WHAT IS SEO?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your website to increase your rankings on Google or any relevant search engine for key terms/words related to your business. SEO is one of the most effective digital marketing tactics you can invest your time into, and there are a variety of ways you can take advantage of the practice.
Here are four key types of SEO that you can get started on.
1. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO, also referred to as on-site SEO, is the process of optimizing the content on your website. This includes your keywords, headers, meta titles, meta descriptions, images, and more.
Some points for on-page SEO include:
- Research your keywords – Determine the terms and phrases that you want to rank for on search engines. Do some research on which keywords have high relevance and search volume, but less competition. Once you’ve determined the right keywords, then optimize your landing page content and headers for those terms.
- Optimize metadata – Metadata tells Google about the content of a page. Make sure your meta titles and meta descriptions include relevant content and your keyword phrases, so you have a better chance at ranking higher.
- Begin internal linking – Internal links are URLs that link to other pages on your website. Often, you will attach these to anchored text. Insert links on targeted keywords in your copy and link to high-authority pages to better help Google/other search engines crawls your site, so it becomes more visible on the serp.
Incorporating on-page SEO into your marketing efforts is helpful for search engines to understand the content on your site. And once Google understands your website, it can reward you by displaying your site for search queries it deems relevant.
2. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is pretty much everything that does not happen on your website. Off-page SEO is all about creating exposure and trust for your company, which ultimately can result in more visitors and sales.
Most off-page SEO work is focused on link building. If you’re unaware, link building is the practice of getting other reputable websites to link back to your site.
Some quality link building tactics include:
- Guest posting – Many blogs and online publications will accept and publish your posts. Make sure the site is relevant to your work and include a link back to your company.
- Competitor research – Check out the backlink profile of your largest competitors. Find out where they are acquiring links and which sites will allow a hyperlink.
- Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – Help a Reporter Out is an online service where journalists request insights from certain industry experts. This is where you come in! Offer up a quote or information on your area of expertise and they will most likely link back to your website in the article.
Make sure that your acquired links are earned, come from authoritative sources, bring qualified traffic, are “follow” links, and are from relevant sites and blogs!
3. Technical SEO
Technical SEO refers to the actions performed to help search engines crawl your website. As search engines and their algorithms become more complex, these requirements change which means that this type of SEO is always evolving.
In order to make sure there are not any problems with Google crawling your website, your technical SEO efforts must be efficient.
Technical SEO efforts to be addressed should include:
- Website speed – A faster website speed is always better. Be sure to make your template simple, limit redirects, and optimize your visuals.
- Mobile friendliness – Many users are moving from desktop to mobile. Check your site on a mobile device to ensure that it’s easy to navigate for any visitors coming via mobile.
- Site structure – Use the HTTPS hypertext, a user-friendly and consistent URL structure, and consistent internal links.
4. Local SEO
Local SEO is a variation of SEO that focuses on a specific area, rather than a generic focus. It’s all about increasing your online presence in your community and promoting your products or services to local customers.
Often, how well you rank on Google depends on your Google My Business profile. This is where you include your address, business hours, description, reviews and photos. The search engine results pages will look at proximity, relevance, and prominence based on the user’s search query, and select your business if you meet various requirements.
The benefits of local SEO include:
- It’s highly targeted
- It’s free
- There is a greater opportunity to rank locally since only 44% of businesses claim their GMB listing
WHY YOU SHOULD INTERGATE SEO STRATEGIES INTO YOUR BUSINESS?
1. Organic Search Is Mostly the elementary Source of Website Traffic.
Organic search is a huge part of most business’s website performance, as well as a Important aspect of the buyer funnel and ultimately getting users to complete a conversion or engagement.
As marketers know, Google owns a significantly larger portion of the search market than competitors like Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, DuckDuckGo, and the many, many others.
That’s not to say that all search engines don’t contribute to a brand’s visibility — they do — it’s just that Google owns about 66 percent of the overall search market. It’s the clear-cut leader and thus its guidelines are important to follow.
But the remaining 34 percent of the market owned by other engines is obviously valuable to brands, too.
Google, being the most visited website in the world (as well as specifically in the United States), also happens to be the most popular email provider in the world (with more than 1 billion users). Not to mention YouTube is the second biggest search engine.
We know that a clear majority of the world that has access to the internet is visiting Google at least once a day to get information.
Being highly visible as a trusted resource by Google and other search engines is always going to work in a brand’s favor. Quality SEO and a high-quality website takes brands there.
2. SEO Builds Trust & Credibility
The goal of any experienced SEO strategy is to establish a strong foundation for a beautiful website with a clean, effective user experience that is easily discoverable in search with thanks to the trust and credibility of the brand and its digital properties.
