Just as wheels without chain leaves you pedaling, similarly a digital strategy without optimization will leave your business going nowhere.
Irrespective of the size of any business, the current trend is to take it online, and for all the right reasons.
The online world is literally a treasure of different audiences that businesses are willing to reach to grow and prosper. Reaching to your target audiences require efforts.
Targeted efforts in the right direction will give meaningful results, but many times it’s witnessed that business owners fail to receive optimum returns on investments despite trying, mainly because their efforts were not in the right direction.
Social media and search engines are the two powerhouses that dominate the online world in terms of traffic generation for your website. Certain forces are there that combine to make a digital strategy that is proven to bring relevant traffic to you. Traffic that is filtered for conversion. But how do you attract that traffic?
The answer is rather simple, through social media and search engine optimization. Everything that you do depends on these two traffic generators as part of your digital strategy and should be done strategically. In this article today, I will be touching upon factors that will allow you to optimize your efforts towards achieving an online traffic win for your business, both through social media and through the search engines.
Optimizing for search engines
The search engine king Google has stated both in public meetings and in its search algorithm updates that ‘content’ is The Most Important factor when it comes to determining the organic rank of any website on the search engine. A piece of content that is loved by the search engine is both high quality and informational. The following steps will guide you on how to optimize your content to rank high on search engines.
Creating high-quality content
Do not confuse high-quality content with a content that uses heavy language in it. High-quality content that is lauded by search engines is information which is relevant to your audience, such, that helps your audience in completing any specific task and directly addresses their pain points. Instilled with originality, thoroughness, and clarity, the content becomes hot cake for the search engine. High-quality user-centric content not only allows the search engine to rank you better but also leverages education to your target customers by informing about the services you have to offer to them.
Keywords are the small search terms that common man types in the search bar of any search engine. These are the queries that help the search engine in identifying the kind of information the user is searching for, allowing them to display relevant results. for example, “best digital services provider in the USA” is the keyword that someone types in the search box, the search engines match the search query with the content on web-pages, displaying all those that contain the term in it. Remember, keyword inclusion should be such that looks natural. Use of keywords in a content repeatedly leads to a penalty for the web-page, as Google discourages unnecessary keyword stuffing and do not hold the practice in high regards. For example, for a content piece of 500 words, any keyword should ideally be used, twice.
Related: The Rise of Influencer Marketing
Not only does the content of a web page help the search engines in determining the page rank, but also the images that are used in a website design. Ideally, search engines do not read or crawl images that are there on any website, but if Alt Tags are provided to images, then the search engine identifies them and receives a better understanding of what the page is all about, thus improved organic rankings. Alt Tags are tags that describe the image in 2-3 words, in any website design.
META tags and short URLs
Don’t forget to include the META tags in your website design. META tags are small descriptions that go in the backend coding of your website design and helps the search engine in finding and recognizing the web page. Ideally, META tags include a page title, which is a 60 character long description of the page, coupled with a long 200 characters long descriptions and few keywords that determine the relevancy quotient of the website to the search engine crawler. Along with that keep your website URL concise. The ideal URL length for search engines is 59 characters only.
Optimize for social media
Optimizing for social media is a common question that is rolled out for digital solution providers quite often. Before moving on to discussing the most common questions, please make sure that social media is a channel that routes interested, relevant traffic towards your business website. This routing becomes possible for businesses who actively engage them with a target audience over their social channels and keep posting relevant content. This induces customer likes, shares, and mentions, building up segments of interested prospects for the business. Let’s take it forward from here and see what those common questions are:
How many social channels should a business participate into?
Social media participation is carried to achieve a variety of goals. It could be building brand awareness to lead generation or simply building online credibility that supports sales. According to the Edelmann Trust Barometer, your target market requires seeing content about your company at least 3-5 times a day to believe in its credibility. This automatically translates into distributing your content on a variety of social channels. But since every social channel is targeted towards a specific group of audience, therefore before finalizing on the social networks you want to participate in, don’t forget to check the buyer persona of your target market. their demographics, psychographics and the type of your offering will finalize the social media you want to participate in. for example, the content which goes on Facebook is more casual as compared to the corporate content on LinkedIn. Once you select a social network to participate on, it trickles down to the number of posts you should make in a day.
What should you publish on different social channels?
Creating and posting for multiple social channels doesn’t mean that you are required to create unique content for each of them, but the smarter idea is to re-purpose the content that suites to the audience present on each social network. For example, a long 30-minute video demonstrating the usage benefit of your product can go on Youtube, however, pinpoints extracted from that video and transformed into a banner can quickly gain the attention of users on Facebook or Twitter. To provide your content the best chance of being shared, you can use a mix of varied tactics. It can start with an image that goes with your content to #Hashtags, a call-to-action banner/button or even the use of an entire video to name a few. Certain social channels also allow tagging of friends and groups that can further distribute your content in front of a relevant audience, increase the intensity of your efforts, exponentially.
When to post on your social channels?
Determining the best time to post on social channels can be a daunting task. The simple answer could be to post according to the clock of your target audience. These days, many businesses operate internationally, thus experiencing hours of time differences. An ideal time for such business is to post when its target audience is online on social channels that increase visibility. Marketers globally use a variety of techniques to determine the best time for posting on social media. They could be:
- Trial and error
- Use of posting tools
- Industry reports or
- A/B testing method
Automate for convenience
Automation of social media was not considered a good practice until the recent times. To nurture positive results, the social media posting procedure needs to be scaled and requires a platform. Studies have proved that majority of digital marketers have automated their social media postings for increased convenience. Sproutsocial, Hootsuite, and Buffer are some of the commonly used platforms used for social postings.
Go forth and start experiencing
So now that you know the winning practices that will optimize your business for the best use of social media and search engines, I believe you are in a better position to go forth and start experiencing an increase in online traffic and reach of your business website. Let me know if you have any questions in mind by posting a comment in the section below.