If you’re dipping your toes into the world of marketing to launch and better promote your brand and your business, you’ve probably heard the term “SEO” bandied about. SEO is one of the key fundamentals of online marketing, so if you want to grow your business, implementing the current SEO strategies is one of the best ways to do so. Here, we’ve broken down some of the basics of SEO to get you started on your journey.
What Is SEO?
SEO is short for “search engine optimization”. This refers to the process of optimizing your website to rank better on search engines, such as Google. When people search for a keyword, such as ‘low back pain from shoveling snow’, by utilizing SEO practices, you can get your page or article about that to show up in the first few pages of Google search results. At its core, SEO is how you increase the visibility of your website.
SEO isn’t purely about optimizing your website, though. It also involves other aspects of digital marketing, from the user experience, to web development, to the design of the content, to your branding, to content marketing, and much, much more. Thus, in order to have a high-ranking site in the search engines, you need to have excellent digital marketing practices as a whole, in addition to SEO expertise.
How Google Ranks Content
Google ranks your content in multiple ways, and to be successful at SEO, you’ll need to understand how this works. In order to rank well, you’ll need high-quality, original, and relevant information on your site’s pages that relate to what the searcher looked up. Google determines how relevant your content is through having “crawlers” evaluate it based on the keywords (like ‘low back pain’) within the page and whether or not the majority of the page’s content is just copy and pasted from another site or if it’s something quality and new.
Quality is also determined by how many sites link to your own, and the quality of those sites. If a reputable website links to yours, this will tell Google that your content is high quality and relevant. If a little personal blog that no other site has linked to links to yours, this won’t help your rankings. You’ll want links within your content too, to prove it can be trusted. These include .govs, .edus, and .orgs.
How long people stay on your site will also inform Google how relevant it is to the search result, as will how quickly your site loads and whether or not it is mobile friendly. The way Google ranks content is ever-changing, though, so in order to maintain a high-ranking in search results, you’ll need to stay on top of new and emerging tactics.
How To Build Your SEO Strategy
There are several key steps that you can take to build an effective SEO strategy. They are as follows:
- Create your list of keywords
- Study Google’s first page – what are the highest ranking results doing?
- Create something new, better, and/or different from what’s already out there
- Add a hook, which is why people link to specific types of content
- Optimize your on-page SEO (keywords, internal, and external links)
- Optimize for searchers (make sure it matches search intent)
- Up your content design with pictures, graphics, charts, banners, and more, so it’s more interesting to look at and easier to read and understand
- Audit your site
- Be continuously improving and updating your content to meet current SEO standards
Keeping Up With Changing SEO Standards
Something that frustrates even the professionals is how SEO is an ever-changing practice that you need to stay on top of in order to continue seeing good results. What got your site to the first page of Google searches years ago will make it practically invisible now. Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms which means that you need to be learning constantly and stay on top of all the latest changes. SEO is complex enough already, the last thing you need is to complicate it even more through utilizing strategies that no longer work. Staying informed will help you know what tactics to add to your strategy and what to toss.
Keeping up with changing SEO standards can feel like a never-ending race because it is. In order to stay ahead of the rest of the pack, you’ll need to both understand and keep track of: up and coming trends, new features in search tools and products, your audience, and the latest technological advances. Luckily, there are professionals who can help you out.
Do You Need Help With SEO?
Performance Driven Marketing has SEO experts in house who can help you increase the visibility of your website and generate more organic traffic. We want to help you get more customers and garner a stronger online presence. In addition to our professional SEO services, we can help you with web development, graphic design, and more. Contact us today to learn how we can help you grow your business.