Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What Is SEO?
You’ve heard of SEO and you know it’s important. But do you know much more about it? If you’ve asked the question, “What is SEO?”, keep reading this tutorial on SEO basics.
SEO is an acronym that stands for “search engine optimization.” It a nutshell, SEO helps websites get traffic from organic search results — as opposed to paid search ads — on search engines. The three major search engines — Google, Bing and Yahoo — have their content ranked on what they consider most relevant to users — using carefully SEO-optimized content can get you ranked higher, meaning more people will see your content come up when they put in a search word.
How To Implement SEO Basics
SEO is a complex subject that’s constantly evolving. It’s essential you stay on top of SEO trends to drive traffic to your website. Read on for some tips on SEO basics:
1. Identify What People Actively Search for on the Internet
One important part of SEO basics is finding out what people are searching for on the internet. Search engines and websites typically track search trends — sometimes in real time, often in archived lists — and you can use those to identify what people are looking for and then provide it on your website. Some of the websites that track search trends include Google, which uses Google Insights, Google Trends, Google Zeitgeist and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool; and Twitter, which features trending topics on its sidebar.
You can also get insight from Alexa, which provides the top 500 sites on the web; YouTube, which tracks what video content is trending; Nielsen, which provides stats on popular searches through its Nielsen Net Ratings.
2. Create Informative, Actionable Content in Response to Trends
Because content is an important way to increase traffic to your website, you must craft your content so that your website is in search results. You must ensure your content is more helpful and trustworthy — and more informative and actionable — than other websites’. The best way to do that is to create evergreen content — or content that remains relevant and does not become dated — that speaks to search queries people most frequently search. Here are some tips to help you:
- Analyze your content to see where you need to improve it.
- Constantly re-optimize your existing content to meet search trends.
- Strive to make your pages contextually rich — the more material you provide, the better the search engines “understand” what the page is all about.
- Make sure your articles are well written, comprehensive and insightful.
- Use high-quality images and eye-catching headlines on your pages.
3. Have a Quick-Loading Website
Web performance– or the speed at which your pages load -can impact not only your user’s experience, but your website ranking. In fact, according to Google, “A search result for a resource having a short load time relative to resources having longer load times can be promoted in a presentation order, and search results for the resources having longer load times can be demoted.” To improve your page-loading speed, consider these tools:
- Webpagetest — You get a free speed testing and information on how to optimize page speed.
- YSlow — You can gauge how your website is performing and get speed-improvement insights.
- Oncrawl — Find out what pages you need to optimize and get an overview of your page speed performance.
4. Create an Engaging User Experience
Engaging users is a way that websites become successful. To create an engaging user experience, follow these tips:
- Design your websites for users — make it easy for them to accomplish what they visit your website to do.
- Do your research — when you’re designing your site, check out the competition, and in particular, the successful competition. The more competitive information you have, the more data you have from which to glean expectations and ideas.
- Remember that less is more — users have enough distractions these days. They want a straightforward, easy way to navigate and consumer information. Keep this in mind when you design your site.
- Focus on your user audience — determine what they are trying to do on your site and what actions they’ll need to perform, and speak to those topics.
5. Add Structured Data To Your Website
Identifying frequently sought keywords and using them in your content per SEO best practices is a good first step. However, you’ll generate very little organic traffic by stopping there. Provide more information to search engines about the content of your website by adding structured data.
Structured data helps search engines understand a webpage’s content and how it connects to the rest of your site and the entire internet as a whole. The most widely accepted structured data vocabulary is Schema.Org– which uses a programming language known as JSON-LD.
Don’t know how to write code in JSON-LD? Don’t worry! If you have a WordPress site, we suggest using SchemaApp.com. SchemaApp has a free, downloadable WordPress plugin that is reliable and accurate. They also have a paid version that costs under $40 and comes with an incredible support team to help you through the process.
If the thought of optimizing content for SEO appeals to you in no way whatsoever, there are plenty of companies that offer SEO services. These companies aim to increase your rankings, organic traffic, calls and sales. Each company might provide slightly different SEO services, but the basics typically include:
- Optimizing website code and structure
- Analyzing website structure, content and conversion rate
- Optimizing of onsite content and off-page factors
Two well-known companies in the SEO services business include Moz and SEMrush. Consider using one if you think you need help with SEO.
Moz — Founded in 2004, Moz strives to help clients grow their website traffic and draw customers to their businesses. It offers clients an SEO toolset that includes link building, keyword research, page optimization insights and site audits. In addition, the company provides clients with SEO-integrated business listings so customers find them — fast. If you want to try Moz, you can get a 30-day free trial by visiting the website.
SEMrush — SEMRush is a tool that enables clients to find profitable keywords. Founded in 2008, the global company also provides customers with insights into competitors’ advertising strategies in addition to link building and organic and paid search services. You can even compare domains side-by-side to see common and unique keywords and visualize data.
You’ll get all your data in a custom report — and when you use the tool you’ll receive more than 2 million keyword ideas, according to the site. The company also offers site audits, position tracking, a social media tracker and poster, on-page SEO checker and more. To sign up, visit the website.