Today, your website is your storefront. Even if you have a brick and mortar business, many people will find you online or check you out online because getting in their car. Sure, it's nice to have a great website with content that makes you stand out, but that doesn't mean anything if you're not being found online. That's where the real challenge is.
How do you ensure your ideal customer or client is find you? By making sure your website is optimized so search engines will push you to the front of the line, or search results. You need to pay attention to your SEO.
Focus on attracting long clicks
A long click means when people navigate to your page, they spend time digesting the content -- reading the copy, clicking through to other internal pages, etc. instead of bouncing off the website.
According to Jeffrey Bumbales, Founder of JB Digital Solution, long clicks are future-proof. When people navigate to your page and stay, it means a few things:
The content is relevant to their search query
The content is valuable and so is the user experience
The content is current and up-to-date
"Search engines use bounce rate, time on page, and hundreds of other metrics to assess value and relevance," Bumbales said. "If you were previously attracting long clicks and notice that they are dwindling, it likely means someone else has released some content that is more thorough or more up-to-date."
Speed up your website
Business owners should make sure their website is mobile friendly and loads under three seconds on a mobile device.
"Google stated recently that 56 percent of sessions are abandoned if the website takes longer than three seconds to load, said Amine Rahal, founder and CEO of IronMonk Solutions, a Google Partners agency.
Have good PR
Public relations is vital to SEO. When you are featured on an influential website with a high domain authority and your website is linked, it increases your domain authority by sending a message to the search engines that your website is important.
PR doesn't only help your SEO. It provides benefits in other areas as well. For example, all the backlinks I've earned myself in popular media outlets helped get my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages verified.
Make sure Google My Business is current
Businesses need to ensure they have up to date Google My Business listings.
"This means updated photos, responding to reviews, updating your hours for holidays, including a 360-degree virtual tour, and accurate phone, address, and name across their listing and site," said Joe Sloan, a marketing and communications coordinator. "They need to do this because this is by far the most typical first impression of your business."
This will help you rank higher in local searches and your website rank higher if your information is consistent on your site and your listing.
Pay attention to your metadata
Dani Benson, SEO Specialist at Talent Inc., suggests fixing duplicate metadata or creating it if there isn't any. A study by Search Engine Journal found that 63 percent of website owners completely abandon any efforts to create a meta description and almost 54 percent of websites have duplicates.
"Duplicate content, even metadata, will prohibit the page from being indexed - meaning, it will lose the opportunity to rank for keywords and, therefore, not show up in organic search results. If the metadata is missing, it will result in a missed opportunity to describe this page is to the customer and explain why it answers their problem," Benson said. "If you don't write it yourself, the search engine will write it for you. Don't you think you can market your product better than a computer?"
The more information you provide the search engine -- and the customer -- the more likely they are to trust you over your competitor.
While Google's algorithm is constantly changing, these tactics aren't going to change anytime soon and will increase your chance of being found online.