So, what is Search Engine Optimization, and how does it work?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving your website to make it rank higher on search engines. SEO’s main objective is to ensure that when web users search terms that are relevant to your brand, your website will be among the first ones they see. This gives you better online visibility, generating more qualified traffic and allowing more probable customers to learn about your company.
In the last decade, the importance of SEO in the marketing industry has been indisputable. From small start-ups to high-profile multinational corporations, every type of company can benefit from maximizing the use of SEO in their digital marketing strategies.
But just like any other elements in your digital marketing strategies, you must learn how to use each SEO approach properly. That way, you can reap the benefits of optimizing your website. There are also practices you must avoid in order to prevent getting penalized, which can cause significant sanctions in your search engine rankings.
In this article, we will discuss why SEO is important for your business, what practices you should incorporate in your SEO campaigns, and what things you must avoid.
Why SEO Is Important
SEO has become an important element in modern marketing. With almost every consumer leveraging the internet when looking for products and services, it is a mistake to overlook how SEO can improve your business’s success.
Whatever the size of your business is, SEO can provide it with a cost-effective solution to increase the online visibility of your website. With the right SEO strategy, your website will rank higher—potentially earning a spot on the first search engine search result page (SERP).
A successful SEO strategy will help your business gain success online, helping your website generate more traffic. On top of that, SEO will also allow you to reach out to web searchers who are more likely to become customers or subscribe to your services.
How to SEO Your Website: Best SEO Tricks to Boost Online Traffic
Throughout the years, SEO best practices have evolved significantly. Some of the advisable practices years ago have now been modified and updated. You need to ensure that your SEO strategy is up-to-date to ensure the best results.
Here are some of the best SEO tips that can help boost traffic to your websites:
1. Use the Right Keywords for Your Content
As a marketer, you’re probably aware of the importance of keywords to ensuring SEO success. But you shouldn’t just pick any words you think your target market may search for. You need in-depth keyword research to figure out which exact search terms people are searching for. There are a variety of SEO tools that can help you gather up keywords you can try ranking for.
Once you have the right keywords, you need to make sure that you will incorporate them in the content naturally and properly. However, adding keywords to the content is not just limited to mentioning it a few times on the content. You should also add related keywords. Doing this will help your web page rank higher as Google will assess your page as more relevant to the search term.
How to Find Related Keywords?
There are many ways to search for related keywords. You can also use whatever SEO software you are using to generate a comprehensive list of related keywords quickly. If you are not using an SEO tool, you can do this manually by using Google-related searches. This is usually located at the bottom of SERPs.
You can also find related keyword ideas by using Google Autocomplete feature. Do this by typing the main keyword without pressing the Enter button. A list of suggested search terms will then appear.
2. Keywords Must Appear in Key Areas of the Web Page
You need to make sure that keywords appear in the most important sections of the page. To ensure that your webpage will rank high for that specific search term, the keyword should not just appear in the body of the content.
Where you use your keyword significantly impacts your search engine rankings. Aside from mentioning it naturally several times within the content, you also need to ensure that it appears on the page’s title tag and meta description. Include the keyword in the page description as well.
Another important factor in ensuring higher ranking is to mention the keyword within the first 100 words of web page content. Try to incorporate the keywords on the header tags to further optimize the page content.
3. Target Both High and Low Volume Keywords
When we do keyword research, we usually target high-volume keywords, hoping our content will be visible to a wider audience. However, the problem with these kinds of keywords are most of your competitors are targeting them already. With this, it will be difficult to rank high using these search terms.
What’s more, while it’s true that high-volume traffic can drive more traffic to your site, those users may not convert to customers. The main problem with high-volume keywords is that they are typically broad, which may result in high traffic but low conversion rates. That’s why it is not always advisable to focus only on high-volume keywords. To ensure that you can maximize the use of SEO in your digital marketing strategy, target a variety of long-tail, low-volume keywords as well.
A successful SEO strategy does not just aim to boost traffic. It also desires to get the right kind of audience. Long-tail keywords are great on this as they are more relevant to your target audience. They may have low search volume, but since they are more targeted, web users who search using these keywords are more likely to convert.
