Here’s the scenario: Someone asks you, “Do you know what the average length of the giraffe’s tongue is?”
Here’s the fact: Unless you are a zoologist, a giraffe enthusiast or a Jeopardy champion, you probably will not know this answer off of the top of your head.
Here’s the result: You whip out your phone to search the internet for the answer, and a number of web links providing you with various giraffe facts and articles will appear similar to the one on the left.
Here’s what’s interesting: Google’s chosen answer was sourced from a factoid website article rather than an accredited organization’s page listed below it. How did Mental Floss beat out the Giraffe Conservation Organization? Simple. SEO.
Search Engine Optimization, more commonly known as “SEO,” is a set of techniques an individual or company can put in place to increase a webpage’s visibility in various search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
The ultimate goal of SEO is to help the website climb higher in a search result list to receive prime placement. That way, it will be visited sooner and, in turn, will drive more traffic to the page rather than those that appear lower on the list.
In fact, many companies enlist the help of SEO firms to increase their website’s “searchability” odds. This complexity in combination with the fact that the search engines of 2015 are making their ranking parameters harder stirs the need for financial advisors to start diving into SEO in any way that they can. Below are a few beginners’ tips to SEO that you can start enhancing your rank today.
The early days of SEO focused heavily on the use of relevant keywords throughout a website to boost its search rank. Today, search engines have caught onto those that have abused the power of the keyword, and they have shifted their focus onto the length of content.
Long-form content appeals to the search engines as they see it as more useful and in-depth. Keep in mind though, keywords can still be valuable if they are implemented in ways that won’t clutter a site like spam.
Some may underestimate the power of links when it comes to SEO. Search engines see visitors’ time spent on your page as a factor that goes into determining your rank.
Sharing links within your website content that lead to intriguing information will help keep visitors on your page longer and encourage them to return. Search engines also reward the ranking of those sites being linked as well for the value of their content, so be sure to provide web content that is worth a share!
As mentioned previously, links to and from your site can help improve your search engine ranks. However, not all references of businesses or websites will be link-based, and these mentions are called “citations.”
Similar to links, citations are found on your own and others’ sites, and they are a component of your SEO rank. That being said, it’s not the number of citations, but how they are used that will help to refine your SEO tactics.
When possible, use local optimization signals by tagging your city and state with these citations throughout your own site to boost your local relevancy and define your site’s locational scope for SEO purposes.
Over the past four years, smartphone usage grew 394% with more than 60% of all searches now happening on mobile devices. Search engines have recognized this trend and, as of April 2015, have started rewarding mobile-friendly websites by boosting their mobile-search ranking results. Making your site mobile-friendly is a proactive way to bulk up your current SEO efforts that will pay off in the future as the use of mobile-searches continues to increase.
Jansen, M., (2015, April 3). “7 SEO Rules for 2015” GROUPON Works. Retrieved from: https://www.grouponworks.com/merchant-blog/online-marketing/7-seo-rules-2015/
Gifford, G., (2014, November 10). “Simple Tips To Set The Stage For Local SEO In 2015” Search Engine Land. Retrieved from: http://searchengineland.com/2-simple-tips-set-stage-local-seo-2015-207275
“Why Citations Are Important to the Success of Your Local Business” (n.d.). MoZ. Retrieved from: https://moz.com/learn/local/citations
“Rolling out the mobile-friendly Update” (2015, April 21). Google Webmaster Central Blog. Retrieved from: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2015/04/rolling-out-mobile-friendly-update.html
Barling, N. (2015, April 22). “Are you ready for Google’s mobile algorithm change?” TNW News.http://thenextweb.com/google/2015/04/22/are-you-ready-for-googles-mobile-algorithm-change/
Lella, A., Lipsman, A. (2015, March 26). “2015 U.S. Digital Future in Focus” comScore. Retrieved from: http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Presentations-and-Whitepapers/2015/2015-US-Digital-Future-in-Focus?ns_campaign=comscore_general&ns_source=social&ns_mchannel=social_post&ns_linkname=link_name&ns_fee=0