It’s sad, but it’s true: about 20% of small businesses fail within their first year.
As someone who’s operating one of these businesses, it’s only natural that hearing this percentage may make you a bit anxious. But what if we told you that there were concrete steps that you could take to ensure that your business is successful?
Well, it’s true! Planning and executing a long term SEO strategy is a great way to keep your business on its feet and remain profitable over the course of many years.
Today, we’re going to talk about how you can make sure that your SEO campaign is there to help you for the long haul, so read on to ensure that your business doesn’t become part of a dreary statistic.
Focus on the Big Picture
When creating SEO content strategies, many people come up with short-term goals. The CEO of Outspoken Media, Rhea Drysdale, refers to these as ‘vanity goals’ that only work in the short term.
She- along with other business big-names- believe that a short-sighted focus on SEO strategies do more harm than good.
But why is this the case?
Those who look at SEO as a short-term venture will often fail in their initial strategy. They want to see immediate results without considering the nature of SEO.
It takes between 4 and 6 months for your page to rise up in Google rankings at all. This makes sense considering how many pages search engine crawlers must regularly index and how many competitors the average business has.
However, if you focus on getting immediate results from SEO, the game will have changed by the time your campaign sees results. This will result in wasted time and money for your business and an overall failure of an SEO strategy.
Additionally, those who focus on vanity goals will be left behind even when their strategy works. Online trends are always changing, and SEO is no exception.
Something that makes your website appealing today may be an outdated technology in just one year. Focusing on coming up with a strategy that will work no matter how the tides roll ensures that you’re making a good investment.
Audit Your Website
In order to get started with altering your website, it’s important that you understand the areas of your website that are weak and those that are strong.
An audit is basically a general analysis of your website. You look into issues that you’re having on your page that affect SEO.
Examples of some things you might find include broken links, HTML validation, broken links and error pages, duplicate descriptions of blog posts and other content, and poor load speed.
Once you identify what problems you’re having and what pages the issues are happening on, you can go back and re-vamp your content.
Updating these minor mistakes will make your site appear infinitely more appealing to search engine crawlers. After all, credible websites don’t have broken links and duplicate posts!
Also, note that an SEO expert can help you do this more easily than you can do it by yourself. These people have professional tools that perform web audits, so you’re guaranteed to get accurate data and results!
Build Your Brand Reputation
Auditing your page is a great way to build your brand reputation. After all, users are more likely to trust a site that is up-to-date and runs smoothly.
However, another good long-term off-page SEO plan is to build a reputation on other sites. You want to have a presence all across the web.
This means creating and maintaining social media pages, linking back to your official site from these platforms, purchasing guest post packages, being cited by other pages, listing yourself in directories and link networks, and being discussed in press releases within your industry.
The bottom line is that you want people to be informed about your brand and know that you’re a credible and reliable player in your industry.
Think About Your Audience
The next thing you’ll want to do is look into your target audience.
Google Analytics is a great place to start this research. You can analyze the demographics of people who are using this page on this site and see their gender, age, and basic interests.
These interests are based on their occupation as well as their search engine histories. Once you have a good grasp on who you’re aiming to reach, it’s a good idea to create a buyer persona.
Essentially, a ‘buyer persona’ refers to a semi-fictional character that you make who represents what your target customer would look like. A buyer persona will be made with information including:
- The background of your ideal customer (occupation, professional details, family details)
- The demographics of those who use your site (gender, age range, income, urban/suburban/rural)
- The identifiers that make up your target audience (receptive to new ideas vs strictly traditional, calm vs energetic questions that they ask/care about)
You can then use this buyer persona as a model for what SEO techniques will work vs which will not work. You should decide what will work based on the interests and ideas of your buyer persona.
A middle-aged male accountant is going to want to see more professional blog posts than a 20 something woman looking for a cocktail dress, so you can target your post content more effectively with your target audience.
Look Into Long-Tail Keywords
Keywords are an essential part of any SEO strategy. But how can you make sure that your keywords never go out of style? Long-tail keywords are the best investment that you can make.
To understand what this means, consider the following three keywords that a fashion retailer may use:
2. Summer dress
3. Long summer maxi dress
Because it’s so short and nonspecific, ‘dress’ has a high cost and high competition. If you’re trying to use it, you’re unlikely to rank very highly.
This means that it has a low probability of conversion, and you’ll just waste your money and time creating content with this keyword. ‘Summer dress’ is a bit better, but it still isn’t great.
It has both lower cost and competition than ‘dress’ has, but it still is pretty high. Your probability of conversion is still pretty low. It’s not something that you should be investing in.
Generally, the best length for keywords is 4-6 words. These are referred to as long-tail keywords, and you should use them consistently. Not only do these words account for 70% of all searches, but they yield a conversion rate of about 36%.
“Long summer maxi dress’ is a long-tail keyword. It has a high likelihood of converting while costing virtually nothing. Because there’s not much competition to rank for it, you’re going to rise up in search engines.
This is important to long-term SEO because it’s unlikely that competitors will match your long-tail keywords. You’re not going to be overtaken as time passes by and your SEO strategy will remain viable for years (assuming you keep up with it).
Be Mobile-User Friendly
Did you know that by 2025 about 72% of people around the world will only be accessing the net with their Smartphones?
Well, it’s true, and the number of mobile searches made currently isn’t anything to stick up your nose at either. About, half of the searches made today are from mobile devices! Optimizing for iOS and Android devices means that you can reach the majority of users looking for your services.
People will click on your site and find that they have an easy time navigating it, which sets you apart from the competition. Making your site stronger on mobile devices also is rewarded by Google’s algorithms
Crawlers recognize when the navigation, semantics, and coding behind a page are mobile-friendly and boosts those pages up in search engine rankings. This gains you more visibility on both Smartphones and desktops.
Begin Your Long Term SEO Strategy Today
While optimizing your page can be a challenge, having a well-thought-out and easy-to-execute SEO strategy is the first step toward success.
When you give this a bit of consideration, you can walk straight toward your target of more web traffic and more clients rather than stumbling around blindly in the dark. Now that you know how to plan and execute a long term SEO strategy, it’s time to get started.
Contact us with any lingering questions that you may have about SEO, how to create a plan that works for your business, and the many packages that we offer to help you succeed.
We look forward to hearing from you and helping you boost your business soon!