Many elements go into establishing authority regarding search engines like Google. In addition to the factors mentioned above, authority is accrued over time as a result of elements like:
But establishing that authority will do more for a brand than most, if not all, other digital optimizations. Problem is, it’s impossible to build trust and credibility overnight — just like real life. Authority is earned and built over time.
Establishing a brand as an authority takes patience, effort, and commitment, but also relies on offering a valuable, quality product or service that allows customers to trust a brand.
3. Good SEO Also Means a Better User Experience & feedback.
Everyone wants better organic rankings and maximum visibility. Few realize that optimal user experience is a big part of getting there.
Google has learned how to interpret a favorable or unfavorable user experience, and a positive user experience has become a pivotal element to a website’s success.
Customers know what they want. If they can’t find it, there’s going to be a problem. And performance will suffer.
A clear example of building a strong user experience is how Google has become more and more of an answer engine offering the sought-after data directly on the SERPs (search engine results pages) for users.
The aim of that is offering users the information they are looking for in fewer clicks, quickly and easily.
Quality SEO incorporates a positive user experience, leveraging it to work in a brand’s favor.
4. Local SEO Means Increased Engagement, Traffic & Conversions
With the rise and growing domination of mobile traffic, local search has become a fundamental part of small- and medium-sized businesses’ success.
Local SEO aims at optimizing your digital presence for a specific area, so people can find you quickly and easily, putting them one step closer to a transaction.
Local optimizations focus on specific towns, cities, regions, and even states, to establish a viable medium for a brand’s messaging on a local level.
SEO pros do this by optimizing the brand’s website and its content, including local citations and backlinks, as well as local listings relevant to the location and business sector a brand belongs to.
To promote engagement on the local level, SEO pros should optimize a brand’s Knowledge Graph panel, its Google My Business listing, and its social media profiles as a start.
There should also be a strong emphasis on user reviews on Google, as well as other reviews sites like Yelp, Home Advisor, and trip advisor (among others), depending on the industry.
5. SEO Impacts the Buying Cycle
Customers do their research. That’s one of the biggest advantages of the internet from a buyer perspective.
Using SEO techniques to relay your messaging for good deals, groundbreaking products and/or services, and the importance and dependability of what you offer customers will be a game changer.
It will also undoubtedly impact the buying cycle in a positive way when done right.
Brands must be visible in the places people need them for a worthy connection to be made. Local SEO enhances that visibility and lets potential customers find the answers, and the businesses providing those answer.
6. SEO Is Relatively Cheap
Sure, it costs money. All the best things do, right?
But SEO is relatively cheap in the grand scheme of things, and the payoff will most likely be considerable in terms of a brand’s benefit and bottom line.
This isn’t a marketing cost; this is a true business investment. Good SEO implementation will hold water for years to come. And, like most things in life, will only be better with the more attention (and investment) it gets.
7. It’s A Long-Term Strategy
SEO can (and hopefully does) have a noticeable impact within the first year of action being taken, and many of those actions will have an impact that lasts more than several years.
As the market evolves, yes, it’s best to follow the trends and changes closely. But even a site that hasn’t had a boatload of intense SEO recommendations implemented will improve from basic SEO best practices being employed on an honest website with a decent user experience.
And the more SEO time, effort, and budget that is committed to it, the better and longer a website stands to being a worthy competitor in its market.
8. It’s Quantifiable
While SEO doesn’t offer the easier-to-calculate ROI like that of paid search, you can measure almost anything with proper tracking and analytics.
The big problem is trying to connect the dots on the back end since there is no definitive way to understand the correlation between all actions taken.
Still, it is worth understanding how certain actions are supposed to affect performance and growth, and hopefully they do.
Any good SEO is going to be aiming at those improvements, so connecting the dots should not be a challenge.
Brands also want to know and understand where they were, where they are, and where they’re going in terms of digital performance, especially for SEO when they have a person/company that is being paid to execute on its behalf.
There’s no better way to show the success of SEO, either. We all know the data never lies.
9. If You’re Not on Page 1, You’re Not Winning the game
It’s no secret that visibility is the top priority of SEO, in the world of SEO that if you’re not on Page 1, when relevant words related to your industry are inputted on the SERP, you’re likely not killing the organic search game.
A recent study shows that the first three organic search ranking positions result in nearly 40 percent of all click-throughs, while up to 30 percent of all results on Pages 1 and 2 don’t get clicked at all.
What’s this mean? Two things:
- If you’re not on Page 1, you need to be.
- There are still too many instances when a user types a search query and can’t find exactly what it’s looking for.
Implementing strong, quality SEO on a brand’s website and digital properties is always going to be beneficial to that brand and its marketing efforts.
It’s considered a “new age” marketing technique, but it’s essential to a brand’s web presence currently, especially as available data and rivaling competition continue to increase and grow.