Gone are the days when bar debates and lingering questions tormented us for days until we found an answer from a book or friend. Whenever anyone has a question, the first place they look is on the internet. It has become critical to search engine optimize your website so you can appear in these searches.
People will use the internet for every type of research, especially regarding businesses. What’s the best HVAC service near me? How much does a brake job cost? Where can I find cheap kitchen appliances? All these questions are how most customers find the businesses they buy products and services.
When customers search the internet for your product or service, you’ll want your website to appear first to get their attention. Luckily, companies can incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices, so their websites and digital content appear ahead of their competitors’.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website or digital content to improve its online visibility and the likelihood that searchers will find your website or content. SEO strategies should optimize for the criteria set by Google’s search algorithms. When done correctly, these strategies will improve your website’s position in Googe search engine results and rank your website higher than your competitor’s.
Every business can and should use SEO for their websites. Here’s everything you will want to know:
What is SEO of a Website & Why is it Important?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is essential for all aspects of digital marketing. So let’s break it down.
A Definition of SEO
SEO is a set of practices and strategies designed to improve the probability of your website appearing for various internet searches on search engines like Google or Bing. SEO algorithms can vary for different search engines and social media platforms. Google is the most popular search engine in the world and accounts for 91% of all internet searches.
The Benefits of SEO
By optimizing your webpages for search engines like Google, your website will appear higher in rank when searchers google certain words or questions. The better you incorporate SEO strategies into your digital content, the higher you will appear on the search engine result page (SERP).
For instance, searching for “Best Pizza in Miami,” SEO algorithms will rank which web pages the best answer that question on the SERP. Pizzerias with better SEO will appear higher on search engines like Google.
Websites with better SEO will receive more traffic, leading to more customers! Investing in SEO is one of the best marketing investments you can make
How does SEO Work?
Understanding how the algorithms work that Google uses to determine which web pages to show on the search engine results page is essential for building a search engine optimization strategy. These algorithms generally focus on a few key factors but are constantly being tweaked by google engineers.
What are the Common SEO Ranking Factors?
According to digital marketing research, these are the most important factors that determine search engine rankings:
- Consistent publication of high-quality content (26%)
- Keywords in meta title(17%)
- Backlinks (15%)
- Niche expertise (13%)
- User experience and engagement (11%)
- Internal links (5%)
- Mobile-friendliness (5%)
- Page speed (2%)
- Site security/SSL certificate (2%)
- Schema markup/structured data (1%)
- Keywords in URL (1%)
- Keywords in H1 (1%)
Among Google’s 200+ search engine ranking factors, SEO experts consider these 12 components the most important. While many companies may feel only the top 5 or so factors are worth considering, websites that utilize all 12 of these factors will outperform the competition.
How To Search Engine Optimize Your Website
Incorporating SEO practices into your digital marketing strategy isn’t as easy as turning on a switch. Ranking your website high in search traffic can take months of consistent action before seeing results.
1. Do Your SEO Keyword Research
The first step to appearing in more organic searches is to determine your website’s keywords and phrases. Keywords are the most common words, phrases, or questions in search queries related to your business website. However, finding the right keywords for your website is more than just including keywords or phrases with high traffic. Companies should select keywords for their relevance to their business, geographical location, and current performance. Keywords can change over time, so it’s essential to regularly check that the keywords you’re using are still optimized for your SEO strategy.
For example, searchers looking for an auto mechanic might google “auto mechanic near me,” “car repair Miami,” or “best auto repair.” An auto repair shop looking to improve their google ranking will include these keywords and phrases in their blogs, blog headings, meta descriptions, meta tags, and more.
People who search for “best auto repair” are more likely to purchase auto repair services compared to people who search for “DIY auto repair” or “best do it yourself car repair tutorial.” Therefore, auto repair shops will want to optimize their digital content for keywords like “best auto repair.” Conversely, car parts suppliers or auto mechanic schools may wish to optimize their websites with keywords like “DIY auto repair.”
While your industry may have tons of high-performing keywords, you will want to choose keywords that are relevant to your business model, so you are attracting the right customers. This strategy will impact your SEO strategy’s effectiveness and marketing ROI.
How To Do Keyword Research to Search Engine Optimize Your Website
SEO experts are masters are finding keywords that will get your web page to the top of Google search queries.
To find keywords, digital marketers will create a seed list of words and phrases relevant to your business, industry, and target audience.
Next, they will input these keywords into various keyword research tools and see which terms best suit your content marketing goals. These keywords are then prioritized by search volume and how competitive they are. The higher the search volumes and the less competitive keywords are, the more likely they will be used.
