It’s reasonable to say that in the age of search engines, businesses that don’t have an internet presence are doomed to fail. Did you know that Google is used by 49% of consumers to find new products or services?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is something we’ve all heard about. The most widespread misconception about SEO is that it is just a simple strategy of leveraging keywords to attract traffic to your website. This is not the case. Marketers must completely equip themselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to drive the process of organic and valuable search in order to properly harness the power of SEO.
What is SEO and why does it matter?
In a nutshell, SEO is a strategy for increasing visibility in search results. Unlike PPC, SEO focuses on appearing naturally on the search engine result page (SERP) rather than through paid advertising.
Getting your website to rank higher on search engines gives you a competitive advantage in terms of visibility and reliability. The average web user does not go past the first five SERP results, and only 6% of website clicks occur on the second page. Implementing SEO strategies will help improve a website’s browser experience and usability.
SEO is a multi-faceted topic that touches on numerous elements of your website, and it’s more than just putting the hottest buzzwords into your opening paragraph. We’ve put together a beginner’s introduction to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Basics of SEO for beginners
Strong keyword research is the cornerstone of any SEO campaign. You don’t simply want anyone to visit your website; you want those who are interested in becoming potential customers.
To begin, make a list of the terms and phrases that potential customers will use to find your product or service. After that, make a list of key words that you can use to improve your website. However, there is a catch. Aggressive manipulation of meta keywords can and will get you penalised by Google when it crawls your page for information. One of the most typical mistakes beginners do is to keep repeating the same word in order to improve their page rank. This is referred to as keyword stuffing by the search engine. To put it another way, the content is poor.
Penalized websites are purgatory for marketers, since they may drop a page or two in the SERPs or be altogether deleted. Creating a list of semantic keywords — synonyms or related terms – can help you avoid this problem. Your search term is also extended to include additional similar searches.
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In order for search engines to rank your website, they must first scan it for relevant content and quality. Our web sites may appear to us to be ideally designed to dominate the results page at first sight. However, keep in mind that the algorithm cannot recognise visuals, colours, formatting, or links in the same manner that we do, which is why you should optimise your on-page setup.
Each piece on the website must target the related terms in order for search engines like Google to understand your site. Titles, meta descriptions, and image links, for example, are some of the best practises for on-page optimization.
Consider your website to be a large department shop with multiple levels. Each floor must be meticulously labelled so that your consumers know where to go and whether or not to go when the signboard reads “Women’s Clothes” when they’re looking for a blender. Meta-titles are exactly what they sound like.
The 55 to 60 letters (ideally) that appear at the top of your browser and also serve as the organic search headline are not your page headlines.
Try to incorporate your keywords as naturally as possible to avoid Google penalising you, but also making it sound clickable.
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In the search results, your meta-description is the short text that shows beneath your title. By effectively selling your site to interested consumers, writing the correct meta description increases your click-through rate. More crucially, this is an HTML code that indicates how relevant you are to the search word to the search engine. With that in mind, broad phrases like “shoes” or “restaurant” will not suffice in terms of relevancy. More particular search terms, such as “Chinese eateries in the CBD” or “white shoes for sale,” can ensure that your page does not appear in unnecessary searches.
Images and Alt Text
Search engines look for relevancy across the entire page, including picture file names and alt text. Because the algorithm is unable to detect images, these essentially inform the search engine about the contents of the file. For instance, an image titled “best-countries-to-visit-in-2022” would clearly outrank “screenshot 22 october.”
For a variety of reasons, alt text replaces visuals in photos. Alt texts are an online accessibility feature for visually challenged users who use screen readers or who can’t load the picture. When done correctly, this material can help search engine crawlers optimise your website. To begin, stay away from classic blunders such as keyword stuffing and bland descriptions.
Not only do links play a role in the technical parts of SEO, but they can also assist your site gain popularity.
Links for on-page optimization
Your URL structure should ideally be as compact as possible while still containing significant keywords. Short, descriptive URLs are more likely to be shared by viewers and recognised by search engine crawlers.
Backlinks are a crucial commodity to have in SEO marketing. You get a backlink when an external site uses your site as a reference. This functions as a signal of your popularity and importance to the search engine. Backlinks from low-quality sites, according to this rationale, can have a negative impact.
Because you are not in command of the content of someone else’s site, link building might be difficult. Contributing guest pieces to high-quality websites is an excellent place to start if you want to get featured. An illustration from an article we wrote that was featured on Tech Collective can be seen here.
Pitching and outreach, as well as profile linking, are some other techniques.
It should go without saying that efficient website navigation is necessary for visitors to find what they are looking for. At the same time, search engines crawling your page will be able to recognise the elements they require more easily.
The purpose of navigation, often known as site architecture, is to make it simple to find content. Internal linking that isn’t well-built could break your website, according to this rationale. Consider your page from the perspective of a visitor. Is it difficult or clumsy? Is the website loading slowly?
From the perspective of a search engine crawler, your code must be built in a way that the algorithm can understand. Duplicate material is another factor that could harm your SEO.
SEO is a complex technology that most people fail to master on their first attempt. Patience and practise are required. Even for seasoned marketers, getting every component of SEO correct may be difficult. Remember to concentrate on the areas where you excel and have a track record of success. In the end, it’s more important to drive people to your site than it is to look for buzzwords.