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First 3 Steps for Creating a long term seo strategy

It’s a new year and you have a renewed commitment to your online marketing efforts.  Your business needs to gain new visibility, new web traffic, and new leads, right? In the digital marketing world, that sounds like the start of a long term seo strategy.

If so, and you don’t have a magic wand, then it’s important to work toward achieving visibility in search engines (and, getting a long-term strategy to do so). In this post, we’ll identify the 3 main steps you need to take in order to create a long term SEO strategy.

Before developing your SEO strategy, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How do you know if your business ranks well on Google?
    Try it out yourself. Type in the word(s) you believe your audience is searching for, and see if your website pops up.
  2. What does your business rank well for?
    Businesses normally rank well for their brand names, but not general category, product, and services search queries. If your business ranks well for product/services and category-related searches, congratulations! You are a marketing ninja.

If you think your website ranks well without doing much work, I would recommend you take a serious look at your web analytics to understand what type of traffic your website attracts. Then, ask yourself:

  • What search queries are bringing traffic? Are they for the business name or products/services?
  • Is it qualified visitors or garbage clicks?
  • What are those visitors doing when they get to the website? Are they interacting or converting in some way?

But the truth is most businesses don’t unknowingly or accidentally rank well for non-brand related searches without having a well-defined and executed long term SEO strategy. So, how do you create a winning search optimization strategy? Just follow these steps.

Three steps for creating a long term SEO strategy

1.) Ensure you have a good website (and pay attention to details!)
Remember, ranking well or gaining visibility in search engines is only an intermediate goal. The ultimate goal is to retain and convert brand new visitors into customers/leads. To achieve this, not only do you need a long term SEO strategy, but you need a website that provides a good user experience! Now days you can’t have good SEO without a good website.

Google now considers the user’s experience in visiting your website as a ranking factor. So, don’t just focus on the techniques that once helped you get a better ranking on Google. It is just as important to focus on designing a website that visitors will actually want to look at, navigate, and interact with. If your web pages take too long to load, visitors will leave, and Google will use this in its ranking results. If your website is designed poorly, visitors will leave shortly after arriving. This will also impact your ranking on search engines as Google now considers page load times and bounce rates to determine rankings. (Read How To Get Started With SEO) More importantly, no amount of SEO can keep people from leaving a site that is ill-designed or lacks content. Having a solid design and well-developed website has become an imperative for ranking, attracting and converting website visitors.

2.) Focus on the quality and depth of your content
Google regularly updates its search results pages and changes its algorithm. It is rather simple: The happier we are with its search results, the more we will use Google. For this reason, Google and other major search engines are constantly seeking to provide the best search experience to each and every one of us. The best way for a website to survive through the constant flows of change is to provide quality content to its users. Quality content has been and continues to be king!

Google’s updates and algorithm changes will continue to place a higher priority on quality content to ensure websites displayed in its search results are worth reading.

3.)  Don’t prioritize quick and dirty solutions over long term SEO strategy.
SEO is like exercising: No magic pills. Many website administrators focus on boosting their Google rankings in the immediate future, and choose techniques which will backfire in the long run. Instead of focusing on quick and dirty solutions, opt for long term SEO techniques. It takes time–it’s not magic. Most long term efforts seem like a lot of work upfront, but the work effort invested will more than pay for itself over time.

If your main SEO techniques are doing things like swapping links with other websites, you truly should change your focus. These techniques may provide a quick boost in search engine rankings, but they don’t meet the higher standard of quality that will help you in the long run. Instead of wasting your time with these short term fixes, we recommend you focus on improving the quality of your own website. Once your website has something of quality to offer, you can reach out to related businesses and pitch them a guest post for their site. Getting a guest post on a site with a large audience will help bring qualified traffic back to your site. As you probably guessed, doing the above will take time-a lot of time in some cases. This is the reason we equate SEO to exercising. To achieve truly lasting results, there are no quick and dirty solutions or magic pills.

Now what?
If you still wonder if you need SEO, and are already ranking well for your products and services, my recommendation would be to dig deeper. Without SEO and creating good and compelling content on a regular basis, you’re most likely not going to receive good rankings and attract the traffic you desire (unless you have a magic wand, of course).

Remember that ranking well is only a means to an end. The ultimate goal is to retain and convert brand new visitors. To achieve this goal, you need to have a website that provides a good user experience and a solid, long term SEO strategy.

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Beth is our VP of Digital Marketing Strategy who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.

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