SEO is a digital marketing term that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of optimizing a website to rank highly in a search engine to get free or organic traffic. SEO is a continually evolving process due to search engine algorithms constantly changing. Any good SEO strategy takes into account the nature of search engines as well as understanding user behavior signals. It requires expertise in technical factors as well as non-technical factors (such as content and outreach,)
WHY IS SEO IMPORTANT?
“The Best Place to Hide a Dead Body is Page Two of Google” – UnknownEveryday there are users using search engines to find answers to their queries, solution to their problems, or for buying products on ecommerce websites. Many of these users will never look beyond the the first page of a search engine. To gain a spot in this coveted realestate, you will need good SEO practices. A winner strategy will not only incorporate best practices, but also work to improve the user-experience of your website, thereby, promoting higher engagement between a user and a brand. Some people like to call this conversion optimization but this is now becoming a more common practice within SEO teams.
When it comes to SEO, Content is King and will retain its throne in the coming years as well. For your website to rank higher, content should not only be relevant but also catered to the user intent. An innovative copy should be inclusive of different forms of content including image, video, GIF and more. It’s important to avoid duplicate content on your site as it is to keep refreshing content on the website with new changes in Google’s algorithm.
Thorough keyword research is a pre-requisite of writing engaging content that users are bound to be looking for. An arsenal of tools including Google Keyword tool, Buzzsumo, SEMRush and even social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be a smart marketer’s to-go places for keyword research. Work out a smart combination of short-tail and long-tail as well as high ranking and low ranking keywords for an optimum content strategy.
UNIQUE TITLES AND META DESCRIPTIONS
The title tag and Meta description are two of the significant elements of on-page SEO. They help search engine in easily reading what the web page is about and how it might be relevant to the user’s query. Some of the best title tags are less than 70 characters, they are descriptive, use top keywords and avoid keyword spamming. The meta description should be approximately 150-160 characters and it is best for every page to have its unique Meta description.
UNIQUE AND SMART URL’S
Keep your URLs short, structured and easily understandable but make sure they include your keywords. Also whenever possible use a single domain and sub-domain for your URLs.
BUILDING BACKLINKS AND KEEPING A TAB OF THEM
The incoming links to your webpage are called backlinks. Backlinks lead to faster indexing by search engines and also help your website in generating higher organic traffic. Some of the most popular ways of creating backlinks are writing great quality content that people will like to link to, commenting at popular and relevant forums with your links and submitting your links to web directories. Also, try and distribute your backlinks to a variety of different pages and not just home page for higher optimization. Keeping a tab of your backlinks is also crucial for monitoring your progress and changes.
USE GOOGLE WEBMASTER’S TOOL (NOW CALLED SEARCH CONSOLE) AND SITEMAPS FOR HIGHLIGHTING DATA
It is possible for you to highlight parts of your website using Data Highlighter in Google Webmaster Tools / Search Console so that search engine crawlers can spot your chosen pages and patterns easily and better recognize your data structure. Sitemaps also serve a similar purpose by allowing search engines to crawl and index your pages with ease.
PROMOTE WEBSITE ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND THROUGH GUEST BLOGGING
The last 3-4 years have seen a surge of influencers who have a staggering number of followers that they can direct to your website. It is an important off-page SEO trick to spot influencers in your niche and tie up with them so that they can write guests posts for you and promote your website to their already loyal fans through some of the most engaging social mediums.
IMPROVE WEBSITE SPEED AND AVOID 404 PAGE ERRORS
While they might not directly and immediately impact your website’s performance; both these factors influence the user-experience tremendously. To prevent higher bounce rate, it’s important that you fix any 404 pages on your website and aim at a page loading speed of fewer than 2 seconds.
KEEP AN EYE FOR YOUR COMPETITORS SEO STRATEGY
It’s simple enough to understand that what works for your competitors will work for you too. By mapping their backlinks and keeping an eye on their social media pages, you can easily figure out what are the keywords and the audiences they are targeting. Use this information for improving your SEO strategy and for driving their traffic to your website.
BUILDING A COHESIVE SEO STRATEGY
A lucrative SEO strategy should ride on the back of new and emerging trends. Here’s what to keep in mind while building an SEO strategy in 2018:
- Search Experience Optimisation in addition to Search Engine Optimisation
Instead of just optimizing for search engines, you should work towards optimizing for people at all places your brand is visible at.
- Keep an eye on Google News and Social Content
With a thorough knowledge of your niche and an understanding of how Google responds to queries, you can gain higher visibility.
- Use Knowledge Panels to Build Trust
It’s a good practice to build trust with users by providing details about your business including location, phone number, hours of operation etc.
- Get Mobile Friendly
It’s no secret that as mobiles are getting smarter, users are spending an increasing number of hours on them. And if your users are on mobile, that’s an indicator that your SEO strategy should be optimized for mobile. While the basic SEO principles remain the same, make sure web design, code, site configuration, data structure, and other such factors are mobile-specific.
- Focus on Voice Search
With over 50% searches in 2020 expected to be voice-based, it is time for your SEO strategy to optimize for voice. Some of the key factors to keep in mind are that voice-based queries are mostly local, contain long-tail keywords and seek immediate results.