What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the key to ranking your website on Search engines. Understanding the basics isn’t enough. Let us start learning SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that increases your website’s visibility on search engines like Google and Bing.
The higher your ranking, the more traffic you’ll generate.
It is no secret that SEO is one of today’s most important digital marketing strategies.
And it makes sense: over 90% of people report that they go to the Internet first when looking for information on products or services.
But how do you optimize your content so that it ranks well in search results? And how can you be sure those rankings will stick?
This complete guide to SEO marketing has all the answers!
How Search Engines Work
Search engines are the most common way to find information on the Internet. They use software called bots (or spiders or crawlers) that “crawl” the Web to look for content. While some search engines crawl only specific websites or types of data, others crawl billions of pages and can return search results from across multiple websites.
Bots visit web pages and read their content, collecting information about each page in databases called indexes. When you ask a question or type a search term into a search engine like Google,
it shows you matching results based on two main factors: relevance and popularity.
- Relevance: Does the search engine think that your website is relevant to the subject matter in question?
- Popularity : Is your website popular among other websites or internet users?
The first factor involves making sure that your site has relevant keywords, headings and metadata. The second factor involves creating content that’s so good, people want to write about your site online or link back to you from their own websites.
SEO consists of three main types: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
While they all count as part of a comprehensive search strategy, they each have different objectives, which we’ll discuss next.
On-Page Ranking Factors
On-page ranking factors are the different parts of a web page that you can optimize in order to boost your rankings in SERPs. While they are different than off-page ranking factors, On-page ranking factors are still part of a website’s overall SEO.
A few examples of on-page ranking factors include:
Image alt text
Off-Page Ranking Factors
It is one of the most important things in search engine optimization. Off-page factors play a significant role in determining your website’s rankings in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
It’s important to know what off-page ranking factors are important for your site and learn how to use them effectively.
A few examples of on-page ranking factors include:
Technical SEO Ranking Factors
I have described the basics of SEO, but there are still a number of ways to make your website more prominent in search result rankings, even if they’re not as important as on-page optimization.
I won’t go into a ton of detail about these ranking factors because you don’t really have to understand them to do well in search results. Just know that these are things that can help you out and that you may want to consult with an SEO professional about if you feel like optimizing for them:
Indexing (tied to backlinks)
Structured data (such as Schema markup)
Safe browsing (such as the site having no malware)
HTTPS (a secure website protocol) Canonicalization Domain age Crawl budget URL structure
SEO Keyword Research and Keyword Targeting
You can find keywords by doing research on your own or by using keyword tools. These tools will connect you with keywords that you may not have thought of, as well as give you information about how many people are searching for those keywords in a given month.
Once you have a list of potential keywords, it’s time to narrow down the list to the best options. You should consider:
- Is this word or phrase something my audience would search for? If not, don’t include it.
- Does the word or phrase accurately reflect what is on my page? If not, don’t include it.
- Can I create great content around this word or phrase? If not, don’t include it.
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential target keywords and phrases to those that are relevant and attainable, you can begin including them in important areas of your content, such as headers and titles.
Increasing Site Traffic
One of the best ways to increase site traffic is to get involved with social media. Run social media profiles for your brand, or allow people to share their experiences and provide their feedback on your products (when appropriate). Let your customers know you’re listening by thanking them for their reviews, sharing their experiences online and directly responding to their posts.
Create content that people want to share.
Create a LinkedIn company page for your business.
Create a Facebook business page.
Create a Twitter account for your business.
Create a YouTube channel for your business.
Create a Google+ brand page for your business.
Measuring and Tracking Success
The bottom line for a business is that search engine optimization is important because it helps you to get more customers, and be able to track what’s working and what isn’t.
In order to measure the success of your SEO campaign, it’s important to stay on top of the all-important metrics involved in SEO: traffic, conversions, bounce rate, etc. This is where tools like Google Analytics can come in handy by showing you exactly what percentage of visitors are coming from organic searches.
Another tool for measuring success is SEMrush which shows you how your competitors are doing online so that you can compare yourself to them and see where there might be opportunities or weaknesses in your current strategy.
In order to really measure the effectiveness of your SEO strategy using these tools, firstly make sure that they are collecting data correctly (for example tracking codes may need updating) and then monitor progress throughout an appropriate time period such as six months.