Search engine optimization has become one of the most fundamental parts of running a business.  In fact, research revealed that 4 in 5 customers conduct local searches online. About 88% of this group searched using their smartphones while 84% used computers and tablets.

Search engines like Google are constantly updating their algorithms to provide its users with the most relevant results available on the web. What once used to be heavily dependent on keywords has now been upgraded to full-blown inspection of websites that weeds out the ones with insignificant content.

So how can you leverage SEO for your site amidst the sophisticated algorithms and the ongoing mobile revolution? Here are seven things you need to do.

1. Come up with a strategy

Everything begins with a strategy whether it’s SEO or online marketing, you need to have a direction. You don’t meet with your SEO specialist empty handed. Be specific with your goals like what kind of conversions you want, which specific pages you want users to visit, which reliable directories you want to appear on, and more.

Set your objectives and work this out with an SEO specialist. It will also help him or her in recommending the best ways to get the SEO results you want. From your end, it will help you in doing the next step, which is coming up with keywords.

2. Conduct research on relevant keywords

Keywords are the SEO flags in your website. It is what search engines use to understand what your site has in common with the queries being sent to them. To build a solid campaign, there should be anchor keywords that will lay the groundwork for your SEO strategy.

Keywords need to be specific to your company and industry. They can be as short as one word or as long as a phrase. They need to be simple and conversational. Just think of how you would search for something online.

3. Link up with trusted sources

Links are a huge part of getting great search engine ranking. They’re like positive votes for your site. Your content needs to be backed up by reliable, relevant sources so focus on creating links within texts. Try to avoid the common “click here” method. Instead, write out the citation or the name of your source.

The temptation to buy links on other sites may be strong but your best bet is to avoid it all together. Link buying and selling are against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines which will significantly affect your rankings. Be as organic and credible as possible!

4. Content is still king

About 72% of marketers believe that relevant content creation is the most effective SEO tactic.

Websites need to provide informative, high-quality content in order to boost rankings. However, if there is anything that Google hates, it’s content duplicates.

Avoid republishing articles at all costs for this can ruin your site’s search rankings! Instead, churn out original content that is valuable and informative to your customers. Regularly updated content is an indicator of a site’s relevancy (which search engines love) so find ways to always keep it fresh!

5. Make navigation easy

Google does not only look into content but it also analyzes the flow and structure of your website. It’s important that your site is responsive to mobile use. Search engines regularly send out automated programs called web crawlers to visit your site and understand your content. The more accessible the site, the better it’s ranking.

Make sure that your domain name is also representative of your brand, product, or service. Take for example searchengineland.com or entrepreneur.com. They come up first in search engine results when you search for SEO or entrepreneur topics. Why? Because their domain name is both relevant and accessible to users.

6. Optimize your site’s load speed

A site’s load speed is a vital part not only for search engine rankings but also for converting visitors to customers. Studies have shown that 40% of website visitors abandon a site that takes longer than three seconds to load.

Help improve your ranking by optimizing your website to load faster. Optimize images or pieces of codes that are causing the delay. Switching from a shared server to a virtual private network (VPN) setup can significantly reduce load time, too. The average user has no patience for a page that takes forever to load so make sure your site loads in a snap!

7. Track your progress

A strategy is nothing without progress tracking and results analysis. This will help you understand what you’re doing right and what needs to be back on the drawing board. It will also give you a reference point in terms of success.

Analytics tools like Google Analytics, KissMetrics, and SimilarWeb can help you understand site visitor behavior. Analytics can tell you a lot about how people interact with your site and how much traffic search engines are sending you.

Many businesses invest in an SEO expert to dramatically boost their search engine ranking. If you can’t afford it as of the moment, you can also do it on your own by following these steps we just listed. At the end of the day, any changes in your site that would make your customers happy is likely to do the same for search engines because you both have the same goal and that is to give the best service to users.

Do you need an extra hand with your SEO? Sign up for our free five-hour trial!

Learn more about SEO on our SEO Basics 101 series!

Pepper Virtual Assistants is a business solutions firm that specializes on virtual administrative and personal assistance, online marketing, customer support, and copywriting. We are known for reliability through our managed services, responsive client handling backed by extensive training, and rockstar virtual assistants hired for their skills and expertise.

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