Digital & SEO Tips From Mavens & Moguls
Today we feature a discussion with the dynamic Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls.
Q: Tell us about your background and how digital matters more today?
A: I started a global marketing and digital branding firm 19 years ago and you do not exist today if you cannot be found online. As a business you must have a website and I’d argue businesses always need SEO because the whole point of having a web site is to make it easy for customers to find you. Being invisible online is a terrible strategy so making sure your site is keyword rich, mobile friendly, loads quickly and produces meaningful content today is the price of entry.
That also happens to be a great foundation for effective SEO. Your home page is the most important to hook in prospective clients and customers if it does not load quickly or they do not see something that grabs their attention the opportunity will be lost. It must include enough of your value proposition to start the conversation so they will click further to learn more about your product or service. The goal is to make the navigation intuitive and easy so they follow the breadcrumbs to get their questions answered or problems solved. When your brand foundation its strong the metrics show that you shorten the sales cycle and people spend more time on your site. I started my company when websites were basically a brochure online and search was a novelty The sites have gotten fancier over the years and search engines have changed their algorithms to keep up with customer demand for better and more relevant search capability.
Q: What are the main SEO strategies you recommend?
* Websites must be optimized for voice search
Voice user interface allows users to interact with websites through voice commands so it adds usability and functionality to your site making it accessible to all users including those with limitations and disabilities. It is not just about complying with the ADA, responsible web design and corporate social responsibility goals but it is also good for the bottom line by reaching a broader audience. Inclusion is the right thing to do and it is good for business. One key trend to address and tackle to grow your audience today is that smart speakers and voice search are growing in importance so being able to optimize for voice search will be key to maximize the marketing and advertising opportunities on Siri, Alexa, Google Home, etc. Brands that perfect the “branded skill” with more customer-friendly, less invasive ads are going to win big. Are you prepared when customers ask for help like “Alexa ask Nestle for an oatmeal cookie recipe” or “What is the best Mexican restaurant in Boston?” If not you are missing a big opportunity!
There are always new shiny objects in marketing to distract you, social media and technology are 24/7 but SEO is here to stay whether it is via Google or voice. You get one chance to make a great first impression so if you want to improve the impression you are making and give your business a boost make sure your site is optimized.
Q: What are some key things to know to rank higher? Content quality and length matter for rankings. Web pages that contain long high quality content get more visibility and shares so becoming that trusted source and influencer with timely and helpful answers to questions gets rewarded quickly. Search engines notice when sites publish consistently and can see how long people stay so building a strong reputation as a site that informs and educates pays off in higher organic search results too. Users are savvy and can tell if content is too salesy or self promoting which gets ignored. I think Content Marketing is the new PR and leveraging it is the best foundation for a link building strategy by using social media to build your brand.
Q: What determines your rankings?
A: Mobile UX determines your ranking. In a mobile first world, you have less time to grab people, attention spans are shorter than ever so video will be used even more to boost rankings, show don’t tell for maximum impact, rich content drives engagement, traction and growth. The world is moving to mobile first or mobile only, fewer people accessing web on big screens so everyone is tailoring their site, message and content accordingly. More people watch videos than TV now so adding video to your site and using the right keywords for video descriptions and headlines will insure you do better in searches too.
I think using SEO and SEM together in 2021 is ideal as main search engines are constantly changing their algorithms for rankings so stop thinking of SEO and SEM as rival forces. When used together they are complementary services that help boost your marketing strategy and increase brand exposure. The key is to build brand awareness and trust in your brand or business which begins by getting your business name to appear in prospect’s searches. Seeing your brand name appear twice, both on organic and on paid results, creates more brand awareness and intensifies your businesses’ trustworthiness. Research shows that if there are two brands that have apparently the same products, people will be more likely to choose the one they are familiar with. When a brand is shown in organic results alone it only gets 60% of clicks, whereas a brand that appeared in both organic and paid search results, attracts 92% of total clicks. When paid listings are shown beside organic, the click-through rate of paid ads increases. This means that clicks increase for both organic and paid listings when they are both featured and do not detract from each other.
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