results are also different by country. So if you’re located in France but trying to be found in Google.com, it is almost impossible to understand your actual SEO ranking.
Gaining insight into your true, unskewed, non-personalized SEO ranking for a particular keyword phrase requires access to an SEO ranking tool.
2. Closing the keyword gap.
The keyword gap is a concept I use to describe the fact that your prospects are most likely using a different keyword to find your products and services compared to the keyword you would use. For example, if you are selling “gizmos” your prospects may actually refer to them as “gadgets” in the Google search box.
Closing your keyword gap is about understanding how your prospects and customers are searching and adjusting your keyword strategy to match their intentions.
The only way to close your keyword gap is through keyword research. Studying your website analytics as well as talking to your customers are two great ways to get started. (Download: Getting Your Keywords Right Workbook)
3. Continuous content.
A strong SEO strategy starts with a continuous commitment to content. Content is at the heart of SEO. Without content, you’ll never be found in Google. Keep in mind that Google loves fresh, relevant content.
Start with evaluating your website and deciding if you think the content throughout your site could be improved. How do you take what you learned in #2 above and work those keywords into your content?
A regular blogging strategy will also boost and help maintain high SEO rankings when the content is optimized for the keyword phrases you are attempting to rank for. Brainstorm blog topics in advance. Think about stories about your products, the clients that love them, how they use them, etc. Post your blog content on your blog site and also Tweet it, Facebook it, YouTube It and Google+ it.
4. YouTube; YouBeFound.
YouTube is the second busiest search engine only after its parent, Google. Once you close your keyword gap and have great content, putting in the extra effort to publish video content on YouTube and optimizing it for search will really pay off.
Not only will you be found when a prospect searches directly from the YouTube search box, but YouTube results can also be embedded in the Google search results page. This increases the likelihood of you occupying multiple rank positions in Google for your product. Who doesn’t want that?
Ensure you have sufficient links back to your website from the video page and reference the keyword in your voice over. And remember, your videos don’t have to be fancy or expensive.
5. Socialize your online store.
According to both Google and Bing, social signals now account for 8% to 10% of their organic search algorithms. Your social media presence now matters to SEO! This means that Google is evaluating the volume of social signals that are being produced by your web presence.
A social signal can be a Twitter tweet or retweet, a Facebook Like or Share, or a Google +1. Here are a few tips to help increase your social signals:
- Ensure you have the social sharing icons on every page of your website. Not just the home page, but every shopping cart page. It is about providing your shoppers with endless opportunities to click the Like or Share or Tweet button.
- Incorporate Facebook into your site wherever possible. For example, add a Facebook Fan Box to your web pages as well as the Facebook Comments App to your blog.
- If possible, add your customers to your Google+ Circles and follow them on Twitter. They may reciprocate and retweet your product tweets or share your content in their circles.
- SEO Your Business Facebook Page. There are even more tips and tricks available in this SEO Your Business Facebook Page How-To Guide.
All this “SEO stuff” may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Take it one step at a time, spend an hour per day figuring it out and it will pay off. SEO results do not happen overnight, but they do happen. It is a never-ending process but one worth investing in.