Guess how many Google searches are performed every single day?
Well, it’s about 5 Billion every day. That comes out to about 228 million every hour, 3 million every minute, and whooping 63 million every second.
Now tell me, how many websites or pages show up on that first page when you search for something. Hardly 5 to 10 pages! 75% of people will never scroll down to navigate to the next page.
Thus, showing up on the front page of any search engine is a tough job. With your website buried under millions of SERP( Search Engine Result Page), you can’t reach your target audience and generate sales leads.
In this rise of the Global economy, with every business realizing the importance of a website and making their online presence, for achieving this benchmark, your website must rank higher in SERP.
That’s when SEO comes into the scene. But what is SEO anyway?
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization. Your site is ranked high on a search engine in the unpaid section. It is a process optimization technique by which your website is ranked high. It is also known as organic listings that come naturally by Google search algorithms like Panda.
Let me break it down further, SEO is that magic ingredient that increases the likelihood of Google algorithms finding your website or blogs (that lead to your site).
Though there are factors like performing well in social media marketing, PPC (Pay Per Click) activities along with other digital marketing, SEO is an integral part of Digital marketing strategy. SEO makes your website rank on the first page of SERP, moreover also gives a great deal of free organic marketing.
SEO is a framework with different dimensions, tools, and tactics, hence a crucial topic.
We will dig deeper into all these in my next blogs. But today, let’s focus on understanding the basics of SEO.
Creating an SEO Strategy:
SEO is a campaign. It does not happen overnight. A strategy that has efficient campaigns can take 6-12 months before delivering any results. Here are some most essential components of SEO to get SEO process right:
Know your audience and your industry
Questions like Who are they? What do they search for? What are they talking about now in your marketplace? Who are my competitors? What are they doing right?
You can use tools like GoogleTrends, answer engines like Quora. Tools are just part of it, but you need to sit down with your team and discuss uncovering the answers above.
Other Tools: Buzzsumo, Facebook, SEMRush, Answer The Public, Bloomberry.
For example, a page of an authoritative domain (e.g., .edu or .gov), will be much higher on the search results than a page on a domain with lesser authority. You can use several tools like MOZ to check your domain rank. Similarly, website speed is one of the ranking factors used by Google. You can use a tool like google_pagespeed to check your website speed.
Other Tools: Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Web Developer Toolbar, WebPage test, Google Mobile-Friendly Test, Google Schema.org, W3C Validator, Moz Bar, Botify, Whitespark.
As we get a strong foundation, we move up the pyramid towards more complex SEO components.
90% of SEO usually revolves around keyword selection. It’s a massively important topic that deserves its very own section. I will try to cover this in my future posts.
With Google algorithm getting better day by day, keyword stuffing is a no-go these days. Often the key is to make sure that your keywords exist in strategical ways in relevant places (like meta description, URL, and headlines). There is no need to repeat words tons of times in your text.
There are several tools like Moz Keyword Explorer, Google keyword planner, etc. that you can use to check how much value would a keyword add to your website? Also, there are things like Long tail keywords often with demographic details, that give more traffic to your site than single or chunky keywords. Example: Black purse for women in Kathmandu vs. Purse Vs. Black Purse.
Other Tools: SEM Rush, Hubspot Keyword Tool, Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Trending topics in Social Media
In a rapidly growing industry where the market shifts quickly, knowing what exactly audiences are searching for in the market, is essential. For this, you must do a quarterly or even bi-monthly integration of keyword research tasks into your SEO process. It is one of the examples when Analytics and reporting come into the scene.
SEO is a campaign, and If you can’t get an accurate report on the results of the campaign, how can you make reasonable adjustments to an SEO strategy?
We can use a tool like Google Analytics to run reports on keywords, pages, users, traffic channels, etc.
It will help you see what exact keywords and landing pages are the primary drivers of your SEO process execution, New Customers Vs.—Returning Customers to check the health status of your site.
Other Tools: Google’s Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs, Check My Links, Buzz stream, Moz’s Pro Tools, UpCity’s SEO report.
Mobile SEO, it’s the practice of optimizing your content to achieve a better ranking for your web pages in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Why is mobile SEO important?
According to recent data, mobile searches have exceeded desktop searches and thus generate more traffic.
