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SEO tips to help drive traffic to your website

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You may have heard the term search engine optimization, or SEO, but what does it mean exactly and is this practice something you need to incorporate into your own business marketing strategy? To increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website, you may want to take a closer look at SEO and what best practices to follow. Here are few basic strategies to get your feet wet. For expert advice, you can consult with a company that offers this service or visit American Marketing Association for more information about SEO tactics and training.

Read on to find out more, then use this checklist to get started.


What is SEO?

When you type words into a search engine like Google, you receive a long list of results that match your criteria. SEO is the practice of optimizing your webpages, so they appear higher on that list of online search results. By following a few tips, you can leverage SEO to help drive more relevant traffic to your site and attract more prospects which could lead to more sales.

Target your audience

An important step in optimizing your website is determining who you want to visit your site and thinking about the keywords people are typing into a Google search. For example, you may want "financial help" or "save for retirement" in your list of terms. You can start by looking over your current website and noting which words are used frequently, and if new words need to be added or if others should be eliminated. Pay close attention to page titles, blog categories and taglines, as these are the most important for optimization. Also review your image names and captions to make sure they are relevant.

Be mobile-friendly

Over 75 percent of adults in the United States own a smartphone, and 70 percent of web traffic comes from those hand-held computers. A mobile-friendly site functions well on any device, is easy to read and navigate, and offers an overall easy user experience. It also helps your business look modern, builds your credibility and can help drive sales. If users do not find your website pleasing or cannot find what they're looking for, there's a good chance they'll quickly move on to another site. According to LinkedIn, 74 percent of users are more likely to return to a mobile-friendly website.

Keep content fresh

The more often you update and add content to your site, the higher SEO ranking it will likely receive. A great way to achieve this is by adding a blog to your website. In fact, adding a blog can increase a website's chances of ranking in search engines by 434%. With many people doing online research, your blog can provide valuable information in your area of expertise and make your website a go-to resource for relevant, up-to-date insight and guidance.  

Link to other websites

Driving traffic away from your site may seem counterintuitive, but in fact, providing links to other websites with useful content makes your site a more valuable resource helping to boost your SEO ranking. You can provide links to other reputable sites directly in your blog posts and/or on a dedicated resources page. For example, if you mention Social Security benefits in a discussion, you can link to the website or a specific SSA page that readers may find useful. Plus, as current and prospective clients discover the value and breadth of your content, they're more likely to return time and time again.

In addition to linking to other websites, you will want others to link back to you. By providing useful resources on your website and interesting information in your blog posts, you will likely catch the attention of others. Every time someone else links to your site or shares your posts on their own social media, exposure to your business is amplified.

Your SEO strategy can be as in depth or straightforward as you want it to be. If you need more guidance, there are countless companies who offer consultations and services in this area. SEO can be an important player in your marketing strategy and help you reach more potential clients and build a stronger, more recognized brand. 

Two things you can do today

1. Use this SEO checklist to get started.
2. Review best practices for writing a blog and create a content calendar.

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