Everyone and their grandmother are online these days. That’s right, even grandmothers! A Pew Internet Research report published in April shows 59% of seniors report that they go online regularly, a six-percentage point increase over last year. The question is, what do all of these people do online, besides watching cat videos and playing Candy Crush that is? Studies show that increasingly more people are turning to the internet to research the information and services they both want and need. With so many people searching online for services like home care and senior services, agencies must take action to ensure their websites can be found.
The Big Bang of SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important methods of online marketing available today. While many people understand that SEO plays a vital role in helping websites get ranked by Google, Bing, and Yahoo in searches, few understand how SEO really works or have the time to keep up with the rapidly changing rules of SEO. A solid SEO strategy uses highly optimized keywords and phrases (that someone looking online for your services would type into a Google search) to help rank your site as close to the top of that search as possible.
Just how important is ranking high in an online search? Very important, if you consider that about 75% of online searchers never scroll past the first page of search results. SEO has become the number one referral source for home care agencies, according to the 2014 Home Care Pulse Private Duty Benchmarking Study! Why does SEO have such a profound effect on increasing home care referrals? In addition to higher search engine rankings, a well-implemented and maintained SEO strategy can also bring your website:
- More targeted and interested traffic
- Improved conversion rates
- Increased return visits
- Heightened brand awareness
According to the infographic below, more people click on search returns generated by SEO than they do on paid online advertisements. That’s because more people trust organic search returns than they do paid online advertising. People searching for your services can tell the difference between an organic search return and an advertisement, and they would rather click on the company that ranks high naturally.
All of this means it’s time to start paying more attention to your website SEO. But don’t think you can just throw the term “home care” up on every page of your website and expect to be found any time someone searches for home care. There’s more science to SEO than you might think. The term “home care” can refer to any number of services, from handyman services to home cleaning. If you offer in-home care for people, using “home care” as a keyword might not be the best way to get ranked highly by search engines.
The SEO mixture is a constantly changing concoction. As Google continually revises its search algorithm, as it recently did with the latest Panda update, a website’s SEO must change too in order to keep the site in good standing with Google and ranking well. Some current key SEO “chemicals” include:
- Keyword Research: In order to understand what keywords you should use on your site, you will need to complete some keyword research. A tool like Google Keyword Planner helps create a list of keywords to use on your website in order to improve SEO.
- On-page SEO: To ensure that both your website visitors and Google know what your content is about, be sure to include your keywords in page URLs, title tags, heading tags, alt tags in images, and of course, in content.
- Social Media: More and more companies are realizing how social media can positively impact SEO. According to recent research, “Facebook continues to lead the pack in terms of social media referral traffic. In March 2013, Facebook drove 21.25% of all traffic sites receive. Pinterest came in 2nd at just over 7% of all traffic, although its share of traffic has grown by 48% since December.”
- Blogging and Google Authorship: We’ve discussed the SEO importance of blogging before, but something that is rising in importance that goes hand-in-hand with blogging is Google Authorship. Google Authorship allows you to claim the content you’ve written, and allows search engine users to find more content written by the same writer, helping establish the credibility and legitimacy of content for websites as well as authors.
- Link Building: Building high-quality, relevant links to your website is one of the most rewarding elements of SEO, but these days it’s important to focus on the quality of your links, as opposed to the quantity, if you want to avoid upsetting Google.
- Content for Human Beings: While following SEO rules and processes is important for getting ranked and found on Google and other search engines, creating content for humans is still the main objective. Having a great website with relevant, compelling content and going social with personality and a story is what will get humans to take action toward interacting with your business. Google’s changing rules are aimed at creating a search experience for humans that returns relevant and up-to-date results. Google’s rules on link building are based on the idea that a writer just might have something important enough to share that others want to share it as well.
Figuring Out the SEO Formula for Your Website
Which elements of SEO does your website need? The short answer is that, in order to get the most bang for your SEO buck, your website needs a measured mix of all SEO elements, AND it needs to contain information that human beings will find helpful or informative. Your SEO efforts, however, need to be constantly monitored, evaluated, and adjusted to ensure you’re doing more of what is working and less of what isn’t. Need some help with your SEO? The experts at corecubed can evaluate your current site and implement an SEO strategy that will help you get results! Contact us today to learn more.