4. Create High-quality Content Regularly
One of the most important ways to ensure SEO success is by creating high-quality content. Even if you use the right keywords naturally and at the right places, if your content is not high-quality, you may not rise above the competition. The reason for this is that high-quality content provides a great user experience, which is an important factor to rank high on search engines.
Creating high-quality content is perhaps one of the most difficult parts of SEO. However, just keep in mind that you are writing for the reader and not for yourself. Do this by creating content that is relevant to the keyword you are searching for.
How to Create High-Quality Content?
Create content that will answer or provide a solution to the search term. The content must be well-researched and contains up-to-date information. The most important thing is you keep your content easy to read and engaging. This way, the web user will finish reading your article, keeping them on the site longer and potentially converting them into a customer or subscriber.
If possible, you should not just limit your web pages to written content. You can diversify your content by adding different types of visual assets relevant to the web page. These include photos, videos, infographics, charts, and more.
5. Update Old Content
When optimizing your web content to rank high on search engines, you should not just focus on new pages. Do not forget to update and optimize old pages as well. They may already be generating web traffic without SEO. However, if you optimized these pages as well, the amount of web traffic these pages generate may increase significantly.
Updating old content is important, especially if most of them are key pages of your website such as service offerings and other landing pages. If you don’t update these pages and focus only on optimizing newly-published content, these pages will become irrelevant.
How to Update Old Website Content?
The first step to updating old content is by correcting any spelling mistakes and grammar errors it has. As mentioned, high-quality content is essential for SEO success. You need to make sure that you update your old content into a more readable and engaging piece of information.
Aside from this, you should also incorporate relevant keywords into the web page content. Place them strategically throughout the content. Don’t forget to add them to the page title, meta description, and header tags as well.
Another thing that you must not forget when updating old content is fixing broken and outdated links, both external and internal. If you have too many broken links, Google may penalize you, which affects your rankings.
You can also add new internal links to your newly-published pages. This will make navigating from one page to another easier. It also helps newly-published pages to be indexed by Google faster.
6. Focus on a Specific Topic
One of the three pillars of SEO is authority. For one keyword, thousands, or even millions, of web pages could be ranked. However, search engines will only show on top web pages that they assess can provide users with the information they require. Most of the time, authoritative websites only get to rank high, so it’s important that you make your website one.
Creating high-quality content on a regular basis will help you achieve this. However, it may not be enough as other websites are implementing the same strategy as well. To strengthen your SEO campaign, you need to position your website as an authoritative source of information for a particular topic. This means that you should focus on topics that are specifically relevant to your brand.
For example, if you’re creating an SEO campaign for an automobile brand, you need to make sure that the content you will publish is relevant to vehicles. Moreover, if the brand is offering a niche or more specific product, that’s what your website should be about.
Let’s say you’re doing an SEO campaign for a windshield replacement company. Instead of focusing too much on car-related topics, make content that is specifically tackling windshields. That way, you make your website an authoritative source for any search queries related to windshields.
7. Rank for Featured Snippets
One of the best ways to ensure that you can generate more qualified traffic is by aiming for featured snippets. These are informational content that shows up on top of a SERP. They usually appear when a user types in a question and a website has a direct answer to that specific query.
What’s great about grabbing the featured snippet spot is that it can boost your website traffic. Despite already providing a direct answer to the query, most searchers would want to know more, which means they will click on your site.
How to Earn Featured Snippets?
There are several ways for you to earn a featured snippet spot. The most important thing, however, is that you structure your content for the searcher’s needs. This means that you target questions that are most likely to be asked by your target market.
One way to do this is by creating a web page that answers a common query regarding your product and services. Make sure that the content has the answer for the query as well as format it in a way that allows search engines to know that you have answered the question.
Another thing you can try is to add an FAQ section on your web pages. Just make sure that the FAQs you include are relevant to the main keyword on a search engine optimized-page.
8. Build a Well-designed Website
Web design impacts SEO. When building up your website, you need to make sure that it appeals to your target customers. At the same time, it must be SEO-friendly as well.
