The field of Search Engine Optimization has proved to be one of the most fluid and rapidly evolving facets of digital marketing. The techniques and best practices of 2010 hold very little, if any relevance in the world of 2014. Methods that were once employed to achieve instant gratification in the form of top ranks in search results can be downright destructive to your business and digital brand.
Instead, SEO has matured and evolved into a full bodied and holistic practice. In many ways the methodology of developing good SEO is quite similar to developing a brick and mortar business. Your digital presence and website should be no less important and receive no less attention than your physical business and the quality of your services. Much as your storefront, practices, and employees are an extension and representation of your company, your website serves as a indispensably valuable bridge between you and potential customers. Let us take a look at some very important considerations you should be making for your business on the internet.
Good web-design serves as an attractive first impression to any potential customer. Great web design not only looks amazing, but is optimized for maximum ranking potential. Think of it like this – even if your shop looks great on the interior, is it in the best location to be discovered? is it easily visible to those passing by? and is it in a neighborhood that people feel safe venturing to? Just like a normal building has to adhere to building codes and standards, websites must adhere to guidelines to avoid being penalized.
Chances are you wouldn’t bring customers into your storefront if it was an unappealing, dirty, and disorganized space. With over 80% of customers using the web to make their spending decisions it’s important that your first impression makes an impact. Clean designs, ease of navigation, and the ability to build trust and authority quickly are paramount to generating leads and business. Search engines like Google have recently begun evaluating web pages from the perspective of the customer, which means that if your website is under optimized and unattractive, there’s a good chance your rankings will reflect this.
Location, location, location
Claiming your spot on the map isn’t as simple as it once was. The advent of the smartphone and increased reliance on GPS and digital maps have complicated the once simple act of “getting found.” Instead of a listing in the phonebook, the internet relies on a complicated series of citations and address verifications to ensure that your business gets found. The methods of going about this depends on many things, including your area of operations and type of service.
However, ensuring great Local SEO is paramount to many business models. Your store serves no purpose if no one is able to find it. If you aren’t on the local map, you are invisible for all intents and purpose to the increasing (probably majority) of people who rely on local search to find goods and services. While things in the past may have been more simplified, the expanded technicality of modern local search has vastly increased a business’s potential visibility when implemented correctly and methodically.
You are only as credible as your associations
Just like memberships and participation in local Chambers of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau can help build trust with potential customers, your digital associations can make or break your name on the internet. The websites that link to you are a lot like individuals and associations. The more associations you maintain with spammy and shady websites, the more at risk your business is of being discredited. You wouldn’t have mafiosi types in and out of your business, so why should you be associated with shady types in the digital realm.
Search engines have evolved to catch these shady associations, which at one point may have had positive SEO benefits. If this is the case and you get caught, your visibility will be punished, often with devastating results. Good search engine optimizers will help you build and maintain the most organic and trustworthy associations possible. In a way, this is a form of digital reputation management that will put you in good standing with the search engines and prevent negative penalties in the future.
Build long lasting infrastructure.
Just like a brick and mortar business a website and digital marketing strategy should be viewed as a long term investment. By taking the time to ensure a proper foundation in the digital realm, you are ultimately setting yourself up for future success that will be long lasting and sustainable. Establishing this foundation and strategy can be daunting, but don’t despair, you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, approaching the problem of digital marketing without the proper advice can be downright disastrous. We cannot stress the importance of finding experienced and proven guidance to help you through the process. At Jemsu, we’ve helped countless businesses put their brand online and establish a successful and comprehensive marketing plan to suit their short and long term needs. When embarking on your digital marketing endeavors you should strongly consider hiring a trustworthy team who is willing and capable to work with your business plans and vision to create a workable and beneficial digital marketing strategy.
Instead of searching for the perfect location, you must build your own in many cases from scratch.