As organic search results have evolved over the years, so have our optimization tactics. It’s clear that search engines such as Google now place an emphasis on quality content, and with updates like Hummingbird, it’s more crucial than ever to revisit your SEO efforts. Today we’re seeing more of a push toward paid advertising on both search engines and social media platforms, so businesses need to get smarter if they’re going to continue competing in the organic traffic race. And they definitely should continue competing – while paid advertising is often a smart move for your strategy (depending on your business), it shouldn’t be your only move. Organic traffic is still a crucial piece of the pie because it builds your brand’s credibility with users and gives your business a chance to push your competition down the search engine results page (maybe even to the dreaded page two!). We’ve laid out some fresh strategies to help you increase your business’ organic search traffic.
Let’s start with content, as it may be the most important aspect of increasing organic traffic. In our last article, Copywriting for Results: The Most Effective SEO Tactics, we went over the basics of SEO copywriting and gave you some industry insider tips. Content is still king, so developing engaging content should be priority #1 for your business. Building off that, you should also tailor your content to fill a specific gap in consumer knowledge, rather than restating what has already been published on the Web many times. If you are a small business, you may not have the resources to compete with multi-billion dollar companies in search results, but you will be able to grab qualified traffic from them by answering specific user queries with genuinely useful content. Blogging is an excellent platform to create new content as well as signal to search engines that you are updating your site on a regular basis.
And now for something a little more technical. With more and more people using mobile devices for search, investing in a responsive site is a good idea for businesses that want to maximize organic traffic to their sites. We wrote about the benefits of responsive websites in our May article Responsive Design: How Design Translates Seamlessly from Web to Mobile. Even once your responsive site is built, updating and maintaining it is key to a healthy organic search rate. According to a recent BrightEdge study, 27 percent of sites studied have mobile implementation errors. Incorrectly implemented solutions can negatively impact organic search traffic; if your responsive site isn’t working correctly, users simply won’t be able to get there. In short, if you choose to take your site responsive, make sure you build and maintain your site correctly to get the long-term benefits.
The third piece of our new approach is actually not new at all, but it bears repeating because so many businesses let it slip through the cracks: create a sitemap and submit it to search engines regularly. A correctly working sitemap file lays out an organized list of the pages on your site that you want discovered (or “crawled”) by search engines, which helps search engines learn about the structure of your site and index your pages. It also signals to search engines that your pages are still active, even when you haven’t updated the page content. Businesses with amazing content strategies are shooting themselves in the feet by ignoring sitemaps – submitting sitemaps is one of the most cut and dry ways of increasing organic search traffic. If you want all of the benefits of creating and submitting sitemaps without the hassle, contact Sage Island and let us handle your sitemaps for you.
In closing, my biggest tip for maximizing your organic search results over time is to continue paying close attention to new SEO techniques – the field is constantly changing to accommodate new developments in technology and user behavior. What works today may not be the best strategy for tomorrow, so keep your eye on this dynamic field and revise your digital marketing strategy accordingly. Sage Island employs a team of SEO specialists, social media experts, and developers who stay on the cutting edge of search technology for our clients. To learn more about strategies that get results for your business, contact Sage Island today.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
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