SEO is a multi-million dollar industry expected to grow even more over the next few years. SEO is a broad and intricate school of thought which proves that digital content is the wave of the future. Forbes recently released a study citing that 65% of executives say their companies need to do more to improve their marketing effectiveness through digital technologies. Here are a few simple SEO secrets we’ve compiled for you to apply to your own site:

1. You Must Have a Plan – Before you start any marketing campaign or revision, it’s best to determine your needs, goals, and priorities. You should consider adding a tool like Google Analytics to your site to help measure your success and to determine what keywords are driving visitors to you. Measuring and tracking your results is crucial to finding what areas you should focus on.

2. Research your Keywords – We can’t stress how important this is. For example, if you make custom iPhone cases, you might discover that the phrase ‘design your own iPhone case’ is five times more widely searched than ‘custom iPhone case’. Often businesses describe their own products with different keywords than someone more objective (i.e. your average consumer) would. Google AdWords is a great resource for this and can help you gauge how competitive a keyword is. You’ll want to be sure to use a good mix though of highly competitive and less competitive keywords.

3. Have Good Content – Google has complex algorithms that have become increasingly adept at picking up on sites that overuse keywords, so be conscious not to get carried away with these. It’s just as important that you have quality content. If not, this will penalize your site, so consider good content as one of the main components of SEO. Good content combined with SEO is the recipe for success for creating site visibility.

4. Optimize Your Site to be Search Engine Friendly – Use HTML text format for your content. That format is what search engines pick up on, so you’ll want as much of your site as possible in HTML. Flash files, JavaScript, Ajax, and other content is often ignored by search engines, making it more difficult for them to index your pages. Something we’d suggest for all businesses is to view your site the way a search engine would. There are many text browsers and tools available online that enable you to do this, but by plugging in your URL, you’ll get to see your site the way Google sees it. You might be surprised at how much valuable content disappears, simply because it’s not in the right format.

5. Vary Content with Multimedia – The days of the template website are behind us. A site with a few pictures and a body of text won’t cut it anymore. To give your site a fighting chance, you should include photos, videos, and links to other industry-specific authorities. Be sure that you tag all of these with cutlines. While multimedia is favored with search engines, don’t forget that quality comes first. Any content should always be applicable and relevant.