Over the last few weeks, we’ve all been hit by major changes to our daily lives. Endurance events have been cancelled or moved to virtual platforms. Camps and classes had to get creative to reach participants. Many YMCA's and park departments had to close facilities.
Things are changing rapidly, but during this time we'd like to remind everyone of a universal constant—the importance of SEO for an organization’s website. As the shift to a more digital-focused climate emerges, a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) is more relevant than ever.
Since most of the population is staying inside/working from home, it is safe to assume that website traffic will increase greatly as people are confined indoors. How can an organization capitalize on this situation? By improving their website’s User Experience (UX) and optimizing to increase visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
What are SERPs?
SERPs are the results pages that search engines, like Google or Bing, produce when someone searches a query online. When a Google user is searching something like “swim classes near me”, Google will retrieve a list of relevant websites to your search based on geo-location, relevance and your search history. The top ten organic results are generally the most relevant to your search but SERPs will also have paid ads and the “local pack” in the search results. Here is an example of searching for 'swim classes near me' in Dallas.
You can see the top spots are advertisements, local pack results and then organic websites. So, what can an organization do to improve their website’s ranking on these pages?
Here are three actions you can take right now:
If you search your website and notice that it doesn’t reach the top of the SERP, create a goal that you feel will be attainable within the next six to 12 months. SEO is not immediate; it takes time for Google and other web crawlers to notice changes to a website’s relevancy, so make sure you set goals that are realistic. For example, if your website generally has 1,000 visitors monthly, set a goal to improve your site and try to hit 1,500 visitors monthly in the next six months. Set goals for improvement that are realistic.
Update Local Info
Second, something you can do today is make sure your information is relevant for the local pack. Google your site and make sure your general information such as name, description, phone number and hours of operation are accurate. It is extremely important that during this time of uncertainty that people have your businesses’ correct information. If you aren’t sure how to confirm your information is up to date, simply go to Google My Business and make sure Google has all of your information.
Perform Web Crawl
Third, do a web crawl of your site using professional SEO tools. There are great tools like SEOptimer and Moz that you can use to look at all the technical aspects of your business. These provide relevant and informative data on the SEO aspects of your website. For example, in January, the ACTIVE Network team had a great webinar on the importance of Digital Marketing and SEO where all the participants received an SEO Scorecard. Having this scorecard will greatly improve the visibility of your website’s important content like keywords, metadata, links and page speeds.
To learn more about the SEO scorecard, or to learn more about SEO Consulting with Active Network’s Digital Marketing Services team, please reach out to your account manager for more details.