2. Create Quality SEO Content with your Keywords (and lots of it)!
Once you have your keywords figured out, your main objective will be to incorporate these keywords throughout your marketing content. But don’t throw in keywords randomly, and hope for the best. Your content marketing should feel authentic and high-quality to achieve a high google ranking.
Your SEO Content Should:
- Provide Value to Users: Content should be relevant and high-quality so Google can more easily find your content and readers to stay engaged longer, improving a website’s SEO.
- Aligned with the Keywords: Blogs and webpages should answer the questions and relate to your optimizing keywords.
- Provides a Good User Experience: Content should avoid overusing sales-y language, distracting design elements, and advertisements.
- Have an Abundance of Accurate Information: Google will give higher rankings to longer articles with more up-to-date information.
- Organized with Headers: Headers, title tags, and meta descriptions will keep readers engaged and provide more value.
3. Optimize Your Blogs, Titles, and Meta Descriptions
Beyond including your keywords throughout your website’s written content, there are several key places to include your keywords.
SEO Blog Posting
Blogs are great for companies to provide value and information on their website. Companies should include keywords and commonly searched questions throughout each blog. Blog topics should be optimized for SEO purposes by looking at trending topics, competitor websites, and highly searched keywords.
Titles and Headers
Once you have a blog topic in mind, you will want to determine the best article title for that topic. This strategy will depend on your keyword research. The same article can have multiple titles, but some are better than others.
Meta descriptions are the shorthand descriptions that appear on search engine result pages for a website. Meta descriptions should be between 50 and 160 characters and include several keywords.
4. Include Internal and External Links
Google will look at how helpful your website is and how much authority it has when determining where it ranks on the search engine result page. One way Google’s algorithm does this is by looking at a web page’s internal and external links. Link building is an essential strategy for SEO experts.
Including internal links in your content marketing will help boost your website’s overall SEO and drive traffic to other web pages on your website. Try to include at least 1-3 internal links in every blog and ensure they are relevant to the content. This strategy will provide more value for readers and improve user engagement numbers.
Outbound External Links
SEO experts suggest using 1-3 external links in content marketing pieces. This method will help give your webpage more credibility in the eyes of Google and searchers.
Including external links on your web pages will also improve the domain ranking, known as link juice by industry experts. The more internal and external links you have, or link juice, the more valuable your website will be, according to Google’s SEO ranking.
5. Off-Page Optimization
Aside from the On-Page practices to search engine optimize your website used above, companies should also focus on off-page optimization. These are the activities you can undertake to increase the likelihood that searchers will come across your website.
Find Backlinks for your Website
Backlinks are precious and hard to find. They are links to your website that are found on another website. Many companies will pay for backlinks to be included on more reputable websites. Over time, companies that create valuable content will acquire more backlinks.
Adding citations involves getting your website included on relevant local websites like review and directory sites. Focusing on local SEO is important because Google considers citations amongst the top 5 factors when ranking websites.
Businesses that focus on local SEO will be easier to find amongst customers in your region. Local SEO is an essential factor in gaining a higher ranking and beating out competitors for many service-based companies whose reach is limited by geography, like plumbers, homebuilders, and auto repair shops.
Leverage Social Media
Social Media is one of the best content marketing strategies, according to digital marketers. Social media is used by the majority of people around the world, which is why companies consider it a vital part of any comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
By using websites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter, companies can increase web traffic to their website and boost user engagement.
6. Technical SEO
Technical SEO focuses on optimizing your website for key metrics that search engine algorithms use to rank your website. Technical SEO is where digital marketing experts show their actual value. They include:
- Page Speed: how fast your web page loads will play a key role in ranking your website. A website’s code, images, and other factors affect page speed.
- Core Web Vitals: metrics focused on page experience that include:
- Largest Content Paint (LCP) – how fast the largest image/video loads
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – how well a website’s layout functions
- First Input Delay (FID) – how a website responds to user interactions
- Security: Using HTTPS over HTTP will improve your website’s SEO.
- Mobile Usability: How well your website works on mobile devices will affect SEO rankings.
- URL Structure: An organized URL structure will make it easier for Google to identify what your web page is. Digital marketers suggest using a /blog, /landing page, /product group structure for URLs.
- Site Architecture: The underlying code and design of your website should be optimized for SEO and easy to understand by searchers. Simple is always best.
Working with a Digital Marketing SEO Company
High quality search engine optimization of your webiste is a complicated yet vital piece of any digital marketing strategy. Having a high pagerank for relevant keywords and search queries can make or break your business.
That is why companies looking to beat out their competitors should work with digital marketing experts to optimize their content marketing for SEO. Through proper SEO strategies, companies can improve their web presence, increase traffic to their website, and reach a larger target audience.
If you want to grow your business, consider partnering with SEO experts to protect your bottom line, invest in your future and search engine optimize your website.