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SEO 101: What You Need to Know to Get Started

Any good inbound mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy has sev­er­al aspects that can nev­er be ignored, and one of them is SEO. SEO isn’t a one-time deal either. It’s an ongo­ing prac­tice, or at least it should be, if you want all your hard work and efforts to result in ongo­ing suc­cess.

What It Is

SEO stands for search engine opti­miza­tion, and it refers to meth­ods used to ensure your web­site and its con­tent show up on search engine results pages (SERPs). Google is by far the most pop­u­lar search engine, which makes it the typ­i­cal focus when most mar­keters are in the process of opti­miz­ing. While the con­cept of SEO is fair­ly straight­for­ward, its imple­men­ta­tion can get rather com­pli­cat­ed.

Why You Need It

Com­pli­cat­ed or not, SEO is some­thing even the small­est com­pa­nies need to at least think about. Search engines are the great­est gen­er­a­tor of web­site traf­fic, with a Con­duc­tor study not­ing that 64 per­cent of all web traf­fic comes from organ­ic search­es.

The per­cent­age is sig­nif­i­cant, espe­cial­ly when com­pared to the 2 per­cent of traf­fic that comes from social media, the 6 per­cent that comes from paid search­es, the 12 per­cent from direct­ly typ­ing in the URL, and the 15 per­cent from refer­rals.

If your com­pa­ny is miss­ing the mark with SEO, you’re like­wise miss­ing out on a mas­sive amount of traf­fic that would be led to your site after typ­ing in a rel­e­vant search term.

How to Make It Work

Key­words are an impor­tant part of SEO, but they aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly king. The rest of your SEO prac­tices need to back up your key­words to prove your con­tent is rel­e­vant and use­ful to peo­ple search­ing for infor­ma­tion on relat­ed top­ics.

Keywords

Research key­words relat­ed to your prod­ucts and ser­vices, as well as those used by your com­peti­tors. Use key­words in the most impor­tant parts of your web pages, such as your page title, meta descrip­tion, head­er tags, URL, and text that links to oth­er pages through­out your site.

Content

The type of con­tent you pro­duce plays a major role in your SEO. Con­tent on your web­site, social media chan­nels and else­where needs to be rel­e­vant and pro­vide val­ue to the con­sumer. Valu­able con­tent is well-pro­duced, help­ful, use­ful, and some­thing peo­ple actu­al­ly want to read or view.

Cre­at­ing con­tent with a human audi­ence in mind, rather than writ­ing for a search engine, is going to win out every time. Con­sid­er pub­lish­ing a reg­u­lar line­up of ever­green con­tent, or more thought­ful, insight­ful con­tent that remains rel­e­vant and use­ful for the long haul.

Oth­er pieces of con­tent to pay atten­tion to include:

  • Meta descrip­tion: This short piece of con­tent appears under your URL in search results. A com­pelling one that’s around 150 char­ac­ters can prompt peo­ple to click on your link.
  • Title tags: This con­cise sum­ma­ry tells search engines and vis­i­tors what your site or page is all about. Use it to describe the page as well as your brand.
  • Image tags: Since Google and oth­er search engines can’t “see” your images, they rely on the “alter­na­tive text” area of your image for its descrip­tion. Leave the ALT attribute blank and you’re miss­ing out on a lot of poten­tial search hits.
  • Head­lines: Keep arti­cle head­lines under 55 char­ac­ters to ensure they entire head­line shows up on SERPs. The ide­al head­line recipe involves a dash of snap­pi­ness mixed with a rel­e­vant descrip­tion of what the arti­cle is all about.
  • Perma­links: Also known as the article’s URL, you can usu­al­ly edit the perma­link of your arti­cles. It doesn’t need to exact­ly match your head­line and can con­tain up to four key­words, with the most impor­tant key­word first.

User Experience

Pro­vid­ing a stream­lined, enjoy­able user expe­ri­ence is anoth­er way to boost SEO. The best user expe­ri­ence comes from web­sites that are easy to nav­i­gate and search, offer relat­ed con­tent as well as rel­e­vant inter­nal and exter­nal links. Quick load­ing times enhance the user expe­ri­ence, as does hav­ing a respon­sive site design that can be viewed on any giv­en screen size or device.

What Else to Know about SEO

Even if you can’t address every sin­gle thing both human view­ers and search engines love, you want to make sure you steer clear of prac­tices both of them tend to hate. Search engines, espe­cial­ly, are not fans of:

  • Key­word stuff­ing
  • Buy­ing links, instead of acquir­ing them through qual­i­ty con­tent and mean­ing­ful rela­tion­ships
  • Shod­dy user expe­ri­ence, which can be caused by poor nav­i­ga­tion and mul­ti­ple oth­er fac­tors
  • Annoy­ing ads, too many ads, or too many annoy­ing ads

While there are many strate­gic tips and hints for effec­tive SEO, one of them is to use com­mon sense. If you cre­ate awe­some con­tent that pro­vides val­ue, con­tains rel­e­vant words your audi­ence would be search­ing for, and appears on a fast-load­ing, easy-to-nav­i­gate site, then you’ve already cov­ered sev­er­al bases of SEO.

SOURCE

By | 2018-01-11T11:20:44+00:00 January 9th, 2018|Industry News|Comments Off on SEO 101: What You Need to Know to Get Started