When using social media to promote your business worldwide, you must diversify your approach because different platforms have different demographics. Unless you have a specific demographic that you cater to, you will need to foster online attention and translate that into sales. Increasing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a primary means to do that and having a sound SEO strategy will help you accomplish that.

Many business owners new to digital media marketing and advertising believe they will receive a high SEO ranking immediately from Google just for starting a website and making the occasional tweet from their Twitter account. However, SEO is a lot more complicated than that, and requires time and effort, as well as some creative thinking and a decisive SEO strategy. Here are six tips to improve your SEO.

Off-Site SEO Is Social Media Integration

With so many advancements in SEO and digital marketing and advertising integration, there are new things to learn everyday. As a business owner, you may not have the time to spend learning everything under the sun about SEO, which is understandable as your primary goal is to keep your business afloat. Developing an SEO strategy is boring and selling your product is a lot more fun. We get that. However, one tip we can offer you is to beware of meaningless buzzwords that describe concepts you already know, like off-site SEO, which is basically cross-platform media integration.

In more detail, off-site SEO, according to SEOmark.com, refers to the act of increasing your SEO ranking beyond your website. This means social media profiles, affiliate marketing, guest blogging, etc. Your time is precious and must be used as efficiently as possible, especially online, where misinformation is always present and always a potential time sink. Do a little background research before investing lots of time in the newest online SEO fads.

It May Take Time to See Your SEO Strategy Work

Every day you hear news stories about new websites like Ship Your Enemies Glitter or mobile applications like Vuewin that pop up overnight and go viral, or are appraised at astronomical figures. However, unless your content goes viral or your company is already very successful, it is unlikely you will see similar SEO rankings or site visits that fast. SEO takes times, but a well developed SEO strategy will put you on the right track. With patience and time, your increased efforts in building SEO through regular blogging, effective customer service, link building, and other white hat practices will translate into positive results.

You Must Do More than Just Build a Website

You work is not done once your website is up. To really maximize your effectiveness online, you will need to consistently update it for your customers and visitors. According to a 2012 press release by SMB DigitalScape, as reported by Biakelsey.com, “93.3 percent of SMB websites are not mobile compatible and will not render successfully on mobile devices or smartphones.”

You need to be somewhat familiar with the latest web development technologies and platforms to ensure your website remains functional and customers can use it efficiently. Be part of the 6.7% of small to medium sized businesses that have mobile-friendly websites, not the 93.3% that do not. Mobile is the future, the majority of users rely on mobile, and Google’s current algorithm heavily considers mobile friendliness for ranking.

If you are too busy to update your website at regular intervals, which is understandable for small and medium-sized businesses, hire a web developer to take care of it. The cost of having a web developer on retainer will more than pay for itself once your website develops functional issues with newer software like crashes, incompatible video playback, or even just updating sections of your site or content.If you, or a family member, are interested in web development, The Odin Project is a great online resource to use and consult.

SEO Is Not a Mystery

Many individuals, not just business owners, are not familiar enough with computers and web development. They may assume SEO is generated randomly and that you cannot track or predict SEO. This is wrong. A thoughtful SEO strategy will help you optimize your website, understand SEO, and efficiently use your time. Anyone with enough time and effort, can learn everything there is to know about SEO and how to apply it effectively for increased online attention and sales. Start with Google’s Webmaster Youtube Channel, Search Console Help, and their SEO Starter Guide. Do not listen to those who tell you SEO is not worth the effort because it is based on chance or luck; it is not. The information is out there. No one can guarantee you rankings, but if you follow a well placed SEO strategy, the odds will be in your favor.

Vet Your Sources and Backlinks Carefully

It is not enough to write and post content with plenty of links to affiliate sites and other blogs. Your SEO score depends on the quality, not just the quantity, of your backlinks and sources. According to Moz, backlinks have been correlated to building a favorable SEO ranking. In addition, SEO ranking notwithstanding, consumers and visitors as well, will judge your business and your website based on the sources you list. If you do not vet your sources carefully and ensure they are authoritative and accurate, your viewership will decline, as will your SEO ranking.

Check Out Your Competition

Your SEO ranking is not only dependent on your own efforts but the efforts of your competition as well. After all, you are competing with them for ranking. Therefore, every once in awhile, check out your competition’s websites and social media accounts to see what they are doing right and wrong, and how you would improve their media marketing and advertising strategy.

For instance, if you notice your competition does not have a mobile-optimized website, you should ensure your website does. If your competitors do not update their websites or post fresh content, make sure you do. If they have a basic app on iTunes, make sure your apps are better, and available for Androids and Windows phones as well. In order to compete effectively, you need to be better than your competition, which will be recognized by consumers. SEO ranking is a side benefit in such a strategy that is sure to increase online revenue.