Understanding SEO and Why it’s Crucial For Your Business

SEO is a phrase business owners and marketers alike have heard much more of in recent years. While many know it simply as this – a phrase, it is a critical marketing tool. Once you have your head around SEO, the growth opportunities will flourish.

What is SEO?

First things first, what actually is SEO, and why is it so important? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of increasing traffic to your website. This means that when relevant keywords are typed into Google, your site is one of the first that comes up. As a marketing tool, this is invaluable as it provides a consistent stream of customers directly to your services.

SEO increases traffic by specifically targeting relevant individuals. Increasing visibility to these groups of people will help your page to gain visibility. SEO is a great way to drive success within your business and intertwines with your business goals by increasing ROI and getting your business’s name out there.

Living in a digital world means utilizing technology has never been more powerful. Technology can be our friend and our enemy. If we are oblivious to its power, we do not make progress. But to harness technology and SEO’s power is to see long-term, visible results in line with your business goals.

How does SEO work?

SEO is based on search engine algorithms. The key, therefore, is in beating the algorithm. While out-smarting technology might sound like an impossible task, in understanding SEO, you get to know the key trends.

Simpler is better. The first step is to ask yourself: ‘what would I type into Google if I were looking for this service?’ This is what search engines prioritize; they rank sites higher up if they reflect what users are typically looking for. Understanding your audience is the driving point behind improving SEO.

Google’ trawls’ new URLs, meaning it actively processes new websites or ones that have been updated. Trawling essentially means storing the site into an index, where different sites are categorized.

Sites with high engagement rates are ranked higher up. The good news is that Google continually trawls sites. So, all you have to do is make the right tweaks, and Google will reshuffle your site’s place accordingly.

There are many factors that affect SEO. Some of them are as simple as using particular keywords or phrases. Getting this right is straightforward and proven to reap results. 

SEO is an organic process and essentially prioritizes content which is relevant or interesting. Search engines determine this based on the content itself and more mechanical factors such as the site functionality.

As a marketing tool, it is unparalleled in its capacity to drive organic growth. While paid or promoted ads can be a great way to drive traffic to your services, there is not so much of a focus on quality. Sites such as Facebook will still try to promote ads to the right audiences but are not as tailored for this as SEO.

Ways of improving SEO.

In order to be favoured by the algorithm, your content needs to be relevant to your audience. This goes beyond just describing your services, and relates more to using the right keywords. As already mentioned, using key phrases is an excellent tool for boosting SEO. Knowing the right phrases means doing a bit of research as obviously, it will vary drastically depending on your business.

If you are unsure of how your SEO is already, do a quick search. If your site comes up on the first page, you can rest assured that it’s visible to others too. The next step is getting this ranking even higher up, targeting people who will truly find value in your work.

Another key aspect of SEO is User Experience (UX). Enhancing UX means making your site as user-friendly as possible. This includes things such as relevant content and a site that is easy to navigate around. We’ve all clicked onto a site before, not been able to find what we’re looking for – and given up. Having a positive user experience is extremely valuable in driving traffic to your site, and is largely rooted in the technical side of things.
If approaching more advanced SEO services, consider taking it to the specialists. Using an agency can help to provide you with all the tools you need. As a business owner, you can’t be an expert in everything. Sometimes, outsourcing particular tasks is the best way to drive results effectively and efficiently.

This is a contributed post

Photo by Tyler Franta on Unsplash

Update Your SEO for More Traffic

Update Your SEO for More Traffic

On-Page SEO today is a lot different than it was just a few years ago. Today, Google’s robots can recognize things like ad-heavy websites, poor navigation or low quality content. Social media has become an increasingly important ranking factor. All of this means it’s probably time to update your on-page SEO.

Here are the changes you should make to bring your on-page SEO up to date. Use these best practices moving forward.

The Basics: Title Tags and H1 Tags (plus others)

Your title tag is still by far the most important tag on your page. Your title tag should have your keyword inside the title tag. If you have a brand name, make sure it’s after your post title, not before. Your H1 tag is the second most important tag. If possible, have a keyword in your H1 tag as well.

Other tags found on the page have decreased in importance. Meta Keyword tags, image alt tags and so on don’t make as much of a difference anymore. It’s still good practice to have alt tags on your images, but it may not affect your SEO.

Internal Linking: Categories, Related Posts, You Might Like

Your internal linking helps keep people on your website. That reduces your bounce rate, increases time on site and boosts your overall website quality, which in turn boosts your rankings. Also, good internal linking will help spread your “link juice” and PageRank throughout your site.

In general, you should build 3 to 5 categories of content. All your content should fall into these 3 to 5 categories. Your category pages should link to your content pages, and your content pages should link back to your category pages.

Additionally, each page of content should have related posts and/or “You Might Also Like” sections. WordPress plugins can make this very easy to build. While there are automated options, you’re usually best off hand picking which articles should be featured at the bottom of your content.

Finally, link to other places within your site from within your content, not just in your sidebars or at the bottom of your posts. Google places far more importance on in-content links.

SEO Best Practices for Content

Google prefers in-depth, meaty content. Generally all your content should be above 1,000 words. Keyword density no longer matters, so don’t try to optimize your keywords in your content. Instead, try to provide high quality content. Solve a problem and create a resource that people want to read.

Don’t stuff your site with ads. Google now measures the content space versus ad space as a ranking factor. Make sure you have social media buttons on your site, for both SEO reasons and for social media traffic. Finally, add an image or two – it helps improve your site quality, as well as keep people on your site for longer.

SEO is changing. Update your on-page SEO and make sure to incorporate these best practices in your content moving forward.

Starting with the top 5 or 10 pages of your website that get the most traffic, check your title and H1 tags to ensure they have your keyword(s) in them. Continue to work on your existing content to improve their SEO.

If you use WordPress, add a plugin to generate “related posts” within your pages. While you’re checking your title and H1 tags, look for ways to add in-content links to your pages.

If you have an abundance of categories, look for ways to combine topics to cut back on how many categories you have.

By updating your on page SEO you will lead more targeted traffic to your website which will help you build your list and grow your sales.