Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complex and ever-evolving practice that seeks to increase traffic to a website by improving its rankings in organic search results. Creating a solid SEO strategy is a good idea for any business since it will help them connect better with their target audience and can save money over time by cutting down on advertising fees.
Search engines like Google work by crawling the internet for content and returning search results that are relevant to a user’s query. The higher up a site appears in search engine results pages (SERPs), the more traffic it gets. In fact, the first page of search results gets up to 92% of total clicks, with the first five results receiving most of those.
This may seem disheartening for new and small businesses, and SEO is a long-term practice, but it’s important to remember that you aren’t competing with the entire internet. You simply need to outperform your direct competitors to rise in search rankings. This SEO complete guide can teach you the best practices to follow so you can achieve great results in Google search.
An important first step anyone can take is improving their on-page SEO or optimizing individual web pages to rank higher. The most important ranking factor for any page is its content.
Good page optimization requires good content optimization. The most important things to remember about your content (blog posts, videos, etc.) are that it needs to solve a problem for your audience, and it needs to be linkable.
You should also make sure each page has a good title tag. Google generally displays the first 50 or so characters of a title, so try to keep within that limit and work in relevant keywords. Your meta description should also be as informative as possible to guide users to click on your link.
Meta tags are not ranking factors in of themselves, but they do improve the odds that users follow your links.
Keywords are the terms and phrases that users enter in search engines.
Keyword research involves determining what terms users are likely to search for that could lead them to your website and then including those terms in your content. In the earlier days of SEO, the goal was to load as many keywords as possible into your content, title tags, and meta description, but with the introduction of Google’s BERT update anticipating user intent has become crucial.
The rising popularity of voice search also means that keywords have become more conversational. Such updates are meant to return more relevant search results to users, so many webmasters now focus on keywords that fit their niche and are specific to the products and services they offer.
Content marketing is the king of online advertising, and it refers to any original content you produce that showcases your expertise, products, or services to your audience.
The more relevant content you produce, the more chances you have to build trust with users. It also provides you with excellent link building opportunities.
Link building is the process of earning backlinks—hyperlinks on other websites that direct users to your own. Gaining high-authority links is the best way to improve your search rankings. Many SEO professionals also consider link building the hardest part of their jobs.
You may be able to improve your ranking a bit by building internal links (links on your site that direct to other web pages within your site), but you need backlinks to make a significant difference.
The easiest way to get good backlinks is by having your content hosted on high-authority websites.
You could write blog posts that help solve questions for your audience and showcase your expertise in your niche. Hosting relevant video content on sites like YouTube is also a great way to go, especially considering Cisco’s prediction that 82% of web traffic will be video by 2022.
If your business sells landscaping tools, for example, you could create video tutorials that show the best ways to use each of your tools. The most important rule for high-quality content is that it actually helps your audience. Consistently producing great content that creates quality backlinks is the best way to boost your rankings and keep them up.