On top of this, Google has implemented a mobile-first index. The latest recommendations suggest that all sites adopt a best-practice of mobile-friendly, responsive designs moving forward.
You can use a mobile-friendly test from Google to test how friendly your website is.
Other Tools: Google Mobile Website Speed Testing, Pure Oxygen’s Mobile SEO Page Analyzer, Varvy’s Mobile SEO Issue Tool
Getting crawled means that Google is looking at the page to check the possibility of ranking. Crawling is how search engine bots discover your site.
Bots are the programs. They crawl(systematically browse) from one page to the next one through the website links.
Depending on how well these bots index all pages on your website, it’s more probable that you are reported back to Google as a good fit for search results-this is because search engines rank web pages, not the only website.
Thick links between pages in your site makes it easier for bots to reach all of them, which gives the search engine a better understanding of your website.
You can make this easier for Google by creating something called a “sitemap”- with a simple plugin if you’re on WordPress or an online XML sitemap generator. You can also use a tool like SEO crawlers to see crawlers in action.
Other Tools: SEMRush, ScreamingFrog, DeepCrawl, Splunk, Moz, Botify
Backlinks are links from a page on one website to another. If someone provides a link to your site, then you have a backlink from them. If you link to another website, then they have a backlink from you.
Search engines like Google use link-based ranking. Backlinks from unique websites correlate strongly with organic search traffic.
Sites (like .edu or .gov domains) are considered more authoritative, and quality backlinks from these also help to get better rankings.
Search engines revisit popular pages more than unpopular ones.
If you get backlinks from reliable pages, search engines may discover your content faster.
Backlinks remain very important for raising a site’s position in the SERPs.
You can use a tool like Heatmap to look at what area of your website attracts from traffic. Other tools include Ahrefs, MozLinkExplorer, Ubersuggest, etc.
Focus on these areas to add relevant backlinks to get user clicks. Google frequently looks at the relevancy of the site linking to you. Things like how well known the linking site is, how many links you have in total, and the anchor text of each link.
Other Tools: Ahref’s Site Explorer, Google Chrome extension Check My Links, Broken Link Builder, Linkbird, Pitchbox, Whitespark, Linkstant, Linkody, BuzzStream
More than 200 determining factors of Google search algorithms are public. Here is a compiled list of those by Backlinko.
People have found many ways to bend and break those rules to get their sites to rank high. These ways, also called black hat SEOs scheme, may help them make a few thousand dollars fast but need to continuously lookout for search engine updates and come up with new ways to dodge the rules, so it is not sustainable.
On the other hand, white hat SEO, playing according to the search engine’s rules, helps businesses grow sustainably. It focuses on customers rather than a search engine.
Things to focus on for good content are Keyword targeting, on-page optimizations, meta optimizations, no typos, no grammatical errors, optimized images.
Other Tools: Wordtracker, Ubersuggest, SpyFu, InboundWriter, Majestic, Raven, BrightEdge, Google Analytics
Local SEO Optimization:
To get an advantage on big-name competitors, use your local presence and knowledge.
Use keywords to target local areas, including location and phone numbers.
Get listed in directories like Yellow pages, Yelp, etc. (whatever applies to your area).
An audit to make sure that you are compliant with ranking rules also helps a lot.
Depending upon your market audience, leveraging reviews on your website as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram is also a crucial step to gain trust in your service or product.
Other Tools: Moz Local, BrightLocal, Listing Management Tool by SEMrush, GeoRanker, Synup’s Local SEO Checklist
I hope I was able to help you understand what SEO is and various components needed to take into consideration for an effective SEO strategy.
The most important part of this blog is to create awareness that search engines like Google use various metrics for rating a web page. So it’s critical to realize that search engine optimization isn’t optional anymore, it’s a necessity.
While it does take some effort to get a few SEO basics right, it might kill your online presence if you don’t.
If you haven’t focused on SEO yet, please keep in mind that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
Spending your time and energy in even one of the SEO tools and strategies mentioned above, I’m pretty confident that it will help you take another step towards reaching your marketing goal of converting traffic to Sales Qualified Leads.
If you need any insights or tips on getting started, please contact our professional.
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Have you applied SEO to your business? Are there any other tools for SEO that you found helpful? Have I missed some crucial search engine optimization basics? Let me know in the comments.