6 Essential Lessons in SEO
What Is SEO, and why is it important?
Unless you are well versed in the lingo of web developers and content writers, you probably don’t know much about Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) beyond that it is used in online marketing. So what is SEO exactly? It is the digital marketing strategy of using technical and creative elements to improve search rankings and drive website traffic.
At the base level, your website SEO refers to how easily your customers can find you when they perform a web search using keywords related to your company. The higher your SEO, the more readily your website will appear within the first few results pages of major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! And the best part about SEO? It generates traffic organically, without relying on paid ads.
If you are a business owner looking to drive more traffic to your website, here are 6 simple ways you apply search engine optimization (SEO) to rank higher in Google results.
1. Know How Search Engines Operate
The first step to search engine optimization (SEO) is understanding how search engines operate.
You can think of a search engine like an answer machine. When a consumer makes a query online, it is the search engine’s job to search the world’s databases of information for the most relevant and popular information.
Google and other search engines use algorithms to determine how useful your website is in providing information that web users are looking for. Based on the keywords and phrases you use your website will be indexed. For each search related to your website your ranking will determine how close your website appears to the top of search results. SEO effectively boosts your ranking by providing content that is more relevant and popular than what is currently available on the web.
While in the past simply interspersing keywords throughout your webpage was enough, search engines such as Google are constantly updating their algorithms to better match consumer’s search queries. Today, smart engines score websites on hundreds of factors related to the website’s relevance.
2. Use the Right Keywords
Picture for a moment that you are a customer and you have a problem you want solved but you don’t know which product or company you want to go with. You would start by typing in terms and phrases (called keywords) related to your problem. Search engines map the keywords you use in your search to the websites which use those keywords frequently throughout their webpages and the most relevant sites appear on top, due to their higher Google ranking for those keywords.
For example, because we are an Edmonton based organization that helps companies with their digital marketing, we try to include key phrases such as “marketing Edmonton”, “content writing”, and “digital marketing” organically in our webpages. But your search ranking comes down to more than knowing the right trigger words.
3. Optimize Your Website
Did you know that most of your website traffic is driven by your search ranking? Making a SEO-friendly website begins with making it people-friendly too. And that means regularly updating your website so it is easy to navigate, quick to load, and structured so it is friendly to search engines.
Investing in SEO can drive website traffic organically, allowing you to rely on more original site content and less paid ads.
4. Create External Links to Your Website
Another way to boost organic web traffic is through ensure there are enough backlinks to your website. When a search engine is ranking your website it has to crawl the web for related content. When search engines are indexing websites that relate to a certain keyword, they use hyperlinks to crawl from one website to the next. Websites connected by hyperlinks allow search engine robots (called “spiders” or “crawlers”) to reach the interconnected documents and webpages.
After a webpage is found by a crawler it is index in massive databases around the world so that it will appear in a web search related to the keywords that appear on the webpage.
Websites form paths to each other by way of hyperlinks. In this way websites are grouped by search engines as having related content.
5. Boost Your Website Popularity
The more popular your website is to begin with, the more relevant it is scored by a search engine since users are organically drawn to its contents. Search engines equate a website’s popularity to its quality, since it usually means that many people are using that site to find the solution that they’re searching for.
For those of us not starting out with a popular website, traffic can be boosted with a comprehensive social media and blogging plan, since it increases your audience reach as well as the shareability of your content. The more your original content (such as graphics and articles) are shared, the more popular your website will grow, further increasing search ranking.
6. Write Content for People, Not Search Engines
This goes back to creating a good user experience when consumers visit your website. It starts with having a clear hierarchy of your website with an easy to navigate menu and at least one static text link to each of your webpages. Your <title> and ALT attributes should be both descriptive and accurate.
Beyond writing for search engines, you need to write for the people who back your brand. Creating a useful and information-rich site is what will draw people to your company. Easily articulating answers to your customers questions and provide tips they can use themselves can apply to their daily life. They will start to view your brand as the industry expert that they can turn to for help.
Use keywords that match what users are searching for and make sure the keywords are used throughout your website. If you want text to be indexed, make sure that it is displayed as text rather than within an image on your website.
Producing fresh content will help your SEO is two ways. Search engines look at your frequency of posts as an indicator of your website’s usefulness over time. For your blogs to help your SEO, you should stick to the general rule of at least one article published per month. Beyond being search engine friendly, producing regular content will also provide your audience with a reason to keep visiting your site to learn more.
In our digital age, visitors are all about self-education, and if you can teach your customers more about your industry and the things they care about, you will see your site grow in popularity.
The Lean Marketing Approach to SEO
Looking for some quick tips on how to optimize your website? This article Your Guide to Optimizing Your Website can help you with the basics
Through SEO reports, analysis, and live testing Lean Marketing has developed a surefire way of boosting your search engine optimization (SEO). Staying on top of the everchanging ranking factors, Lean Marketing, ensures your company’s website will encompass the most current SEO practices.
Want to know more about how search engines and consumers interact? Stay tuned for our next blog, which will take a deeper look into how empathy with your audience is integral to a SEO strategy.
What are your tips and tricks when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO)? Lean Marketing wants to hear from you!