This desire to deliver quality information is where search engine optimization (SEO) techniques come in. SEO provides businesses a way to optimize their websites to coincide with search engines’ focus on providing results users want to see.
So, how do you define SEO, and how can you start using it for your business?
In this post, we’ll define SEO, talk about how SEO works, why it’s important, and show you how to get started with your SEO campaign. If you need help getting started with SEO, call us today at 888-601-5359 (or contact us online) to speak with a skilled strategist about our SEO plans!
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What is SEO?
SEO is a set of optimization techniques used to boost your organic search rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs) to gain more traffic to your website.
These techniques (both on and off your website) include optimizing:
Your web design
The backend of your site
When you optimize for search engines, you help your business appear in more relevant search results.
To rank high for organic search in SEO, you must provide users with information that matches their search intent.
By optimizing for search results, you’ll gain more website visibility and grow your business online.
DIVE DEEPER: HOW DOES SEO WORK?
SEO works by implementing different strategies to optimize the elements search engines look for when crawling and indexing.
These SEO techniques include:
Researching and integrating keywords
Optimizing user experience
Optimizing for local search
Creating valuable content
Web marketers use SEO techniques to earn more qualified web traffic so they can reach people looking for their products or services.
Why is SEO important?
SEO is a valuable strategy for your business. Check out these four reasons for investing in SEO:
1. SEO increases your customer's time on your website: When you optimize for user experience, you improve your customer's experience on your site. This improvement keeps customers on your site for longer, allowing them to get to know your products or services better.
2. SEO builds credibility and trust for your brand: Creating high-quality content helps you generate links and earn shares on content. These endorsements help you build trust with your audience that you’re knowledgeable in your field.
3. SEO helps you drive more relevant traffic to your site: When you optimize your pages for search engines, you’ll appear in more relevant search results and drive interested traffic to your site.
4. SEO helps you reach more local leads: When you optimize for local search, you help more people in your area find your business and drive them to visit or contact your company.
SEO’s importance lies in the fact that it helps Internet users easily find and access information about your brand, products, and services through search engines.
SEO for beginners: How to do SEO
Now that we defined SEO and showed you why it’s important, it’s time to look at how you do SEO. This strategy is a little more complex, so we’ll break down some of the most important parts you need to know.
Keyword selection: How to choose the right keywords
Keywords, or key phrases, are, in large part, what you use to optimize your website and content. They help you appear in relevant search results and get your website in front of interested leads.
Search engines use keywords to determine your content’s relevance to search queries. To find relevant keywords, you must conduct keyword research.
Keywords are generally separated into two categories.
Short-tail keywords are short key terms that are usually around one word long (i.e., “gingerbread”). The intent is harder to determine and extremely competitive.
Long-tail keywords are longer key phrases, often upwards of three words, that are highly specific (i.e., “buy a gingerbread house kit” or “how to make a gingerbread house”). Long-tail keywords drive better traffic to your site.
If you want to drive the best results for your SEO campaign, focus on long-tail keywords. These keywords will drive more relevant leads to your business.
Additionally, avoid integrating your keywords too much as it might lead to keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing negatively impacts your site’s ranking and hurts readability on your page, so you’ll want to ensure you only use keywords where they fit and flow naturally.
Link building: How to earn backlinks for your site
Backlinks help you increase your site’s credibility and improve your rank.
It’s good to get links from industry authorities because it helps establish your trustworthiness in your industry.
You want to earn high-quality links from reputable and authoritative sites. These links will help drive more traffic to your site and can help improve your site’s ranking.
So, how do you gather backlinks?
You can get links by creating and optimizing your content for on-page SEO so it ranks higher in search engines. Following that, you can promote your content on external sites such as social media platforms or blogs to generate exposure (a boost in traffic to your website is another bonus).
You can also reach out to industry authorities with your article and ask them to check it out. If they decide to link to it, you can build a reputation with them and earn more links in the future.
Content creation: How to create content to rank in search results
Content marketing is a type of marketing involving creating and posting content like blogs and videos to provide helpful information and spread interest in a brand’s products or services.
A big part of SEO is providing quality content because search engines look to deliver valuable content in response to people’s questions. When you create more content, you have more opportunities to appear in search results in front of interested leads.
Content marketing, in large part, is useful to spread awareness of your brand and build deeper relationships with your target audience. The quantity, but more importantly, the quality of the content you produce is a measure of your expertise and authority in your industry.
You can create high-quality content that ranks by:
Researching industry-relevant keywords to find what people want to know
Researching what types of content competitors are creating
Answering questions quickly and succinctly
Using conversational language that’s easy to understand
Using headings, bullet points, images, and short paragraphs to make it easy to read
Using correct grammar and punctuation
Need help building a content marketing strategy? Check out our awesome content marketing services!
Website design: How to build a user-friendly website
Having a clean and well-designed website is important to rank highly in search pages. Google wants to provide users with a good user experience (UX) in addition to valuable content.
You can use these UX techniques to keep people on your site and helps you rank better:
Make your site mobile responsive
Showcase clear value propositions and descriptions for your products and services
Display attention-grabbing call-to-action (CTA) buttons
Build a clear navigation structure
Structure your site with purposeful grids
Use white space to lead people to information
Group elements to form a clear hierarchy
Include eye-catching images and videos
Use readable font styles and sizes
Split test your site
Optimization for local searches: How to do local SEO
An important part of SEO is optimizing for local searches. With four out of 5 people using search engines to find local information, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to reach leads searching for your local business.
Local SEO involves increasing your brand’s visibility in your locale by:
Claiming your local listing
Writing locally-relevant content
Promoting your products and services specifically to appeal to people in your area
Optimizing your site and business listings specifically for local searches
Targeting local keywords such as your city name or “near me”
Gaining and encouraging reviews