Search engine optimization. What a buzzword. Most people have heard of it, some marketers may have touched it, but there are very few people with a true understand what a real SEO strategy entails.
“But Carly, SEO is basic stuff,” you might say. “I know how to optimize for Google, write meta descriptions, keywords, yadda yadda. I can just plug in Yoast and call it a day, can’t I?”
Wrong. So very badly, my friend.
SEO is more complex than you probably think because it is constantly evolving. I didn’t want to be late, so I signed up for the Moz SEO Essentials Certificate Classes. If you are looking to upgrade your marketing knowledge and avoid becoming an SEO dinosaur, I highly recommend it. But if you want to save time and money, stick with me as I roam the world of SEO.
What exactly is SEO?
We’ll start with the basics. Moz defines search engine optimization as “the practice of increasing the amount and quality of traffic to your website via organic search engine results. “
Okay, so what does this actually mean? Let’s break it down a bit further. Getting tons of website traffic is great, but what you really want is quality traffic – relevant prospects who are genuinely interested in what you are offering. There are many ways to get users to your websites, like display ads and direct links, but SEO focuses on organic traffic from Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and other search engines (seriously, some people Actually use Bing).
How it works
While you may think of Google as the mysterious genius who can answer all of your questions, there is a lot that can be done to put together this magical list of search results. Google is constantly sending out Googlebot bots to find what pages exist on the web. These little robots crawl known sites and find new ones through links. Then they index what they found. They try to understand content by looking at page titles, keywords, and formatting structure. Using all of this information, Google serves and ranks specific pages based on a user’s search query.
Google is estimated to use more than 200 ranking factors to determine where your page lands in the search results. Ultimately, good SEO will help you stick to these factors.
Properly implement an SEO strategy
Good SEO starts with a good strategy. Moz suggests you stick to their proven methodology, which includes 5 steps: Research, Audit, Optimize, Amplify, and Iterate. Where many marketers go wrong is that they jump straight to Optimize, as it contains the most important tasks like titles, URL slugs, descriptions, and other metadata. While these things are important and very valuable, they are only a small piece of the puzzle!
If there’s one takeaway from this blog, let it be this one: Do not skip the Research and Audit steps. Conducting proper keyword research will lay a solid foundation for the rest of your strategy. Not only is this a great exercise to see where your brand stands in a competitive industry, but it will also help set the stage for the creation of new web content and give a comprehensive view of your strengths and weaknesses at different stages of the process. the funnel.
Keyword research for dummies
One of the easiest ways to build a good keyword list is to create a matrix, Mr. Anderson. You can start by creating a grid sorted by sales funnel and semantic topics. Some example topics may be your buyer’s needs, buyer’s personalities, or product / service line.
Why are sales funnel stages relevant, you ask? It is estimated that approximately 80% of searches are informative. This means that the researcher is usually at the top or the middle of the sales funnel and may not even know what their problem is yet. Since these searches are further away from converting, there are usually fewer ads to compete with for keywords. It’s easier (and cheaper) to capture the audience at the top and guide them through the funnel rather than capture them at the bottom.
Once you have built your matrix, you can create a keyword list from each cell. Moz suggests 400-500 keyword variations per cell. It might sound like a lot, but there are tons of handy tools to make your life easier, like the Moz Keyword Explorer. When you’re done building your list, it’s time to filter and sort to identify the target keywords. You want to research keywords with high search volume, high organic click-through rate, and low difficulty ranking.
Finished? Then you are on your way to becoming a master SEO strategist. With this matrix at your fingertips, you can take the next steps in SEO methodology by mapping your new keywords to the right pages. You will come back to this matrix throughout the optimization process, so keep it handy.
Google is constantly changing its algorithms
Even if you follow this A-T SEO methodology, your SEO strategy will never be really To be finished. In marketing, everything is All the time changing and SEO is no different.
Over the years, Google has made significant changes to how, what, and why its search engine algorithm displays results. Does anyone else remember the good old days, when searching for something on Google resulted in a long list of simple, blue links? Search for the same query today, and you’ll likely be bombarded with Google ads, image results, similar questions, map packs, and more. You will likely have to scroll through several ways before you find an actual organic link.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: Google doesn’t want you to let Google. OK, maybe everyone already knew that. If you stay in search results, you’re more likely to click on an ad and make money for it. Google now updates its algorithm on a monthly or even weekly basis. While most of these changes are trivial and go unnoticed, you need to stay prepared when something big happens.
These revolutionary updates, like mobile-first indexing – can completely change the way links are displayed and ranked organically. When mobile-first indexing plummeted in 2018, companies with slow, non-mobile sites said goodbye to organic traffic. The strategy you use today might be useless tomorrow. The only constant is change.
Fortunately, Google usually announces what they are going to do and when. They are also kind enough to provide tips and advice on how to prepare for the changes ahead. We recommend that you follow the Google SearchLiason Twitter account to help you stay on top of any changes. For more information and strategies, see Moz, Yeast and Search engine. There is no shortage of online resources to help you with SEO. The first step in becoming a master is to admit and understand that you are not a master. There is a lot to learn and there is no time like the present to begin.