By optimizing your web page through web design, you will be able to attract high-intent traffic while improving your site’s user experience. There are many ways as to how you can do this. One of these is by making your website mobile-friendly.
Since a lot of people usually use their mobile phones to make online queries, you must make sure that your website has a mobile version. This gives your website visitors a seamless experience on your site no matter what device they are using. What’s more, Google released an update that allows mobile-friendly websites to rank better.
Other things you can do to improve your website design are updating your sitemaps, ensuring that the content on your website can be easily read, and optimizing your website navigation.
9. Speed up Your Website
In line with building a well-designed site, you need to improve your website’s speed as well. This is important as page speed is also a ranking factor, especially in mobile searches. On top of that, website visitors are more likely to leave your site if it takes too long to load. This means even if you manage to rank high on certain search queries, you still won’t be able to generate qualified traffic.
How to Speed up Your Website?
If you’re using WordPress, one effective trick you can do is to minimize the number of plugins you use. If a certain plug-in is not relevant to your website, disable it.
You can also improve website speed by leveraging a content delivery network (CDN). This gives you access to a network of servers across the globe. When you use CDN, a search engine user who clicks through your site will be routed to the server closest to their location. This reduces the distance the data needs to travel, which improves your website load time.
10. Build up Backlinks and Internal Links
When it comes to SEO, your focus does not just end with your website. As mentioned, you need to make your website an authoritative source of information when it comes to the kind of services or products your brand offers. You will be able to do this by creating a link-building strategy.
With this, you need to earn high-quality inbound links from a popular website that has established reputable authority. One way to do this is through guest blogging. By posting articles that have inbound links to your site on popular websites, Google will see your site as a credible source.
Aside from working on backlinks, you should also master internal linking. This is much easier as you have full control of this. By using internal linking strategically, you will be able to add authority to SEO-friendly pages on your site, allowing them to rank higher. This also helps web visitors navigating your site easier, allowing them to stay longer and learn more about your business.
Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid
Building up a solid SEO campaign strategy is not just about learning the things you must do. It also involves getting yourself familiar with common mistakes to avoid. When it comes to SEO, there are certain pitfalls that prevent you from achieving the results you desire.
Here are some of the most common SEO mistakes marketers make that you must avoid:
Using Old SEO Strategies
Search engine algorithms keep on changing. This means that SEO best practices evolve as well. Strategies that worked five years ago may not work in today’s standards. Some of them can even penalize your sites, such as keyword stuffing and PBNs. To avoid this mistake, keep yourself updated with modern SEO techniques.
Ignoring Search Intent
When creating an SEO-friendly web page, you don’t just have to fill it up with keywords. You also need to ensure that the content satisfies the search intent for a specific query. This means that the content should have relevant information that provides web searchers with the information they are looking for.
Keep yourself familiar with the four types of search intent: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial. Before creating content for a specific keyword, identify its search intent. This will allow you to come up with high-quality content that best fits the search term.
Keeping Duplicate and Outdated Content
All content on your website should be unique. You should remove pages that are similar or identical to another page on your site. Having duplicate content will affect the ranking of both web pages. Even though each page has all the qualities needed to rank high, it is less likely that they’ll achieve this if they’re not unique.
Moreover, keeping outdated content or information on your site will also prevent you from ranking high. Search engines aim to provide its users with the best and most useful results. Outdated content will just make the page irrelevant. The best thing you can do is to ensure that all content is updated regularly.
The Secret to Any SEO Campaign
The secret to any SEO campaign is simple: a solid strategy. By implementing different SEO best practices, you will be able to improve your search engine rankings and drive more qualified leads to your website. What’s more, optimizing your website will also give potential customers a better user experience, making your website easier to navigate and more likely to grab their attention.
If you have limited knowledge of SEO, the best thing to do is enlist the services of a trusted SEO agency in NJ. This allows you to work with seasoned SEO professionals who have years of extensive experience in creating solid SEO campaign strategies for different companies. They can help you optimize your website and make it rank higher on search engines. This makes it easier for you to boost website traffic and generate more qualified leads who are likely to convert into actual customers.
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