if it aint broke dont fix it“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is the mantra adopted by many companies when it comes to their online marketing strategy and the content of their website. From their perspective, a website that has contributed to the growth of their business by attracting visitors, turning those visitors into customers and generally developing their brand has been a total success. It can be difficult for those who have experienced internet marketing success in the past to adopt new strategies, just as it can be difficult for someone who has had success without an online presence to be convinced of a website’s importance. The problem with resting on your laurels in this way is, of course, that your competitors may not be. Another problem with failing to update your internet marketing strategy is that the rules are constantly changing. What was once a successful tactic that caused Google’s algorithms to reward your site with a top ranking may no longer be a significant ranking factor. Because Google is constantly improving on and otherwise altering the formula they use to judge your website against others, you need to be vigilant in order to maintain your status. Businesses might remain calm when they realize their site no longer ranks as highly as it once did, only to panic once they see a drop in customers and revenue as a result of the rankings drop.

Back To Basics

back to the basicsSavvy internet marketers know that they have to scramble each year to update their marketing plans. But even for these enlightened few who are aware of the often fickle nature of Google’s ranking algorithms, updating their marketing plans in a comprehensive way can still seem like a tremendous burden. As is the case with any large task, it helps to break things down into smaller basic tasks. Perhaps the biggest part of your online marketing strategy is SEO (search engine optimization) This article is going to talk a little about some of the basic tactics needed to improve your SEO (and thus how highly your site ranks when people search on Google) in 2017.

Press Releases

Press ReleasePress releases can be an important part of your overall SEO strategy. It is important to understand, though, exactly how the press releases you create contribute to your overall SEO strategy. The traditional conception of a press release is an announcement of a noteworthy event or announcement designed to attract the attention of the media, potential customers or both. For SEO purposes, however, press releases serve the primary function of what is called link building. Link building is the process of increasing the number of other sites that link back to your own website. The reason it is an important part of an SEO strategy is that these links from other sites back to your site—known as external links. These are an important factor in the diversity of your link strategy which can affect how your site ranks on Google. By creating press releases and having them published on online press release distribution services like PRWeb or PR Newswire, you are diversifying the number and category of websites who link to you. This improves your overall SEO. Another thing to consider about press releases is that you need to make sure they do not have a negative effect on your ranking. In the past, internet marketers had a tendency to cram keywords into press releases anywhere they could fit throughout the summaries. While this may have been a useful tactic in the past, in 2017 this practice has the potential to actually negatively affect your ranking if you use them as an anchor text. Google’s algorithms are now capable of detecting certain forms of keyword overuse and penalizing your site as a result. Instead, Google now favors press releases (and content in general) that makes sense and flows naturally in a coherent narrative. You can look at a press release as a way to increase your brand and to obtain natural links from news sources to your website. When you write your press release it’s a good idea to try to rank to a page that is relevant to your press release, possibly a social channel of yours, or something else that is relevant. Utilize your press releases in every ethical way you can to build your brand.

Business Citation Building

local citationsBusiness citation building is another important step in the process of an effective local SEO strategy. It is beneficial for SEO purposes to have your business name and address mentioned on other websites, with a brand link or naked url leading back to your site. This is not an opportunity to stuff keywords in titles, this will do nothing for you but over optimize your links leading to your site, which can penalize your website. Another place that is good to have your business’s name and address mentioned is on local chamber of commerce websites. These local chamber of commerce websites are often considered to be high quality and thus provide a further boost to your ranking. The local nature of the citations also plays a role. For example, if your business is referenced on the website of the local online newspaper or other website that is specific to your locality, then it affirms the status of your business as part of that location and community. When people go to search for products or services within that city, as is the standard operating procedure when people perform searches, your business will be ranked appropriately high, all other factors being equal.

Schema Code For Your Website

Schema code is essentially information that you include on your website to provide extra, beneficial information about your website to users and search engines like Google. For example, schema code may display contact information or a list of services or upcoming events. Schema code is a way to surround the content of your website with information about what it actually is. This enables the search engine to, in a way, understand what the data and content of your website means in addition to what it says. The search engine is then able to pass that information onto users who are searching for that specific information. Once you get the hang of using schema code, it can dramatically improve your ranking results. In a recent case study a plumber was ranking 34 without schema code, when schema code was added to the website it increased their ranking to 7 within 48 hours.

Proper On-Page SEO

on page seoProper on-page SEO refers to the process of making sure that the actual content of your web site is designed in such a way that is conducive to success in the search result rankings. Many on-page SEO factors involve the content of the website. The quality of the content—the text, sounds, videos, images, etc.—must be of good quality and be relevant to the intended audience in order to be considered good content. Furthermore, this content needs to be linkable and able to provide traffic to the website. Good URL structure, which refers to the order of the information within the URLs throughout your website, is also a factor considered by search engines. Alt img tags, which are basically descriptions of any images on your site, and title tags, the names of each page of your website, also need to be optimized to ensure good results. Another potential factor related to on-page SEO is the site speed. One way to check the speed of your site is to check its Google PageSpeed Insight Score. There are several factors that can affect this score, including server configuration, HTML structure, images, JavaScript and CSS. Boosting this score, particularly for mobile sites, may become an even larger part of a site’s ranking going forward according to John Muller from Google. If you find that you don’t have a good score there are articles on how to improve your Google Speed Insight score.

Weekly Blog Writing

Maintaining a blog, if it is done correctly, is also an effective local SEO tactic. Like with press releases, poor blog writing practices may end up doing your SEO more harm than good. Since the rules for effective blog writing for SEO purposes are always changing, it is important to stay current with best practices. Getting your blogs out there with content distribution tools, such as those through IFTTT, are also a great way to improve your results. Ultimately, all of these SEO tactics are well worth the effort in order to grow your business.