By: Katharine Shindoll, Digital Marketing Coordinator, Geezeo
What is SEO and SEM?
If you are anything like I was five years ago, these ever-essential acronyms wouldn’t mean much, yet they are imperative in today’s digital market. In short, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are the most effective ways to educate internet algorithms on what your website contains.
When you search for a keyword or phrase on Google or Bing, each deploys their programming (crawlers and pinpoint algorithms) to search through massive databases. Depending on how rich your content is and how well it stacks up to similar content, ranking algorithms decide where to place your website among the search engine results. Having strategic site-wide SEO could be the difference between appearing on the first page of search engine results instead of the third.
Think search doesn’t matter?
Brightedge, an industry leader in search analytics, estimates that 51% of all web visits are generated by search engines and some companies claim 70% or more of their traffic comes from organic (non-paid) search.
Being found online is not as simple as posting content. Being found through search engines is equal parts art and science.
Got your attention?
Listen to our webinar for a “how to” session focused on the importance of search engines to your credit union’s marketing plans and how to speak the SEO language.
Here are five ways you can improve your search profile right now:
1. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly or responsive yet, you are ignoring half of the internet population and are at a massive disadvantage when it comes to SEO. In April 2015, Google launched an update that removed unresponsive sites from their search algorithms, which means if your site isn’t mobile friendly, chances are it’s not being shown on search results.
2. Optimize Your Images
Search engine algorithms recognize a wide array of digital assets, including images and graphics. Depending on what kind of content your page is displaying, optimizing your images can significantly increase your search profile. By adding a description, alt text and tags for each image on the page, your target keyword(s) will register as increasingly prominent and greatly increase the page’s SEO ranking.
3. Connect to Social Media
Social media isn’t going anywhere and if you want your company to stand out, a strong social media presence is a must. By adding social media outlets, customers are able to connect with your business and share articles or pages that add value or entertainment. However, don’t just share images and status updates. To truly impact the strength of your online presence, your social media shares should link back to likable and shareable content hosted on your primary website.
4. Include Both Inner and Outer Links
Including links to social media is imperative from both a customer service standpoint and an SEO standpoint but including links in general can help search rankings. By default, search engine algorithms are programmed to favor content with: social media links, links to other articles and links to other pages on your own website. Including just one additional link to relevant content on your web page creates richer, SEO-friendly content.
5. Utilize Schema
Schema, or structured data, is one of those terms that people hear and pass over because the explanation is a bit long-winded. In short, schema is additional data about a website or webpage that makes a search engine’s job easier. Schema not only allows content to be screened faster, but it allows search engines to pull relevant data to enhance search results.
These five ways to implement SEO are certainly not the only ways to improve your search rankings, but they are a great start. For an in-depth look at how search rankings are determined and how to improve your rankings, listen to the full webinar here.
Geezeo is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Personal Financial Management (PFM)