“SEO is dead.” this common statement has made many marketers worry. I mean, with statistics indicating that social media has overtaken search as the main source of traffic, isn’t this true? In addition, mobile apps are becoming more preferred than the traditional methods of viewing websites. Well, yes there are changes that regularly takes place. Google, which is the leading search engine, makes between 500-600 algorithmic changes every year. This makes it a bit hard, even for seasoned SEO experts and marketing gurus to track changes. And because of this, many seem to be forgetting the basics of SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is the acronym for Search engine optimization. It is a technique that is used by marketers, SEO experts, blog owners, website owners and other people to improve the ranking of their website. Think of this, when you type the keyword or phrase in Google, you will get many results from different websites. Generally, you will click on the pages on the first page, preferably, the first two or three results on top. This means that you are unlikely to visit websites that are placed on pages other than on the first or second one.
Your goal, as a website, blog or SEO expert is to have your website feature in the first page and if possible at the top 5 positions. This is what SEO seeks to achieve. You need to follow algorithms, guidelines, practices and other fundamentals if you are to achieve the best results.
Why is it important?
Data shows that a majority of the people will first peruse the website when seeking information. This may be to inquire about a service, compare different products, read consumer reviews, search for professional services and much more. And with the number of internet users growing by the day, businesses and organizations are investing in SEO. The following are the main advantage of SEO:
- Increased traffic: If your website or blog site ranks among the top five on the search engine, you are more likely to reach your target customers. Statistics show that the first three websites attract as high as 70% of the traffic.
- Better exposure: More visitors to your website means that your market coverage will expand faster. Potential customers will be able to see your products or services and this enables your business to grow.
- Consumer Trust: Would you trust a website that is on the first page or one that is on the 100th page? Like many other people, you will definitely prefer the one on the first page. Ranking high on SERP helps to create consumer trust.
- Comparative advantage: A business website on the first page has a comparative advantage to that placed on other pages. This is due to better traffic and being seen as an authority.
For you or your client to reap the benefits, you need to understand the basics or fundamentals of SEO
What are the basics of SEO?
“Content is King.” For a website to rank higher, it should have original, genuine, and relevant content. People will turn to a website that offers them relevant information with solutions to their problems. It is important to regularly update the content to bring in fresh ideas.
Research shows that long-form content and 4-word keywords or more score better. For instance, instead of SEO, use a headline like the Basics of SEO, or how SEO is beneficial. Video tutorials and infographics are not only valuable but also linkable and shareable.
Did you know that Google and other search engines primarily focus on links to rank your website? They see them as a connection and trust among users hence will add more value to the readers. The more trustworthy the higher the website ranking. Try to get a diversity of keywords, if your article is about Basics of SEO, you should aim for keywords basics of SEO, SEO basics, learn the basics of SEO and many other synonymous keywords.
It takes time, effort and knowledge to identify quality links. It also requires skills to ask reputable sites for a backlink. You should always go for high-authority sites, publish an original and relevant study, and write testimonials for top-rated firms to get a backlink.
- Meta Descriptions and Headlines
People want to know what your article or blog is about even before reading it. A good headline will give then an idea while a mega description helps the search engines to identify the content.
A catchy headline increases the click-through-rate (CTR) whereas a good meta description improves the scalability of the webpage. Titles with more characters (around 90) have a better click-through rate. It helps to use catchy titles and naturally placing keywords towards the beginning. Read more about what is an SEO title.
- User Experience
Google rates your website based on how users are rating and with it. Did they give it thumbs up or found it unhelpful? How relevant was it to their problems and did it offer the best solutions? Does it come in a user-friendly format or is it more designed for robots?
A good webpage is simple and user-friendly. It loads up fairly fast and offers the right information to your target audience. For instance, if you are targeting young kids or an “ordinary Joe”, you should not use technical terms or jargon that may leave them more confused.
You should limit unnecessary information, ads, popup as this may offend some users.
Finding the best format or strategy may take time and at times, you will need to try out different techniques.
Read more about what how to choose affordable monthy SEO packages
More and more people are using mobile phones to access websites. The latest statistics indicate that the number can be as high as 89% of all users. As a marketer or web owner, you should make the site mobile friendly. The webpage should fit nicely on the phone’s interface and the text should be clear and not too squeezed or oddly spaced.
Google has a mobile-friendly test that helps you knew if there are any errors, how your webpage will look in mobile and will tell you of the size of the text and how it fits on a mobile screen. A good mobile-friendly website can easily be accessed via apps and also supports voice search.
Effective SEO strategy – The 4 Pillars
For your SEO strategy to be effective, you should focus on the 4 SEO Pillars, which are the basics of SEO:
- Good Content
The content should be relevant to your audience and should offer a solution to theory needs. You should ascertain your intentions (whether you are selling a service or product, whom you are targeting, or getting information.). The content should be credible to attract an audience and should put your business on the map. Ensure it is easy to read, clear, and well organized.
- Technical SEO
Search engines should be able to explore your website and index the pages. It should be mobile friendly, load fast, and the content is structured in a good hierarchy.
- On-site SEO optimization
Every page, as well as the entire website, should be optimized properly. You should use sensible keywords and descriptive page titles, undertake a keyword research to know the most searched keywords, use correct keyword length and meta descriptions, and have a strong call to action.
- Off-site authority building
A good website will not just have high traffic but also be an authority in its niche. People will turn to it for solutions and will be able to trust what it brings forth. Quality and authentic content and good link building are fundamental in creating strong organic rankings.
Making your website or blog site, rank higher takes time, knowledge, and patience. At times, you will need to try different strategies, combine many tactics, and also keep tabs on the latest developments. Nevertheless, by following the basics of SEO as well as adhering to the main pillars of SEO, you stand a higher chance of succeeding.