As you would probably know by now, SEO is an irreplaceable component of inbound marketing. Your business should not expect to generate organic traffic if content creation involving different formats such as blogs, ebooks, video marketing is not optimized via SEO. Thus, there is no chance for your business to increase its online presence and visibility among the target audience without SEO.
Simply put, if your business intends to adopt inbound marketing, regardless of the industry it operates under, an SEO strategy is a must.
This page aims to explain what is SEO, how it works, and how it can be implemented using numerous techniques.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is mainly the process of improving your website’s features to increase its visibility for relevant searches. It is thus the practice of increasing both quality and quality of traffic to your website via organic search.
Think of SEO as an umbrella term for all the methods and tactics that your business can use to expand the visibility of your website and its content on search engine ranking pages (SERPs).
Bolstering SEO means that your website will rank high on a search engine in the unpaid section. Thus, your website raises its organic listing.
How does SEO Work?
Search engines use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site to gather information about those pages and putting indexes on them.
Keep in mind that search engines read the web differently from humans. Search engines understand the context of your website content using structured data. Structured data makes use of a standardized format to better organize information to help search engines crawl websites using simple algorithms.
Generally speaking, the algorithms are designed to extract relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience.
For instance, for an ecommerce website, Google can use structured data to display special search results that include product names, bulleted lists, and customer reviews.
To sum it up, search engines discover and catalogue all available content on the internet (web pages, pdf documents, video content, images) via the crawling and indexing process, and then determining how well it matches the query, or what is known as “ranking”.
SEO is made up of two core elements:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
All search engines continue to make updates and modifications to their algorithms. Consequently, in order to implement a comprehensive, all-encompassing SEO strategy, your business cannot oversimplify the procedure and adopt a one-dimensional approach.
Your SEO strategy should focus on both on-page and off-page SEO, thus finding out what optimizations can be performed within and outside of your website.
On-page SEO is what you are able to do to your web pages to make them easy for the search engines to find.
Here are some of the tactics that you can use to optimize web pages:
- Page Titles: Page titles is the text that appears in the web browser tab. It is a component that is read by both humans and search engines. Search engines typically read the first 50 to 60 characters.
- Keywords: SEO implies creating quality content while researching which keywords should be implemented. A keyword is any search term entered on search engines that has a results page where websites are listed. They define what your topic is about. As a business, you want your keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for, so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results. For example, if you are a law firm, you want your content to focus around words such as “law firm”, “legal”, “litigations”, “lawyer”, “counsel”, “divorce lawyer nearby”, “real estate lawyer” etc.
- Meta Descriptions: Meta description is a brief summary of the content inserted within the page. Search engines will display the meta description under the titles in search results, which positively influence click-through rates. It is a snippet often composed of up to 150-155 characters.
- Image Alt Texts: Images can largely boost SEO. As a rule of thumb, they should include alt texts, or alt tags that briefly describe the image. Your business should include one of the page’s keywords and keep it short and concise.
- Header Tags: They are the header for each section on a page. They include the keyword for that page, and is tagged as either an H1 or H2 header. This tells search engines that the information is important to that page. The H1 tag is the primary theme of the page.
- Internal Links: Including at least between one and three links on each of your pages that redirect visitors to other pages on your website.
- Regular Content Update: Including new content on a regular basis will enable your website to be increasingly crawled and indexed by search engines. Try updating your website regularly.
Off-page SEO refers to the SERP factors that occur off your websites. Backlinks, or external links, is one the most important factors related to off-page SEO. It is also referred to as link building. It is when another website inserts links to your website.
Here are some of the off-site methods you can implement to increase your website’s exposure organically:
- Guest-Blogging: Guest-blogging, or guest-posting, is the act of writing content for another company’s website. Guest-blogging is akin to killing two birds with one stone. As a business, if you share your expertise on other companies’ websites, you can further establish yourself as a figure of authority within your industry, and build more relationships with other leaders within your field. Additionally, featuring guest posts on your business’ website will not only offer your audience new insights from outside entities, but fresh content as well.
- Social Media Mentions: Search engine will crawl posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter that redirect users to your website. This is why your business should choose several social media platforms and include them as part of your marketing efforts. Social posts that generate a lot of clicks will help boost traffic to the website and generate link shares.
- Press Releases: Send out a news release every time you add content to your website. Each news site that chooses to post your press release will help you obtain a link back to your website.
On-page and off-page SEO techniques go hand-in-hand. They are combined together to improve search engine rankings. Simply put, adopting a carefully crafted, well-rounded SEO strategy that connects them both constitutes the best chance for your business’ website to rank within the first pages of Google, Bing or Yahoo.