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SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. It’s the umbrella term for all the methods you can use to ensure your website is found by various search engine result pages (SERPs).
Google is the most widely used search engine but it’s certainly not the only one. There’s Bing, Yahoo!, AOL and others.
If your website does not appear higher up in their search rankings, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
The goal of SEO is to get qualified leads and prospects to discover your business when they are searching for products or services that you offer in the search engines.
SEO isn’t Rocket Science but it can be Complicated
When it comes to SEO, a few important tactics can greatly improve your presence in the increasingly crowded online space. If you’re attempting search optimization on your own or more wisely hiring an SEO expert, it’s important to be informed with certain SEO fundamentals before proceeding.
Search engines try to provide the most relevant results to a searcher’s query. Whether it’s an answer to a simple question like, “how many ounces are in a gallon?” to more complicated queries such as, “what is the best Chinese restaurant nearest to me?”
After reading this article, you will gain a better understanding of what you need to know before beginning an SEO campaign and what your role is if you decide to outsource this valuable marketing strategy.
Know Your Audience and What Content They’re Looking For
Why Content Marketing Plays a Big Role in SEO
First let’s look at what SEO feeds on. And that is content (text, images, videos etc) found on your website. Since great SEO relies on how well your content is ranked, as well as factoring in your social media and local engagements, you want to keep fluff content to a minimum and focus on quality.
Good content is useful across all marketing mediums and forces you to think through your message from a topic and keyword perspective.
It’s imperative you know who would want to buy your products or services and what they’re searching for in the search engines in order for them to find your website as the solution to their needs.
Your initial instincts may be correct, but you might be missing things that could gain additional website traffic, potential relationship opportunities, or new market segments to your business.
Therefore, proper due diligence is paramount in order to map your target audience to the keywords, topics, and phrases they’re using in and around your industry.
Create SEO-Driven Content
Writing only for search engines usually make your content boring. Typically that strategy won’t help to convert your visitors into customers.
It’s far better to focus on people first. Make your content as value-driven as possible and then optimize it for search engine bots without sacrificing the quality of your content.
The underlying content is extremely important. Too many people skimp on content but it’s one of the major anchors that tether you to Google’s relevancy algorithms.
The problem we see a lot of entrepreneurs run into is them creating content “they” think is perfect and sounds great to them but SEO wise, can at times be utterly worthless.
Being authentic is important but do so while factoring in the reason why you’re creating the content in the first place with marketing, branding, lead generation and of course SEO in mind.
Thin content with errors, or duplicate content and spun or spam content can really hurt you.
Instead, the content not only has to be lengthy, but it has to be well-written, keyword rich and highly engaging where readers are spending a good amount of time digesting and consuming that content.
Content Creation for SEO Success
As you create content, you’ll want to make sure each page is optimized for:
• Page speed,
• bot crawling,
• responsive friendliness, and
• overall findability.
An Initial investment in a site audit or recommendations for establishing a few initial best practices will save you much time and money in the long run.
Ideas for new content can be gathered from questions your own clients often ask or visit online forums and social media to find questions around your industry, products, and marketplace for more inspiration.
Check the competition with content ideas to ensure you’re on par with your competitors when it comes to covering topics and questions in the industry concerning your company.
Manage Your Keywords Wisely
The key to pleasing both search engines and visitors is to have quality content on our website that includes keywords your target market would be using in the search engines when looking for a solution to a problem your business can solve.
To do this, you want to run your keywords and topics through a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to make sure the topics and keywords you have chosen have enough search volume and potential traffic to make them worthwhile.
Be sure to take into account the relevance of the search to your audience.
The narrower the topic focus, the lower the traffic typically. This is often offset by the accuracy and interest of the audience.
Do not Spam the keywords!
This also means using different connotations of the same words over and over again within your content.
Google loves NEW content. Keep in mind that websites are liquid so this is where your blog plays a major role in effective SEO.
What Search Engines Are NOT Looking For
Search engine spiders only have a certain amount of data storage. If you’re performing shady tactics or trying to trick them, chances are you’re going to hurt yourself and your business reputation in the long run.
At the end of the day, focusing on quality content that can be easily found by your target audience will benefit all of your marketing and sales efforts. Spend a lot of time on the things above and the rest will fall into place.