Think back to the last time you typed something into a search engine. What results did you look at? (Probably not those on the fourth page.) Most people don’t even make it to the second page of results—they focus on the results at the top of the very first page.

Many people have even learned to tune out the advertised listings at the top and on the side—their eyes go straight to the first organic search result. Wouldn’t it be great if they found your website there? That is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.

The goal of SEO is to get your website to the top of a search engine’s listings when people browsing the web search for certain keywords, but with the algorithms used to calculate rankings changing on a regular basis, how do you know where to focus your efforts? Start with the following tips.

Narrow Your Focus To More Specific, Niche Keywords

Popular, general keywords are very competitive and it can be very difficult to make it to the top of the listings with so many websites vying for that spot.

Instead of spending huge amounts of effort and money on these general keywords, narrow your focus. Target related keywords that are more specific. Keywords in niche areas will have less competition, and the people who search using those keywords will be more likely to click through to your site since they know exactly what they are looking for.

Broaden Your Focus To Include Alternative Search Engines

While Google is still the most popular search engine, other alternatives are making headway. Don’t ignore Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. People all over the world still use these alternative search engines and if you aren’t optimizing for them, you’ll miss out on traffic. Yahoo just became the default browser in Firefox, and DuckDuckGo is appealing to users concerned with privacy. Take advantage of all the search engine results, not just those from Google.

Focus On Fewer Social Media Platforms—But Be More Active

Social media is becoming more and more important to search engine rankings. This is in part because social media provides an excellent opportunity to share links. Inbound links have always been an important part of search engine rankings, and they aren’t going away anytime soon.

In the past, marketers attempted to hit every single social media platform, but it would be wise to narrow your focus. Instead of dumping content on every social media site, become a real, active participant on two or three sites. Share content on social media platforms and then take the time to interact with followers, respond to comments, and build relationships. You’ll build a loyal customer base while generating more leads and earning more inbound links.

Focus On Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design is becoming more and more important. Put simply, responsive design means your website looks great and works well on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Both Google and Bing have said that this is an important attribute of websites—but more importantly, your future customers are on mobile devices. If your site isn’t responsive and optimized for mobile use, you’ll lose potential customers.

SEO doesn’t have to be difficult, just use the advice above to make sure you are focused on the right things. For additional help, hire a firm that specializes in SEO services to keep up with the ever changing algorithms and ranking criteria.