Imagine for a minute that you’re a librarian, but not a normal librarian. For every book in the world people depend on you every day to find the exact book they need for the information they are searching for. How do you do it?
You need a system! If you expect to find the best information for each user you need to know what’s inside every book. Furthermore, you need to know how each book relates to another. Your system needs to take in a lot of information and spit out the best answers for the patron’s questions. Enter Google. You can think of Google as a digital librarian who uses an algorithm to find you the best information on the web.
I am sure you’re thinking by now, yes this is great, but how does that help me? It’s simple really. You want Google, the digital librarian, to pick your information for users that are searching. That is where Search Engine Optimization, or SEO comes in.
SEO is a digital marketing term that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of optimizing a website to rank highly in 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” – Unknown
Everyday 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 Real Estate, 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.
WHERE SHOULD YOU START?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is constantly changing as a reaction to Googles algorithm improvements. What’s working now might not work tomorrow, which is why it is important to constantly monitor and test the algorithm to ensure that you are applying proven best practices.
It’s not just Google that an SEO needs to monitor. The reaction of potential customer behavior on your site is equally important. These signals aren’t just helpful for conversions but can also be some of the many ranking factors considered by search algorithms.
The most effective SEO strategy for your business is to put your customers first. It doesn’t matter if you are a law firm, a dental office, or an e-commerce business. Using this principle to dictate your strategic decisions can help to create a winning campaign. Before you begin your website optimization and outreach, your first step will be defining your audience and how you can best serve them. Knowing gender, age, geography, and buying decisions can help in developing your SEO campaign.
DEFINING YOUR AUDIENCE
If you ask a small or medium business owner who their target audience is they will likely have a good idea. And while they might know their audience well, it often isn’t reflected on their website. To define your audience, ask yourself the following:
- What action do we want users to take? Should they fill out a form, download a whitepaper, call, join our newsletter?
- What tone of voice do they want us to use when talking to them?
- What is the average age of our user?
- What is the gender of our average user?
- What devise(s) do our users usually use to visit our site?
- What questions do we need to answer before they will take action?
- How much is a lead worth?
CREATING THE RIGHT CONTENT
When creating the content on your website the goal should be two things. Show users what they want (your offering), and tell a better story than your competitors. Good content will make use of images, video, text, and is shareable on social media. 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.
The basis of any search marking campaign will start with keyword research. Good content will be written around related keywords and focus on a single keyword topic. In the beginning stages, key phrases will form our main category pages, and from there more focused supporting content will follow.
Once you have your category and service pages or product pages organized, it’s time to comb your website to see if you currently have any of these pages already ranking or written. If you do, evaluate them and revise as needed. If not, it’s time to get writing.
OPTIMIZING YOUR WEBPAGE CONTENT
Once you have your content authored and published, you will want to better optimize it for search and users. Content optimization can be an ongoing process that requires careful management. Here is how you can start optimizing your site:
- The depth of content – what is an appropriate length?
- Social media distribution/sharing
- Website markup (schema.org, microdata, rich snippets)
- URL structure
- Title tags and metadata
- Image file name
- Image alt tags
- Headings: H1 – H6
- Your main keyword in the first paragraph of your post
- LSI keywords
- Page load time
- Minimize HTTP Requests
- Reduce server response time
- Enable compression
- Enable browser caching
- Minify resources
- Optimize images
- Optimize CSS Deliver
- Prioritize above-the-fold content
- Reduce the number of plugins you use on your site
- Reduce redirects
- Make sure your site is mobile friendly – responsive
- Reduce bounce rate
- Use a large, easy to read font
- Clean design
- Pay attention to formatting and tone
A 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 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 helps search engine in easily reading what the web page is about and how it might be relevant to user’s query. Some of the best title tags are less than 70 characters, they are descriptive, use top keywords and avoid keyword spamming. 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 back Links and Keeping Monitoring
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. Without a strong backlink provide your hard work up to this point will likely fail from a search perspective. Before you jump into building links there are a few things you will want to be very careful about.
- Make sure you are getting links from good domains. A bad link can be bad for your site.
- Use the correct anchor text and keep it natural.
- Don’t point all your links to the homepage. They should link to relevant internal pages too.
Just how do you begin link building? You can accomplish this by using outreach to high authority sites such as Forbes, Fortune, and newspapers, as well as contribute to blogs. Another method of link building might include tools that allow you to see links that your competitors have earned. You can read more about this and other link building methods by reading a post I authored on Forbes here.
Use Google 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 serves 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 page loading speed of less than 2 seconds.
Keep An Eye On 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.
IMPORTANCE OF AN SEO COMPANY
SEO is the process of optimizing a website so that it can be easily indexed by major search engines. This gives it a higher page ranking and better visibility. Today, with more and more internet users leveraging the potential of search engines to share and retrieve information, it is imperative for businesses to appear in the top rankings in search engine result pages and attract the attention of consumers. Internet users tend to trust websites that appear on the first page of SERP more than websites that show up on the third or fourth pages. Most people do not possess the time to scroll through the latter result pages of search engines. So, if your website does not appear in the top 5 rankings of a search engine results page, you are missing out on a huge client base. This is where a professional SEO company can get your website visibility that is worth thousands of new customers!!
Instead of merely focusing on search engine rankings, a good and reliable SEO company is primarily focused on generating leads for your business. They emphasize sales and measurable results that drive profits. With this intent, they strive to grasp a better understanding of your business, products and services, competition, values, and goals and build an effective roadmap for your website. Some of the key services are:
- Competitive analysis
- Website analysis and optimization
- Keyword research and development
- Meta tag and title creation
- Content writing
- Link building
- Article directory submissions
- Blog posting and comment submissions
- Forums and online community postings
- Social bookmarking
- Social media marketing
- Local search engine optimization
- Mobile SEO
- E-commerce search engine optimization
- Video optimization
- Tracking and ROI analysis
Search engine optimization is the cornerstone of any marketing campaign. It is the most effective way for your website to get attention on the internet, attract new customers, and improve sales. A good SEO company employs an organic approach to search engine optimization, not only guaranteeing you higher page rankings but conversions as well. What is even more exciting is that SEO gives your website permanent exposure! Hence, the key to success for your business lies with a professional and reliable SEO company.