With 2020 rapidly approaching, the tumultuous world of digital business continues to evolve and change. The rise of new, disruptive technologies and ideas means businesses need to be ready for anything.  As the use of the Internet to connect consumers to businesses eclipses traditional methods, the power of search engine optimization (SEO) to increase web presence and traffic is critical for weathering the storm.

 

Search engines have been around for quite a while, with names like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! coming to mind as Internet giants.  With customers using these sites to get connected with all types of services, from food delivery to doctor visits, the search engine is likely to be the portal through which your customers meet your business. Search engine optimization is the process (at Esparza we call it an “art”) of matching your websites information, your domain name, page headers, articles, etc., to what people online are searching for. When done correctly, your business’ website appears at the top of the search page and it enjoys an organic flow of traffic from relevant, potential customers.

 

Here are some tips to help you enhance your web strategy and prepare for 2020;

 

  1. Search Engine “Legibility”

Making your website “Search Engine Legible” is the idea of designing your website so that it can be easily read by the search engine. When someone searches for information on an engine like Google, Google sends out programs called “crawlers” or “spiders” that scan the Internet for information that matches the search query. This means that your website must not only be easy for your users to understand, but it also must be intuitive for programs like crawlers and spiders. This can be done in many ways, but the first step is to do some research on keywords that describe your business’ essential services – try seeing what pops up when you search your competitors. Once you know your keywords, use them sparingly but evenly across your website’s different pages – over using, or spamming, these keywords may result in the search engine placing your site lower on the list as punishment.  You can also use methods that aren’t necessarily customer facing to make your site more “computer legible.” You can make sure that file names for your website’s images or apps include these keywords as well.

 

  1. Website Adaptability and Mobile

Since the takeover of smartphones and tablets, the capabilities of mobile devices are changing many aspects of digital marketing. Consumers are using them to do many of the things they would do on their PC or laptop computer only a few years ago.  Businesses need to accommodate with web pages that are accessible to mobile devices. Search engines take this into account when generating results for potential customers and a mobile-accessible website will get you closer to the tope of the list. Having a well designed, adaptable site is essential for reaching these potential customers and climbing up the search results ladder.

 

  1. Personal Information Protection

With the protection of personal information and activity occupying a large spotlight in the global conversation about technology, taking precautions to make sure your website handles user’s info safely is a big must. Not only will it reinforce your business against cyber attacks, but it will also boost your visibility on Google. Websites that do not offer basic security for personal information will be cast into the depths of a users search results. Websites that go a step further and ask users for consent to use cookies, utilize IP anonymity, and specifically do not sell the service data to third parties will be rewarded with better rankings.

 

  1. Geo Targeting

GPS technology is now fully integrated into mobile phones, devices, and apps. People use Google Maps and Apple Maps often to find directions and view nearby businesses. It is important for your business to be established on these platforms. Make sure you have claimed your business on Google and Apple Maps so that the location is associated with your brand and the services you provide. An application like Google Maps will place your place of business at the top of the search results if it’s the closest option for the user.

 

  1. Social Media

As we know, social media is pervasive and unavoidable. Most adults have a form of social media and younger consumers spend large amounts of their day scrolling through an endless media feed. Many companies have taken the chance to make a Twitter and/or Instagram account in order to stay connected with their customers and possibly get lucky with a bit of viral marketing. As social media platforms move forward and businesses “hop on”, consumers will continue to get more and more of their information from them – essentially making these platforms a search engine of their own. The take away here is getting your business on social and developing a schedule for posting and engaging with users. When a potential customer starts looking for your services on Facebook or Instagram, make sure they are greeted with an interactive, informative, and lively page.