The reality of search engine optimization (SEO) is that it’s quite the clown car. We could go on for a very long time about the many different strategies and approaches you could possibly take, but that would still be just the tip of the iceberg. That being said, you have to start somewhere.

A successful SEO strategy always requires a long-term approach, but there are a few steps you can take now to lay the foundation. Here are five.

Optimize for mobile: A big mistake we often see is that people focus on all of the bells and whistles of desktop design without putting mobile usage front and center. Not only is mobile where people spend most of their time, but Google indexes mobile first, so it benefits you to take a mobile-first approach. An easy way to check your site is to run a checkup here.

Pay attention to the competition: While we encourage you to embrace your businesses’ unique values, it’s still important to know your competition. Type in a few keywords you’re hoping to rank for on search results and take notes of these things: the top three results, how many words they have on the page that is ranked, how many images they have on their ranking pages.

Use Google’s free toolbox: Google is going to be your ally when it comes to ranking high, so use all the free tools you have available to you. This includes Google Analytics, Google My Business profiles and Google Search Console. The Search Console is especially cool because it can show you things like if your site has been hacked, website penalties and other insights.

Get shown love by other sites: Backlinking is another secret weapon that you’re going to want to use. Essentially, when other sites link back to you, this shows Google you have a positive reputation. Over time, this power continues to gain momentum. Keep in mind that not all backlinks are created equally. Partner with websites that are in your same industry.

Take a NAP: Don’t get too excited; it’s not that kind of nap, but it’s still a good one. Make a checklist of everywhere your business has an online presence, including your own website, and be sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) are formatted exactly the same. This is especially important if you’re a local business.

If your head is spinning a little bit, you’re not alone. SEO is one of the most misunderstood marketing tactics, but it’s also one of the most important. Our team is here to help answer your questions, big or small. Contact us for a free one-hour consultation.

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