Search engine optimization (SEO) is a fundamental part of your digital marketing strategy. SEO is a set of criteria that you must follow in order for your website to appear on the first page of search results.
The higher your website ranks, the more traffic you get. This increases the chances of winning more customers.
At first glance, search engine optimization may seem complicated, especially for beginners.
However, at its core, SEO is not complicated at all.
Even with little experience, you can implement SEO strategies to improve your website’s ranking in search engines.
If you are wondering how to apply SEO, you have come to the right place.
Today we are going to lay the foundations for an effective SEO strategy.
Step 1: Audit your website for research
Before you start creating an SEO strategy, you need to make sure that search engines can read or crawl your website.
If your website is all in HTML text format, search engines will have no problem reading and indexing your website.
To find out where your website is in terms of searchability, use tools such as the Google cache or the MozBar. These will help you see which parts of your website are visible to search engines.
Here are two ways to work around non-HTML text elements:
- Add alt attributes to images. This allows search engines to read the visual content and helps rank the page.
- Provide a transcript for audio or visual files. It’s another way to help search engines crawl and index your website.
Step 2: Define your target audience
Knowing your target audience is key to your SEO strategy. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can understand what they search for and how they use search engines.
To better understand your target audience, consider the following:
- Where do they live?
- How do they receive the information?
- What communication media do they use? Social media? E-mail?
- What is their income?
- What are their interests?
- What are their values?
Based on this, you can better know how your website content can serve your audience.
Step 3: Do Keyword Research
After having clearly defined your target audience, it is time to research relevant keywords. It’s the secret sauce to ranking high on search engines.
Through keyword research, you’ll discover phrases people commonly use for websites like yours.
Keywords help you target people who are most likely to be interested in what your business has to offer.
Plus, keywords can give you insight into exactly what consumers are looking for. This allows you to further customize your website and services to meet their needs.
When we talk about keywords, there are three main types: generic, long tail, and broad match.
Generic keywords: Simple words like “puck”
Broad match keywords: More specific than generic keywords like “Maytag washer”
Long tail keywords: Description and leads to point of sale like “where to buy a Maytag washer”
Typically, you want to target broad match keywords, but it’s also helpful to include long tail keywords.
To help you find the most ideal keywords for your niche, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner. It’s free and easy to use.
Just enter your words related to your niche and the Keyword Planner will show you relevant keywords. It will also show you the search volume and level of competition.
Aim to target keywords that have good search volume with low competition. By doing this, you can get ranked faster and without much hassle.
Step 4: Use keywords strategically
Now that you’ve found the right keywords, it’s time to place them strategically on your website.
It can be tempting to place keywords all over your website, but avoid doing so. Keyword stuffing could potentially demote your website in rankings or remove it from search engines.
Your keywords should fit naturally into your website. For long-tail keywords, aim for a keyword density of around 0.5% to 2%.
For example, if a web page contains 1,000 words, the keyword should not appear more than 20 times.
Using your keyword in page titles, URLs, meta descriptions, and blog content helps boost your rankings.
Step 5: Create links
Search engines use what are called backlinks to determine the ranking of pages. Backlinks are links from other pages to yours.
For example, when a page links to your website, this is considered a backlink. If you link to another website, they have a backlink from you.
The more backlinks you have, the more authority you have on the page, and the more authority you have, the higher your ranking.
One way to get backlinks is to contact other webmasters and ask them to include links to your content. Posting guest blog posts on high authority websites is also a great way to increase backlinks to your website.
Step 6: Socialize
Social media is not usually a component of SEO, but it does influence your rankings. When you post content on your social networks, it is shared and seen by a large number of people.
Not only does this increase traffic to your site, but it also increases the chances of someone including your content on their website. It could give you a valuable backlink.
You are now a digital marketing pro!
See, we told you SEO wasn’t complicated. By following this guide, you will be closer to ranking high on Google and growing your business exponentially.
Remember that seeing results from your SEO efforts takes time. Stick to it.