By David Hunter, CEO of Epic Web Studios, a web development, SEO and digital marketing firm in Erie, PA.
Why do you need SEO? Because a greater web presence doesn’t happen by accident; it’s a strategy driven by data and analytics, which in turn yield tangible results. SEO essentially lays down the blueprint for enhancing your online visibility. It’s rooted in the behaviors of real users, throughout the landscape of Google Search.
SEO is not merely a passing buzzword or a digital marketing trend—it’s the foundation upon which your online success is built.
In the vast digital world, your business communicates value through different channels, each with its own reach and user influence. These include your primary website in addition to any blogs, paid search campaigns, video marketing efforts (e.g., YouTube) or social accounts.
And while web development absolutely can enhance your site’s value, everything else here falls under the umbrella of effective digital marketing. The key to increasing your web presence’s share of voice lies in knowing how best to direct consumers to your digital doorstep—your website.
How To Use SEO In Web Development
If you’re committed to earning a top spot in the search engine results pages (or SERPs), your SEO efforts should always hold top priority when managing your site. This is especially true during the foundation of a site’s initial development—when you first chart a course for long-term success.
SEO And Site Structure
First, imagine an architect creating a floor plan for a building, one that flows seamlessly from room to room. Similarly, your site’s structure should ensure effortless navigation for both users and search engines. It must be designed with flexibility in mind, allowing for continued expansion over time.
SEO And Site Design
Beyond aesthetics alone, technical SEO ensures that your site isn’t just visually appealing but also performs flawlessly. Think of your website as a restaurant. Even with decent food and the perfect ambiance, if the service is slow and the presentation is lacking, the experience becomes unimpressive. The result? Customers won’t return; they’ll take their interest elsewhere—to a competitor who better serves their needs.
Google acts as a kind of digital concierge when providing results to users. Search engines are going to recommend websites that enhance the user experience above all else.
SEO And Site (Meta) Content
Keyword research is the building block for compelling content—and, of course, how to utilize this content effectively.
Meta content is equivalent to a menu board outside your digital restaurant, offering a quick glimpse of the specialties waiting inside. Through SEO strategy, the target audience is not only encouraged to visit but to actively engage with your web presence in a meaningful way.
How To Use SEO In Digital Marketing
Each channel opens up unique opportunities for SEO strategy, allowing you to connect with your target audience while delivering measurable results.
SEO In Blogs
Once your core website pages are established, blogs become amplifiers of your digital voice. They expand your reach and enable you to rank for a broader spectrum of keywords. Even better, blogs are easily shareable across various platforms, further increasing your online visibility.
SEO Across Google Surfaces
Of course, we can’t forget the role of Google here. From Google Ads to Google Business Profiles and Google Maps, amplifying your web presence would certainly be a challenge without their widespread reach. If you’re a local business looking to rank higher in SERPs, your mission should be to optimize for local SEO through features such as Google Maps.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website and online presence so that you rank higher in search results for local keywords. More consumers are using local search to find businesses and services near them, resulting in nearly half of all mobile searches being local. Case in point, if you’re not optimizing for local SEO, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach potential consumers.
Let’s face it—no one wants to scroll any longer than they have to. Over 68% of all clicks on SERPs go to the top three listings. Local SEO greatly increases your chance of appearing in the Local Pack, which is the map and three listings that appear at the top of the search results page for local keywords. Ranking in the Local Pack can lead to a significant increase in website traffic as well as consumer engagement.
So how can you improve your local SEO? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
• Optimize your website for local keywords, including the city and state in your website title, meta descriptions and header tags.
• Build backlinks from local websites. Backlinks from other websites are a signal to Google that your website is authoritative and trustworthy.
• Encourage positive customer reviews. Positive customer reviews are a great way to improve your local SEO while attracting new customers.
SEO As The Cornerstone Of Web Presence
SEO isn’t just a facet of a web presence strategy; it’s the bedrock upon which your entire business stands. Building a website without a solid SEO foundation is akin to constructing a skyscraper on shaky ground—it’s destined to crumble.
Similarly, crafting a digital marketing strategy without SEO is akin to a perilous journey without a map. Let SEO best practices guide your marketing decisions. It will lead your business to new heights, with a superior web presence from the very start.