Getting Started with SEO
Are you looking to promote your website and boost traffic? SEO is one of the most effective tools for such an undertaking. Let’s quickly explore the SEO basics that you need to know for a successful website promotion exercise.
In this article we will discover search engine optimization and how to implement it into your digital strategy:
- How You Can Use SEO to Improve Your Digital Presence
- What is SEO and why it’s important?
- How do search engines work?
- Keyword Research
- On-site Optimization
- Link building and establishing authority
- Evaluating Website SEO
- Executing your SEO plan
How You Can Use SEO to Improve Your Digital Presence
Digital Presence is defined as “showing your business online”. Digital Presence is of importance whenever anyone searches for your business on the internet. Growing your digital presence is quite easy with the aid of resources like a website, social media platforms, online business directory listing, customer reviews, and other online-based sources. Anyone who has spent a good amount of time working on search engine optimization (SEO) is aware that the industry is forever changing as the leading search engines continually update and alter their algorithms.
While SEO teams always try to capitalize on the newest rules to ensure their content gets the highest possible rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs), search engines such as Google and Bing are also looking for loopholes and room for improvement to deliver the best possible experiences and the most accurate search results for searchers. Modern digital marketing needs a solid SEO strategy, an active and engaging digital presence, and lots of effort and patience. It’s like each new year comes with new disruptions to the sector.
What is SEO and why it’s important?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the method used to improve a website’s position on search engine results pages (SERPs) on various online sites such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. It is the process of enhancing your website to get more organic or un-paid traffic from the search engine results pages. The objective of a search engine is to deliver unbiased results that give you the information you’re searching for as quickly and as accurately as possible. To do this, search engines can identify all the relevant and appropriate information online and ranking this information in order of quality and relevance.
One of the most important advantages of SEO is that your customers are using search engines almost daily. Developing a strong SEO strategy for your business can help bring consumer traffic to your website as well as improve your sales and revenue. The traffic on search engines is the best because people are actively searching for the problem you solve. You can “pull” traffic to your business and you don’t have to “push” out advertisements to persuade people to make a purchase. Already, search traffic is interested in your products or services. Another huge benefit of SEO is that it is (almost) “free”. It is comparatively less costly than advertising to get customers.
The only possible costs in SEO are the costs of hiring a professional SEO company/agency to do the optimization. SEO is also measurable. You’re able to quantify your conversions and the source of the conversions. Using the appropriate tools, you will be able to measure and use the search keywords that are most valuable to your company. As a result, the actions you take in optimizing your site will have a direct impact on your SEO ranking and the traffic that comes to your site.
How Search engines work
Search engines work by scanning or crawling the many different websites to better understand what the site is all about. This helps them deliver the most relevant results to anyone searching for certain topics or keywords. At the same time, the search engine will be scanning the site to determine how easy it is to navigate and read. The search engines reward user-friendly sites with higher rankings on the search engine results page. New webpages that are been discovered by the search engine are added into a data structure called an index. The goal of the search engine algorithm is to give a relevant and high-quality set of search results that will fulfill the user’s search query/question as quickly as possible. The user then selects the desired option from the presented list of search results and this action, along with any following activity, then feeds into the algorithm’s learnings which can affect search engine rankings in the future.
One way to utilize SEO is through the use of keywords. The power of keyword research lies in having a grounded understanding of your target audience and how they search for your service, content, or product. As you discover the relevant keywords for your content, you will probably notice that the search volume for those keywords varies greatly. While you certainly want to target words or phrases that your audience is searching for, in some cases, it may be more helpful to target words with a lower search volume as they are far less competitive. Another point to note is that keywords are always changing to suit the region, season, or competitor. So, you also need to constantly update your keyword research so that your site remains relevant.
On-site optimization, which can also be called on-page SEO, is the process of optimizing elements on a website, to rank higher and receive the most relevant traffic from search engines. On-site SEO is about optimizing the content and HTML source code of a page. Good on-site optimization helps searchers quickly clearly comprehend what a page is about. To make the most of the on-site optimization you should know the following:
Thin content – this is content that has very little value. Google ranks pages with little or no relevant content as thin content pages. However, don’t get trapped into producing loads of very similar content. Non-original pages, pages with scraped and duplicated content, are also considered thin content pages.
Internal links – these are links that redirect from one page on a site to a different page on the same site. They are usually used in the main navigation. Internal links are useful as they allow a user to navigate a website, create information hierarchy for the given website, and help in spreading link equity (ranking power) around sites.
Image optimization – image optimization is also a part of the whole SEO of your website, as images can create high-quality content. Google ranks text content with images better than text content without images. Therefore, good image content is a key ranking measure for any website.
Alt text – it’s short for alternative text and it is used to explain the appearance or functions of an image on a webpage if the image cannot be displayed. Adding Alternative text is important as it helps those who are visually impaired.
Sitemap – this is a blueprint of your website that helps search engines to find, crawl, and index all of your site’s content. Sitemaps also inform search engines which pages on your website are the most important. There are 4 types of sitemaps: normal, video, image, and news sitemaps.
Link building and establishing authority
After creating content that people are searching for, that search engines can understand, you need to outrank the other sites with those qualities. This is done by establishing authority. Your website has to earn links from other well-known websites, you have to build your (online) brand and developing an audience that will assist to amplify your content. Google has noted that links and quality content are two of the most important ranking factors. Usually, trustworthy sites will link to other trustworthy sites, and spammy sites will link to other spammy sites.
Evaluating Website SEO
To quantify your SEO activity, some tools can be used to measure the quality and speed of your webpages. Gtmetrix is one such tool. Gtmetrix is used to determine the performance of a website. It is a free internet-based tool that analyzes your webpage’s speed performance, generates various scores for the site’s pages, and gives actionable recommendations on how to remedy any issues.
Executing your SEO plan
SEO can take lots of time and effort before bearing fruits. After executing your SEO plan, you will need to monitor the progress and make any necessary changes. Also, your SEO strategy has to be better or different from existing content so that it can stand out and rank higher. Remember, it will be a while before the rankings start showing, so it’s quite important to hire someone who will be dedicated to refining your SEO plan so that you get the most out of it.