Top 5 Best Practices for Search Engine Optimization
Article Date: August 3, 2023
Drive Traffic. Generate Leads.
As we turn to search engines every day to gather information or do research, businesses are striving to make their websites more visible, to ultimately convert prospects to customers. A recent study from Forbes shows that 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, with Google currently holding 92% of the total search engine market share.
All businesses want to increase their search rankings and eventually make their way to page one of Google’s rankings. Achieving success on that front begins with a consistent search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and implementation.
Does your building materials brand have a strategy in place to engage all the key stakeholders – architects, builders, developers, contractors, installers, specifiers, and more? Do you know the dos and don'ts?
While generating greater visibility and credibility is key for your brand, it is not just about driving more website traffic. It is also about understanding what people are searching for, what problems they have, the answers they might be seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they wish to consume.
Consider the following best practices when evaluating your brand’s SEO efforts and strategies.
- High-Quality Content
- User Intent
- Keyword Research
- Addressing Technical Errors
Creating high-quality SEO content is all about knowing your target audience. What problems are they looking to solve? How can you best meet their needs?
High-quality content is easy to read, engaging, and useful to your audience. It can be anything from a blog post to a case study, a video, interactive tools, and more. The question you must ask yourself is: What is right for my audience? What is motivating them? What are their pain points?
Define goals to best align your content with your customers needs. Every piece of content should be serving a purpose by providing unique insights, actionable tips, or solutions to their problems.
Create a content strategy that outlines your topics, formats, channels, and distribution methods, and identify key themes and pillars that align with your brand. Once your strategy is in place, develop a content calendar to ensure a consistent flow of content, backed with the right resources.
Customers turn to search engines at each phase in the journey, often with a different reason driving the search. Learning why customers might be visiting your page can assist you in formulating the optimal SEO approach.
Is it navigational? A navigational intent is one where users already know what they seek. A navigational intent could be a login page to a certain domain, for instance a “Facebook login”.
A common user intent for a search engine is a commercial intent. Users are looking for options for a product or service but have not yet decided on specifics. This is often a research phase where consumers are looking around for the best option. If you manufacture exterior cladding, then you want your brand to be a front runner when a potential customer searches for “best exterior cladding.”
Informational intent is when a user wants to learn more about a particular topic. These searches are often phrased as questions, such as “What is sustainability?”
A transactional intent is when the user wants to complete a transaction for a specific product or from a specific brand, usually a point of purchase. At this stage, it is important for a business to create a product or service page that makes purchasing simple.
Differentiating between the varieties of user intents can help ensure that keywords are appropriately incorporated into an SEO strategy. This can lead to better search engine results.
Knowing which words your audience is commonly searching for will help you better optimize your website to climb the search engine rankings. Think about topics and keywords that are relevant to your business. Then, begin with a competitor gap analysis to dive into content and evaluate areas where your brand can improve. What are they doing that you’re not? How can you implement that into your strategy?
Compare these to your website. If you’re going in and the first thing you see for keywords is images, your site needs images to be optimized. A website’s FAQ page is an important starting point for a search query. What are those questions, and can I answer them in my content?
Gather a list of primary and secondary keywords that you can bake into your content assets, often referred to as long-tail and short-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific, resulting in less traffic, but oftentimes a higher conversion rate due to low competition. Short-tail keywords are broader, generic terms that have a high search volume but also are highly competitive.
If you are just beginning an SEO strategy, focus on keywords that have low search volume and are less competitive. Words with low search volume are simpler to climb those rankings, meaning your brand will top the list for those keywords. High-volume keywords do not always equate to a high-value search query, because they are more difficult to gain a high ranking.
The more specific the term, the more intentional the search is. These are easy wins for your brand.
In addition to content, make sure your website includes keywords in the page title, URL, and Meta description.
One area that can significantly impact your SEO performance is addressing technical errors on your website. Ensuring a clean, optimized website is vital to providing a seamless user experience and gaining an advantages with search engines. To optimize your website and boost your search engine rankings, consider the following:
- Fix Broken Links: Identify and rectify any broken links on your website promptly. Broken links can lead to a poor user experience, because visitors may encounter dead ends when navigating your site. Additionally, search engine crawlers may have difficulty indexing your content, which can negatively affect your rankings.
- Eliminate Duplicate Content: Check for duplicate content across your website, and take steps to remove or consolidate it. Duplicated content can confuse search engines, as they might struggle to determine which version of the content is more relevant, potentially leading to lower rankings.
- Optimize Meta Tags: Review and optimize the Meta tags on your web pages, including title tags and meta descriptions. Incorporate relevant keywords and compelling copy to improve click-through rates from search engine results pages (SERPs). Well-optimized Meta tags provide concise and informative previews of your content, enticing users to click on your links.
- Check for Crawl Errors and Indexation Issues: Utilize tools like Google Search Console to identify and resolve crawl errors and indexation issues. Crawl errors occur when search engine bots cannot access certain pages on your site, preventing them from being indexed. Addressing these issues ensures that your valuable content is indexed properly, enhancing your chances of ranking well.
- Optimize Internal Linking Structure: Audit and optimize your website's internal linking structure to facilitate smooth navigation and distribute link equity effectively. A logical and user-friendly internal linking system makes it easier for both visitors and search engine crawlers to discover and access your essential content. Well-structured internal links can also enhance the authority and ranking potential of your individual pages.
By implementing these technical fixes and maintaining a website that offers a seamless user experience, you pave the way for a successful SEO strategy that sets your building materials brand apart from the competition and establishes a strong online presence. Regularly monitoring and addressing technical errors are essential for maintaining a healthy and high-performing website in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing.
SEO is one of the most cost-efficient, perpetual marketing tools on the market today. However, SEO should not be attacked with a “set it and forget it” mindset. For optimal results, it is crucial to set up tracking and monitoring tools to gain valuable insights into your website's performance. Ensure that Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools are set up and integrated with your website. These powerful platforms provide essential data, such as crawl errors, indexing status, search queries, and backlinks, allowing you to identify and address any technical issues and make informed decisions to improve your website’s search visibility. For local businesses, ensure Google’s local business is set up so local customers can best find your business. One of the easiest boosts for a local business is ensuring your business pops up when anyone searches for businesses “near me.”
Consistently view analytics to assure your rankings are improving. Essentially, the goal of SEO is to outrank your competitors. Keep tabs on what your biggest competitors are doing correctly. Reworking content and adding new optimized content can help site traffic and improve search engine rankings.
SEO is an everchanging concept, so stay up to date on current trends and best practices. This will empower you to alter your planning and boost your businesses rankings.
Remember: SEO is a cyclical, continuous marketing effort that benefits best from incremental efforts.
BLD Marketing can guide you through the entire SEO process, from beginning keyword research to supporting the technical foundation, and continuing optimization.
BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.