what is seo?
Learn the foundational basics of search engine optimization and why your business needs it to thrive.
What Is SEO: Why You Need It To Thrive
In this digital era, it became imperative to build an online business presence to stay competitive. Before, to make their businesses stand out, entrepreneurs would mostly opt for traditional marketing tools such as flyers or focus on mastering direct sales. They would also rely on word-of-mouth frequently.
SEO is a digital method used to boost word-of-mouth more efficiently without a need for ‘social proofing’ (testimonials). The more popular or visited your website is, the higher it will rank in the Google search results!
SEO is one of the most comprehensive marketing approaches, therefore, it’s not that easy to understand and do. Luckily, we have prepared an exhaustive SEO summary just for you so you can become an SEO maestro and increase your leads into your pipeline and drive ROI!
Let’s see what you can do to double, even triple, your business awareness & ROI.
1. The Basics: What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, or simply SEO, is a marketing term that describes all the steps taken toward increasing the quantity as well as the quality of your website traffic. Additionally. by utilizing the organic search traffic correctly, you can skyrocket your ROI for a short time. However, that is better said than done. You probably aim at attracting buyers, right? SEO can help you exactly in achieving that like no tool before!
2. What are the elements of SEO?
Profitable marketing efforts depend on winning targeting. To get the optimal revenue you want, you need to spend money on inviting visitors who are actually interested in doing such a thing.
SEO is a long-term, large-scale solution that helps you invite millions of potential buyers within seconds. For example, if you are selling customer support software, it’s not a smart move to promote it to singers.
The key SEO elements guarantee you will avoid user targeting mistakes:
- Traffic quality: It is true, you can attract everyone who uses Google, but not all of them are qualified to become visitors, and especially not customers. Due to its audience targeting capabilities, SEO is a key channel in order to communicate with the right people. Once you create a quality target user persona you want to attract to your website, you can make the moves you need to drive revenue.
- Traffic quantity: You can broaden your existing customer base or tap into new markets after you’ve defined your targeting. The bigger your audience, the better!
- Organic traffic: Almost all people on this planet love free stuff, probably you too. SEO organic traffic is your opportunity to earn a lot without spending a nickel. Search engine results or SERPs have the prime page space taken up by many paid ads, however, when you scroll down a bit you can always find those that don’t have “Ad” in their titles. Once you get your SEO strategy in place, one of these results could be yours!
As you can see, you can’t optimize your marketing results if you don’t optimize your search engine strategy. Your website is simply your digital presence, like your company building, and a bit more!
3. The History: How SEO became the key marketing tool?
It’s believed that the first SEO techniques date from 1991, right after the first website went live. Shortly after that, other businesses have recognized this fantastic opportunity to launch their websites and drive revenue. This further caused the internet to be fully packed with so many customer options. All of this created the SEO industry that works hard to connect companies with people who need their products or services.
A couple of years later, in 1993, Excite introduced a revolutionary method of categorizing information on the Internet. Very soon, Yahoo and Vista joined the scene with their upgrades.
However, a critical milestone for the SEO evolution was the discovery of BackRub in 1996. Doesn’t sound familiar? However, that was the first name of today’s modern-day Google. But Larry Page and Sergey Bin decided to change it a year later and transform the marketing arena forever. Today we have Google Adwords, Google Analytics, and SEMrush and many other SEO tools that bring your marketing campaigns to a whole other level!
4. What Are The Search Engine Optimization Techniques
During the last decade, the SEO tools market has increased immensely, causing many new techniques to emerge. However, some have proven constantly effective. Anyhow, all of them fall under one goal, which is to grab the first ranking position with your website as soon as possible. To make a good first impression and start a strong relationship with your customer you need to make the website look good first. Let’s see how you can optimize your online brand appearance!
- 1. Website performance perfection
The first and major search engine optimization goal is to provide a high-level customer experience. To reach that level your website needs to look spotless and perform at a satisfactory speed. If your website looks outdated, amateurish, and especially untrustworthy, Google will never rank you higher.
Similarly, if your page-load speed is slow, visitors will leave your website quickly, creating a huge problem. You face a higher bounce rate and this is a failed opportunity to acquire new customers. A successful website needs to look like the best answer for your customer’s query in order to have any chance to beat other current competitors.
