Did you know that, according to Forrester, 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine? That's why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important for brands today. As the only marketing automation and email marketing solution that's natively embedded in Microsoft Dynamics 365, ClickDimensions is committed to helping Dynamics 365 and CRM users become better marketers, which is why we're pleased to bring you these four tips to keep in mind as you optimize your website:
1. Audience first. Always put your audience first. Not only will you convert more leads, but catering to your audience, you will also rank higher in search engines. Google's most recent update, dubbed "Fred," focused on removing low-value content from the top of search results. This content was written specifically for revenue generation and did not provide value to a searcher – in other words, it didn't put Google's audience first. Be sure to follow Google's Webmaster Guidelines to find out what kind of content is best for websites and what to avoid, like irrelevant keywords and hiding text or links on your pages.
2. Map keywords to your buyer journey. Do you know what questions your buyers are asking before they make a purchase? Do your keywords match the needs of your audience? Review your marketing personas and think about what questions are being asked in each part of the buyer cycle. What do they search for when they begin their search? What question do the ask once they're looking for a solution? And finally, what do they search for when they've decided on a solution? For example, searches may start as "men's jackets" but they eventually lead to "men's red Columbia winter jacket size L." Use Google's autocomplete feature (as known as Google Suggest) to see what kind of keywords and phrases are being used for your main keyword. From there, you can begin to extrapolate questions your buyers may be asking before choosing your product or service.
3. Be social. As with content marketing, it's important to provide value to your audience through social media. Social media follower counts do not play a role in ranking or SEO, rather, each post is treated as a new page for your brand. Each tweet or Facebook post is looked at as another link in your SEO link profile. Quantity of social posts is not enough to move the needle, however. Google is interested in social authority and which brands consistently get linked to day-in and day-out.
4. Get back to basics. Google continually tweaks their algorithm to incorporate new information and puts emphasis on different aspects of your SEO profile, which means sometimes what works today may not work tomorrow. However, there are SEO basics every business should follow, like:
- Include the keyword in your title, H1 and in the text of your website pages
- Include similar keywords in your copy (these are referred to as LSI keywords)
- Include ALT text for all images
- Include both internal and external links on the page
- Create links to your page/content from external websites
The list could go on and on, but what's important to understand is that even if you cross everything off this checklist, it may still take time or additional work before you rank for a particular keyword. There is no magic formula for the number of links you need or the amount of on-page optimization that needs to happen before your page rank improves. Focus on listening to your audience's needs and writing content based around what will answer their questions in every stage of the buying cycle.