2017 has seen no letup in the growth of digital technology. As the digital landscape continues to change at lightning speed a high level of flexibility is required from your digital marketing strategy. Businesses unwilling to accept or fully embrace technological change will soon find their search strategy out-dated, making it a struggle to attract potential customers.
When you consider around 93% of online experiences begin with a search, being receptive to the latest trends in digital marketing and search can be critical to the success of your website.
We’ve singled out a few areas on which to focus your search strategy in the coming months…
1 – Mobile Optimisation
Since the update to the Google algorithm in April 2015 mobile responsiveness has become a more and more important ranking signal. Make sure your website is responsive to mobile devices to avoid being penalised.
2 – Improve security
Google has confirmed that all sites which have enabled HTTPS get a small rankings boost. While the benefits to your rankings are still quite small, having a secure website will become more and more important trust signal in SEO over the next few years.
3 – Target long-tail search terms
Try to focus on several different search phrases and not just single keywords. Spread the risk and cut out the worry. If a new competitor comes in and dominates your only keyword then even the best and most innovative SEO gods will struggle to help you…
4 – Local Search: Location Location Location
The growth of mobile has led to a huge increase in the amount of ‘near me’ searches taking place. Therefore you should look to maximise your location by creating location specific pages for products and services you offer.
Furthermore due to the increasingly competitive nature of local search you should look to update all online information about your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re listed in 50 different directories, it’s now vitally important to ensure your business information is the same across the web, this means addresses, phone numbers and opening times.
5 – Image Optimisation
Make the most of Google/Bing’s image search by adding the words “image” or “picture” in your image ALT descriptions and captions. You wouldn’t believe the amount of searches for images that are for a keyword plus one of those previously mentioned words.
6 – Utilise New Social Media
The creation of new social media sites is ceaseless. While we do not recommend signing up to every single one, it is prudent to keep an eye out for industry specific social media sites that pop up as these can seriously boost your popularity.
There is always going to be an element of risk when using new social media channels as you will never know if it will truly take of as a social medium. Therefore when using new social media channels it is wise to initially limit the amount of time you spend posting there.
7 – Optimise Email Conversions
Capturing the contact details of prospective customers is one of the most valuable marketing tools in your arsenal. Maximising the impact of your sign-up forms by changing the text, colour, position and layout means you can analyse which ones have the greatest impact and modify your page accordingly.
If you look around online there is some great freemium software to be found. Small businesses can use these tools (for free) to start optimising conversions by creating email funnels, utilising A/B split testing and sending automated reminders to keep your leads warm.
8 – Focus on Quality not Quantity
If you are link building then it is important to remember that it is the quality of the links you are building and not the quantity that counts! One single, good, authoritative link can do a lot more for your search rankings than 100 poor backlinks for useless sites.
9 – Keep Going!
SEO is an on-going process which can seem slow at times. If you put in the work to get to the first page don’t then stop thinking that the job is complete. Follow this route and you will most likely find that you will be overtaken by one of your competitors in a matter of weeks!