- 2. Keyword research
This might be one of the most critical SEO steps you can take. Keywords represent the questions your customers type in the search box, which are called ‘queries.’ Thus, you need to find the SEO keywords that will best match your offer and the user’s intent through keyword research. However, don’t stuff your content with a ton of keywords. Google doesn’t like that at all!
- 3. Think about voice search
Due to the rise of voice search, the need for long-tail keywords keeps increasing. You need to look through customers’ eyes when writing any kind of content. Therefore, create the same questions customers are asking within your content and your future customers will find you.
According to the latest research results, 75% of people who have voice–activated speakers, said that they use them on a daily basis. Moreover, it is found that 2 in 5 adults use voice search at least once per day!
- 4. Long-Form Content is King
It’s not easy to write longer content.It might be time-consuming, but it’s extremely rewarding. The Backlinko study has shown that longer content tends to have more backlinks that can be translated into higher rankings easily. This isn’t always possible as sometimes customers want fast answers on short queries.
- 5. Never skip technical SEO
That is right! Never ever skip technical SEO as it is a foundation pillar of a successful SEO strategy. It is highly advisable that your whole website loads on HTTPS, as Google recently made SSL certification a ranking factor and it could hold your rankings back. Next, enable mobile AMP, that makes everything you publish mobile-screen friendly!
- 6. Measure your success
And the last, but not at all least is to measure your SEO success. It is critical to measure your content and determine key performance indicators, therefore you must use reporting and analytics tools that can give you exact numbers. That is how you will only know if you are doing it right!
- 5. How Google works
Some to SEO ways to build the highest scores possible are:
- Publishing content that people would want to read
- Having a fast page-load rate
- High backlinks number
- Add “Alt text” to your images
Always aim at providing the best customer experience possible!
6. The Key Difference Between Off-Site and On-Site SEO
Like their names might say, On-Site SEO is everything you do on your website to enhance its popularity. Here, you are the boss. On the other hand, Off-Site SEO represents all the SEO variables you don’t have the full control of.
It implies all the promotional efforts that completely depend on a customer or visitor reaction. What you can do is to post regularly everywhere possible and provide content that someone would like to refer to. This might sound quite difficult at first glance, but don’t worry, here is a brief summary that will solve all the Off-Page and On-Page riddles!
- A) On-Page SEO
As we mentioned above, you should be very careful about what you post to your website and how you design it. That is a foundational base for every next building block on your business growth pyramid. No singular marketing strategy or channel will work if your website isn’t presenting your business well.
However, On-Page SEO is not just about posting content, it is also about optimizing your links and search snippets. In other words, it is about everything that is directly posted to a website. This side of your strategy is responsible for site visibility and customer engagement. The better the On-Page SEO the longer your visitors will stay on your pages.
Furthermore, that significantly increases your chance for conversion. And with all of the marketing that we do, we should always be striving to improve conversion opportunities and metrics. Luckily, there are certain factors that help you build that conversion base.
Let’s dig deeper!
On-Page SEO factors that highly affect your rank are:
The URL’s structure is as important as the keywords placed within your text. That is the first step in search engine optimization. A URL that completely relates to what the attached page is about, helps search engines crawl through your website efficiently. Which allows you to provide results to customer queries promptly, too. Not only will search engines be able to discover your site quicker, visitors will be able to surf through your website easily.
Having the right URL helps you connect all the topics you add over time to the main pillar page. For example if you sell pet food and want all other pages to lead back to that one. Then make sure that you include pet food in your URL. And at the end, a proper URL simply looks more appealing and trustworthy.
Meta Tags are a small snippet of code that Google pulls from your site when a user enters a search query. This is what you see when you look at the search engine results pages. It consists of a Meta Title or the headline and Meta Description, which is simply a short description of a certain web page. Therefore, the headline and the description should describe your business in a concise and eye-catching manner.
Use the keywords that best match your products or services and are visible to search engine crawlers. Meta Tags are an essential part of the search engine optimization for organic traffic.
Alt Text is a short phrase that you create for images you put on your site. When you describe your picture, the best approach would be to use the primary keyword for your page, followed by a description of what the image is. This gives you the optimization you need for Google Image Search as well as covering accessibility/ADA compliance for folks using screen readers or software.
Security became the hottest topic regarding online business. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) are security technologies that guarantee you and your buyers are protected from malicious attackers. Unfortunately, in this world there are many of them, so one of these two is a must. Additionally, Google favors websites and avoid those that don’t have one of these two in their URLs.
