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While many people immediately think of the Indianapolis 500 when they think of the city, there is far more to Indianapolis than a famous race. The region is well-known for its art community, museums, and natural attractions. At the same time, Indianas' ranking as an excellent place to conduct business has risen dramatically over the past couple of years.

The city is also home to numerous types of businesses. That level of diversity is a significant plus, as a balance of industries suggests that, even if one sector suffers, it's unlikely all will go through a downturn simultaneously. However, competition can be stiff in some segments. That's why establishing a solid SEO strategy is strongly recommended for area business owners. Working closely with SEO experts allows businesses to thrive even in competitive niches.

Understanding the Importance of Search Engine Rankings

Recent statistics state that roughly 80 percent of the U.S. population shops online. When those shoppers start a search for a product or service, they're far more likely to buy from one of the companies listed on the first page of the search engine returns. That means if your company's website doesn't show up until page three, you're unlikely to see any significant benefit from your site.

SEO experts strongly recommend exploring all possible strategies to move your site to the top page of the returns on Google and the other search engines. The importance of ranking on Google can't be overemphasized since almost 50 percent of all shoppers recently surveyed found what they wanted using Google.

Of course, your competition is facing the same dilemma. Competitors also want to rank at the top of search engine returns, so what do you, as a business owner, need to do to achieve that all-important high ranking in your market segment? There are a few strategies Indianapolis SEO professionals encourage website owners to consider when its time to update an existing site or design a new one.

Analyze Your Existing Site

Even the best sites need improvement in some areas. Older sites that haven't been upgraded in years need even more updates to become or remain competitive. That means the first step toward boosting a sites' effectiveness is analyzing the existing content to see where problems exist.

Identifying a sites merits is also important, as embracing those good points will make it easier to move forward. Even an older site that's not optimized will likely have valuable content that should be retained even if it needs some updating. The analysis will help SEO experts determine how to proceed.

Know Your Competition

Your competitors are also exploring ways to boost their search engine rankings. Before going much farther, finding and evaluating the ways your competitors do business is important. By learning about your competition, youll discover some strategies they use to attract and retain customers.

Some of your competitors efforts are worth emulating, as ideas that work for one company in your niche may also work well for your organization. That doesn't mean you should copy their content or sales strategies, but you can learn from their efforts and find ways to apply the same types of marketing ideas to your site.

Reviewing competitors sites will also help you and your SEO team identify strategies that are likely to fail. Follow the marketing ideas your competition uses to see if they're working. Doing so is relatively easy, as a strategy that doesn't work will quickly disappear or be modified.

Keywords and How They Impact Your Site

In the past, dealing with keywords was rather simple. Site owners simply stuffed them into content enough times that Google thought the site contained useable content. However, users and search engines took note when keywords were used awkwardly or included too many times. That meant changes were in order.

Today, selecting and using keywords is virtually an art. SEO agency experts use various tools to determine which keywords or phrases are most likely to generate traffic. That's important since search engine algorithms now identify keyword stuffing and penalize sites that use them inappropriately.

Remember that the interests expressed by consumers entering searches will determine the best keywords. When searching for goods or services, shoppers know what they want and can generally express their needs succinctly, which means SEO experts are able to determine what keywords to use when optimizing a site.

Keyword use will also change from time to time as market conditions evolve. SEO experts routinely review keywords to ensure the best ones are used in a sites content.

Site Optimization

The majority of websites today need work. They include content or programming that slows the sites down or makes moving from one part of a site to another clumsy. SEO experts evaluate sites to determine where improvements are needed to enhance their performance.

Achieving that objective isn't always easy, especially with new sites that don't have a history. Some experimentation is often needed to achieve the best results. That's why SEO consulting is an ongoing process rather than a one-and-done proposition.

Improve Your Sites Content

SEO experts always encourage clients to improve the content of their sites. The adage that content is king is still valid, and Google penalizes sites that use low-quality content or don't update their content frequently. That doesn't mean the content must be changed every week, but adding or revising content is certainly important.

If you're unsure what types of content should be included, take the time to discuss the issue with your SEO expert. They'll work with clients to discern what information your sites visitors need (or want) and discuss ways to obtain and use appropriate content.

One proven strategy is using blogs that provide interesting, valuable information site visitors can easily access anytime. Look at your competitors sites to see what information they're including in blogs. Once you determine what information your site visitors are interested in, take the time to post blogs that focus on those interests.

Make the Site User-Friendly

Today's shoppers expect your site to provide a quality experience during their visit. In other words, they expect sites to work properly and meet their needs. There are a few elements Indianapolis SEO professionals stress when working with clients. They include the following.

  • Fast Load Times. If your site doesn't load quickly, shoppers will move on to a competitors site that does. Optimization experts emphasize evaluating your site frequently to spot loading time problems.
  • Compatibility With All Devices. Today's shoppers increasingly rely on mobile devices when looking for goods and services in Indianapolis. If your site isn't optimized for mobile devices, those shoppers will lose patience and leave your site. Websites must work on any device to be effective.
  • Navigation Must Be Simple. Moving from one page to another within a website must be easy. Menus must be clear and simple to find. Internal links are often used in addition to menus to help customers find the information they need quickly.
  • Forms Must Be Easy to Use. Far too many site owners hurt their business by requiring unnecessary information or making forms obtuse. Customers are willing to provide needed information, but avoid asking for any information that's not needed to complete the transaction.
  • Have Clear, Concise Call-to-Action Steps. No customer wants to stumble through vague steps when trying to obtain information or purchase goods and services. Make buying your products simple by identifying how to proceed through the buying process. Steps must be easy to follow. Create a design that makes it easy for every customer to intuitively know what they need to do next.

Because every site is somewhat different, SEO experts may stress other strategies for your site. The important thing here is to keep an open mind and consider the rationale for their recommendations before making any decisions.

Be Aware of Current Trends

The very way people shop both online and in brick-and-mortar stores is evolving rapidly. New trends mean websites must evolve to deal with changing demands. The market demands site owners explore strategies designed to meet evolving needs conditions. Indianapolis shoppers are rapidly changing the way they search for businesses to buy from, which means staying ahead of the curve is vitally important.

One way shoppers are finding businesses to buy from is through social media platforms. SEO experts recommend site owners incorporate links to and from social media sites to take advantage of this trend. Doing so exposes your business to shoppers who might otherwise never consider purchasing goods or services from your business.

Another trend is shoppers using voice searches. Today, business owners are encouraged to optimize their sites to take advantage of voice searches. This emerging trend is going to be critical in the coming months, so take the time today to determine what your site needs to land more customers who use voice searches.

The Time for Change is Now

If you're still uncertain when or how to improve your website, ask an Indianapolis SEO expert for advice. In the majority of cases, the time to act is now. Whether your market is local, national, or international, today is the best time to protect your future. Optimizing your website now is a crucial step for improving your business in the years to come.

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