KPI, PPC, and CRM are just a few acronyms that come rushing towards you once you tip your toe into digital marketing. SEO, however, is thrown around pretty frequently in both the business and marketing worlds. Do you know what it means?
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Don’t let the big words intimidate you. If you’ve ever searched for something online (and you probably have), you are already one step closer to understanding SEO!
SEO is a marketing discipline that focuses on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results – like searching on Google or Bing. SEO uses technical and creative elements to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness to websites in search engines in order to increase your sales. The overall goal is to show up as a top result.
Many companies rely on SEO because if people are driven to your website through a search, you will receive many new visitors and maybe even more clients. Over 90% of online experiences start with a search engine. Showing up on the first page of Google can be a difficult task, but showing up in the top five is even more difficulty. The first five results in Google get 67% of all clicks.
In order to learn what people want, you need to find the keywords they are searching for. You want to find keywords that have a high search volume, have low competition, and are supported by your content. There are a lot of different tools to help you find the right keywords for your company, the most popular being Google’s Search-Based Keyword Tool. It provides results based on real Google searches.
Once you have found the right keywords, you want to create important, relevant, and updated content on your site. Search engines read your website to learn what it’s about and decide which keywords each page should rank for. You can influence this by optimizing your content with the keywords you prefer. This also goes for video and photos. You can describe the image or video in the “alt” attribute. The search engines can’t read what isn’t in text, so you need to describe the content.
It can be easy to try to write strictly for optimization, but you want to remember that you are also talking to a potential or returning customer. Make sure your target audience can easily understand your content, while keeping your posts relevant and engaging!
Users know good content when they see it, and you want to direct users to your site. You can use the description meta tag to summarize each page of your website. With this, people will know what they can find on your site. Make sure your titles are relevant and unique.
How many blog posts do you think are published each day? The answer is over 2 million! This means that 46 people have published a blog by the time you read these 3 sentences.
Most websites today have blogs because it helps them perform better on search engines. One of the most important reasons to blog is because each new post adds a new page to your website. Those who include a blog on their site see up to 55% more traffic. In order for Google to index pages, there must be at least 300 quality words. This is why re-blogging or duplicating other content won’t benefit you. Your content must be fresh and unique.
New content will not only keep your existing customers from returning, but it will also bring in new visitors. Keywords are always changing for different industries. You can lead someone to your site just by writing a relevant blog post to what they are searching. Remember, include relevant information to your business – if you choose to cover a random topic that doesn’t fit your website, it could hurt your search results. In fact, relevant content might be even more important than keywords. Try not to jam pack your blogs with keywords, but focus on content.
Links are essential to SEO. The more sites that link to your website, the higher you will rank. Links are important because it is easy for anyone to do research, modify their content, or create content, but it is hard to convince other websites to link to you. This shows search engines that you are a trustworthy expert on a certain topic. You want to avoid links from spam or irrelevant sites. Search engines will be able to read these sites linking to you, and it can hurt you as well.
One way to link build is to reach out to others in your industry. Feature them in a blog, and ask them to share. You can also ask your customers to link to you in exchange for a special promotion or discount.
The world is going mobile. Most households don’t even have desktop computers anymore. People are always on the go, and they want to find what they want whenever they want. This is why creating mobile-friendly websites are important.
Make sure your mobile site is recognized by Google so that others can find it. Googlebot might not be able to find your site if it’s not included in their search index. You can create a mobile sitemap and submit it to Google so they are aware of your site.
Did you know that Google returns social media results? If you connect your social media accounts, you give search engines one more thing to find when people are searching for your company. There are two main factors for benefitting through social media: quality of shares and number of shares.
Just like there is quality in backlinks, there is quality in social shares. Google can recognize influencers. When an influencer shares your content, there is a better reflection in SEO than your mom sharing your post. An easy way to get influencers to share your content is to let them know about your post before you share it or by including them in a quote or interview in your post.
It is every marketer’s dream to have their content go viral. Sure, it gets your word and business out there, but in order to go viral, you have to be consistently publishing and promoting great content. Most viral shares include images or video. Make sure your posts are not just engaging, but visually engaging.