If you’re using the beginning of the year to take stock of your digital marketing plan and asking yourself if you’re hitting all your marks, you’re not alone. You might be smack in the middle of evaluating your SEO strategy. Is it still a priority or has some other buzzword eclipsed the need for a strong marketing plan? Rather than fade into obscurity in favor of the next big thing, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization remains the gold standard of search engine marketing.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization began in the mid 1990’s when webmasters began paying attention to the ways that search engines were ranking their websites. Because the technology was so young, search engines themselves were really still figuring out their exact function, it was easily manipulated. As the industry aged and search engines matured, Google’s algorithm learned how to better read and index sites. Today, that algorithm sets the tone for how most search engines evaluate websites.
Why is SEO important?
The ways that our websites are ranked by search engines become even more important as the internet becomes a more crowded space — there is real competition to get in front of customers. And even more so as consumers increasingly head to the internet to do preliminary research and even as the rise of online shopping occurs. In 2016, a survey conducted in part by UPS found that a majority of consumers reported that a majority of their shopping is done online.
Optimizing how we rank in online searches, or search engine marketing, has the power to put us in front of future customers. It’s how they’re looking for us and where they expect to find us. Moreover, it puts us in front of customers looking to purchase the services we provide. It’s of the utmost importance in running any sort of business in 2019.
What does SEO in 2019 look like?
In the olden days, way back in the 1990s, people were all about keywords. Arbitrarily putting keywords that were favorable to the rankings you were after became so popular that a term was coined, keyword stuffing, that referred to this sometimes-deceitful practice. In fact, search engine algorithms began to penalize sites they thought were practicing this. Keywords are still important, but along with the ranking algorithm, their use has matured.
Absolutely maintain a curated list of keywords that connect your site with the customers you’re looking to reach. They should be in page titles, tags and peppered throughout your site’s copy. But don’t use a fixed list and stuff your site. Instead, continue to monitor the ways that keywords draw traffic and update when necessary. Instead of thinking, how do I get more keywords onto my site?, concentrate on creating fresh content and using keywords as guideposts throughout.
Search engine marketing in 2019 must prioritize the mobile experience. This means a few things. For one, Google has moved into a Mobile First paradigm, in which their ‘crawlers’ (those guys that evaluate websites for rank) prioritize mobile versions over desktop. And if Google is doing it, then so should you. Make sure the mobile experience of your site is up to snuff.
Additionally, make sure that customers on the go can find your site easily. Google Business Pages are used by the majority of your customers on smartphones and are free for businesses to update — but it is your responsibility to maintain this! Make sure your business hours are accurate and the information up to date.
Websites today have to compete with the attention spans of folks who are used to getting what they want immediately. That means websites have about two seconds to fully load before the average user gives up. Make sure that your site is not cumbersome and moves quickly. And it’s not just the user, search engine marketing must include speedy sites because web crawlers use this in their evaluation criteria.
If search engine marketing is something you’d rather leave to professionals, choose AuDSEO. Here at AuDSEO, we’re constantly keeping every aspect of SEO in mind so that you don’t have to. Let us take care of all your SEO marketing needs while you attend to the important work of providing the best hearing health care.