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How to Ramp Up Your SEO (Even If You Aren’t An Expert)

How to Ramp Up Your SEO (Even If You Aren’t An Expert)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be an intimidating term for marketers and business owners alike.  If you have no experience in the field, leveraging the top search engine algorithms may sound like an either impossible or improbable task.

Many self-proclaimed “experts” like to point to a singular type of content or activity as the key to achieving a higher page-rank.  You should avoid being misled by these pieces of advice.  While the practices they preach are certainly helpful, search engines continue to evolve to prevent opportunistic marketers from gaming the system.

There is no singular, “catch-all” solution to your SEO issues.  Rather, your business should take a holistic approach, centered on quality content, to improve your rankings.

If you have the resources to hire an SEO expert, or the time to become one yourself, that’s great, but obviously that is not feasible for all businesses.  Here are a few simple, low/no-cost practices you can put into place to help your site increase traffic and sales.

Keep the Content Coming: Google’s newest algorithm changes reward sites that consistently produce new content.  If your company does not already have a blog, there’s no better time to start than now.  Carve out a few hours every couple weeks to update your site visitors on company news, industry happenings; really anything you think would be of interest to your audience! If writing isn’t your strong suit, grab a camera and make some visual content. As I’ve written before, visual content is not only relatively easy to produce, it is highly sharable and can really help personalize your business.

Be Social: Speaking of “sharability,” what better way to get your name and content out than social media?  Search engines reward sites that get linked to from a variety of sources. As this great article from Social Media Examiner notes, “more users results in more opportunities for link shares.” While the go-to social networks for most businesses will be Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, it is important not to forget about Google Plus.  Its overall popularity notwithstanding, G+ should not be ignored by any business concerned with page ranking.

Don’t get hung up on a single keyword: While keywords are obviously an important facet of any SEO strategy, those new to SEO can often get preoccupied with a single term, leaving their content looking spammy and monotonous.  You certainly want to include the top phrases, but ignoring the other 90% of relevant terms will not do your site any favors.  In their awesome SEO E-Book, HubSpot recommends that you, “use a diverse set of related keywords to help you rank for a variety of long tail keywords.”  A little research on Google AdWords will provide you with more than enough terms to integrate into your content.

What are your best practices/suggestions for SEO? Have you worked with an SEO expert in the past? Did you feel it was worth it, or do practices such as the ones mentioned above suffice for your site and business?

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