SEO tips and tricks implemented effectively on your website work to improve organic search engine rankings, helping you generate more qualified leads.
What is SEO?
Whether or not you’re confident in your response to this question, there is no better time than now to revisit the answer. Tactics to tackle SEO change constantly, so let’s breakdown the basics to give you a solid footing on this important concept.
An Introduction to SEO
When it’s not used as an acronym, SEO appears as search engine optimization and in a nutshell, aims to improve how your website is ranked on a search engine, such as Google or Bing. The higher your page is ranked organically, that is, without paying and bidding for better placement, means that the search engine examined your website and deemed the content relevant to what was searched.
To put SEO tactics into practice, it pays to not only understand the inner workings and navigation of your site, but also how search engines do their thing.
How Search Engines Work
After you enter a search query on Google, for example, the results you’re shown accumulate on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Searchers rarely move past the first results page, so this is the ideal place for your content to rank.
Google uses approximately 200 different factors when considering how to rank pages. Those ranking factors come from the search engine’s mission to show the searcher results that are relevant to what they’re looking for. After all, the sole purpose of a search engine is to answer the questions put forth by searchers. Your website and content succeed on search engines when they focus on the searcher and their quest to find answers or insights.
How do you know if a search engine will give your site the authority to rank well?
First, it helps to set proper keywords, or search terms, on your site’s individual pages that are exact, phrase or broad matches to the search query. And a solid keyword strategy stems from a concise understanding of your current or potential customers. What search queries do they use? How do they consume content? What point in the sales funnel do they currently reside in? Plug into their perspective by building buyer personas, or fictional representations of your customers, to anticipate what they search for and how you can deliver them the content they want.
Second, create relevant, useful content the search engine sees as valuable for the searcher. Creating content frequently and strategically improves your page ranking over time.
Fixing broken links, implementing a concise URL structure, incorporating links throughout your site, populating keywords in the proper places and including meta descriptions for your pages only scratch the surface of SEO tactics.
And since the algorithm that Google uses to crawl content on the internet reads every page as straight text, your images require alt attributes using that page’s keyword. That makes everything on your site easy for the search engine to decipher.
Still with us? SEO as a practice requires a lot of effort.
A Introduction to SEO Best Practices
- First, renew your focus on optimization by including SEO software, such as Yoast or its equivalent, on your site. These tools help you identify what you’re doing right and where major improvements are necessary for success.
- Build out an SEO attack plan. Some improvements are minor, some are major – give yourself a deadline so that it doesn’t turn into a never-ending update. Free online tools, such as HubSpot’s 30 Day SEO Planner, can keep you on track to accomplish daily action items and avoid the common diagnosis of SEO fatigue.
- Research, research, research. Search engines get smarter to adapt to searchers’ ever-changing habits, so keep up-to-date on the trends.
- Monitor your progress. Sign up for Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, Analytics and other tools to measure the success of your efforts and your site’s performance.
- Be patient. Site optimization doesn’t happen overnight and requires tweaking along the way.
Let’s be real, an introduction to SEO is a bit lengthier than you might have expected! The biggest takeaway when it comes to SEO is relevancy. When website content is relevant to a search query, you can start to measure success.