This is a step that you can’t skip! What are you going to do if you have set up your URLs and SSL right, but don’t have any quality content to show? In that case, you can be sure that visitors won’t stay or come again because you haven’t given them a reason to stay. Therefore, use credible sources and provide a compelling content that your customers would love to read. It is also advisable to create call-to-actions and opportunities for users to convert on your blog or other dedicated pages so you can start collecting leads!
Internal linking is the cheapest, yet incredibly efficient search engine optimization tool that increases your rank. When you think about internal linking, you can understand it as linking back to your other pages or your blog content, which is most often the case. Don’t forget about this amazing SEO opportunity.
While other factors focus more on the content, Page Performance refers to a page load speed and the site ability to render page data on every device that you set it up to.
B) Off-Page SEO
After you have done a thorough On-Page SEO, you are ready to move forward to improving your Off-Page one! This SEO strategy includes all techniques that optimize or are related to website reach. They can be back-linking, page ranking, and the exposure your posts receive on social media. Yes, even your popularity on social media can have an impact on your website rank.
Now let’s check those Off-Page SEO Things-to-Know!
- Domain Authority
Domain authority is the quality/trust score the search engines give to your website. On the scale from 1-100 they estimate your website work success and rank it in the results according to their findings. In this case, you can see your website as a student and domain authority as its final grade. They look at several factors such as the years the site has existed, number of backlinks, the history of the domain name, and the number of 404 pages.
The number of people or companies that link back to your content is the strongest Off-Page and SEO tool out there. It increases your authority and relevancy score drastically by saying that your content is so valuable that they need to share it. That led to questionable paid-link tactics, however there are ways to get backlinks using organic outreach.
The most popular, but also profitable organic tactics are:
- Guest Blogging
- Asking to be featured in the industry leading publications
- Seeking for back-linking contracts that can be beneficial for both sides
It is true, it is easier to pay for it, however, try this winning organic tactic that is highly valued by Google first.
- Social Media Promotion
Even though page rank isn’t directly affected by interactions on social media, the popularity on social media can have a positive effect on it over time. Social media posts that generate a lot of website traffic will certainly add to the relevancy of the pages, especially the link sharing such as the ones of the blog posts. If your social media visitors find your content useful, you can expect more and more traffic over time!
All in all, On-Page and Off-Page might be two completely different things, however they’re complementary halves of the same strategy. Without appealing content it would be hard to get backlinks and social media attention. On the other hand, good content that just sits on your website doesn’t make any sense either.
7. Why Is Guest Blogging Important?
Guest blogging is important for two reasons: building authority and increasing the engagement rate. Some companies see this SEO opportunity as a threat. They ask questions such as “Why would I share someone else’s blog text on my blog page.” However, they couldn’t be further off the mark.
Guest posts can be a refreshing perspective for your readers. They most often give new approaches and innovative ideas that only can push your page popularity to new heights. Also, customers like having a variety of points of view in one location and you will seem more social.
Guest bloggers will want to thank you and share your content on their blogs. That is an excellent chance to position yourself as an industry thought leader and start conquering the market. Besides hosting webinars and having live videos, guest blogging is an ideal way to share your expertise and experience!
8. Make your website SEO-friendly
Now that you’ve learned all the SEO foundational strategic items, it’s time to start implementing them. Whether you want to improve your website or you are launching a new one you can’t go wrong with these search engine optimization techniques. Therefore, start boosting your website rank now!
9. Final Thoughts
Now, take a breath. You can see that search engine optimization is not that big of a deal. Gaining experience with these things will help you become an efficient marketer and build an effective strategy. But if you want to get out of your business so you can work on your business, you can always hire a team of experts to do that for you.
However, you have learned what the experts are actually doing, so now you can better track results and understand what they’re doing. We would advise you to go this way if you are a total beginner.
However, if you are brave and still want to test your SEO limits, here is your brief SEO overview:
- SEO is marketing method that helps you have a reputable online presence and better rank on search engines
- Search engine optimization guarantees that you are tagging the people who you can convert into buyers
- Google will evaluate your website relevancy and authority to rank your website
- On-Page SEO is responsible for the quality of your web pages and overall website presence, while Off-Page SEO aims at spreading a word on your product or service and increases the website rank
Let us know if you would like to learn more about how SEO can double your revenue!