St. Louis WordPress Development: How to Get Started
The local SEO team at Surge Online Marketing has been hard at work customizing the articles here on our website to provide you with the latest and highest quality information about SEO for St. Louis.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur who needs some direction, or you’re just looking to make your website work harder for you, read on to discover the best way to move forward with your St. Louis web development project.
Importance Of Local SEO
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably already aware that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can have significant impacts not only on your bottom line but also on the success of your business.
What you may not be aware of is that SEO can be quite tricky to optimize for when done correctly. To ensure that your St. Louis SEO projects are up to par, the dedicated team at Surge Online Marketing has prepared this extensive guide to help you get started.
Why Should You Work With Us
Aside from being one of the nation’s leading SEO firms, we’re also a full service web design and development company with an extraordinary reputation built over the years. Our clients range from small businesses looking to grow organically to international brands looking to make an impact.
As you’ll soon discover, we possess an uncanny knack for understanding what our clients want and need, and we take great pride in tailoring the perfect web experience for each one.
When working with us, you can be assured that you’re partnering with a true expert who has the proven record of delivering outstanding results for our clients.
SEM Is A Jumble Of Phrases That Means Search Engine Marketing
As the name suggests, SEM (Search Engine Marketing) combines both search engine optimization and paid advertising to drive organic traffic to your website. In today’s world of digital marketing, search engine marketing simply means getting your website or blog listed on search engines like Google, Bing and Yandex (formerly known as Yandex.com) for keyword phrases relevant to your business. When someone searches for a product or service that your business offers, your website or blog will appear at the top of the search results.
There are three primary ways to gain search engine ranking:
- Create content that is informative, original, and highly relevant to your target audience (aka “quality content”)
- Make sure that your website is thoroughly optimised for maximum usability (which we’ll get into more detail below)
- Pro-actively engage with users on social media to create brand awareness and drive traffic to your website (we’ll discuss this further below)
When done right, search engine marketing can be highly effective at generating leads and increasing business. Just remember that it takes time to see the results of your efforts, so be patient.
How To Get Started With Your St. Louis SEO Projects
With SEM came the complexity of understanding which keywords to target and how to phrase requests for SEO tasks. Even now, a year later, I find myself Googling frequently to ensure I’m using the most effective phrasings and avoiding common SEO traps.
As an SEO consultant, I always recommend taking the time to learn how to use Google Keyword Planner. This free tool from Google is incredibly easy to use and gives you an excellent starting point for your St. Louis SEO projects. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you’ll see a list of the most popular keywords and phrases relevant to your business. From here, you can refine your search to see only the results you’re interested in.
Keyword Planner is just one of the many free resources available to help you get started with your St. Louis SEO projects. Keep in mind that with great power comes great responsibility, so be sure to use these tools responsibly and with good reason.
Paid Advertising: The Basics
While free tools like Google Keyword Planner can be extremely helpful in expanding your knowledge of SEO and driving leads to your business, you may decide to forego the free options in favor of a more traditional approach with paid advertising. The great thing about paid advertising is that you can measure the results of your efforts. Instead of relying on keyword searches to generate traffic, you can take advantage of paid advertising platforms like Google AdWords to target audiences based on demographics, psychographics, or even specific events (such as the Olympics).
In the world of digital marketing, pay per click (PPC) advertising is the process of paying for each time someone clicks a certain link or buys a certain product. Essentially, you’ll pay Google (or another search engine) per click on your ad.
Paid advertising is frequently used in tandem with organic (free) search engine marketing to maximize the results of your SEO efforts. For example, you can put your product or service name in the Google AdWords box, and you’ll see ads for related products and services (Figure 1).
Figure 1: An example of paid ads appearing alongside organic results on Google Search
Building Consistent Value
As a website or blog owner, you’re responsible for creating valuable content that is both engaging and informative. When done right, SEO can help propel your website or blog to the top of search engines for relevant keywords, driving in-bound leads into your business.
One effective way to build consistently valuable content is to write lengthy content that is highly relevant to your target audience. In doing so, you’re compounding the value of each article you create by including evergreen content that will continue to have value even years after its publication. For example, an infographic frequently appears to be a valuable piece of content, as it can continue to be relevant and informative even years after its initial publication.
Consumers today are inundated with content, whether they’re reading blogs, listening to podcasts, or watching videos. To make sure your content stands out, you have to create value in some form — whether that’s an informative infographic, an entertaining blog post, or a short video explaining a complex topic.
Local SEO: Why Should You Care About Local Search?
Not too long ago, consumers primarily went to shops or restaurants located close to their homes to find the products and services they need. As companies learn to thrive in a digital world, they’re discovering the importance of establishing a physical presence online. Establishing a web presence is crucial for any business, but particularly so for retailers who rely on online reviews and digital marketing to drive traffic to their sites. Without a physical address, it’s near-impossible to receive mail and packages, which in turn makes it harder to attract and retain customers.
In today’s world, local SEO is about more than establishing a website. It’s also about ensuring that your site will appear at the top of search engines when consumers in your area search for products or services related to your business. Depending on the size of your city/town, there may be multiple search engines to contend with — like Google, Bing, and Yandex (formerly known as Yandex.com) — so it’s important to develop a strategy to maximize your results on all platforms.
When utilizing local SEO as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll want to consider several factors, including:
- Your market share within your city/town (aka “market penetration”)
- The overall online presence of your target audience (aka “competition analysis”)
- The quality of your website architecture and the information you provide (aka “information quality”)
- Your ability to get the word out about your business (aka “distribution”)
- The overall credibility of your brand (aka “brand awareness”)
By taking the time to get to know your target audience and understanding the buying scenario that will lead them to your product or service, you’ll be able to craft a strategy to bring in more customers and increase your sales.
Maximizing User Experience On Your St. Louis Website
In the world of information architecture, UX (User Experience) design is the practice of understanding and analyzing the information needs of your target audience, then designing environments and digital products to maximize their experience.
Just like a well-designed website, a mobile app or mobile (phone) site can be breathtakingly simple yet feature-rich. To put it another way, good UX can make or break a product or service, as everything else revolves around it. When done right, user experience (UX) design can make or break a product or service, as everything else revolves around it.