Let me guess why you are here, you probably just own a blog or a website for your new business. You have been about how to optimize your website. You’ve also heard of the importance of SEO content writing and other digital marketing strategies that can help your targeted audience reach you. We are here to help you achieve just that.
This guide has been structured to demystify the clumsy idea behind SEO. You will find answers to all your related questions ranging from SEO meaning, how SEO works, finding the right words (keywords) to generate and increase your website traffic and online visibility for your business, and how to reach your targeted customers amongst others.
Why you need SEO
SEO- Search Engine Optimization is the practice of structuring the contents of your website using relevant SEO tools and various digital marketing strategies to increase your website traffic, online visibility and achieve high rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). Search engines crawl your web pages to find, identify and categorize the contents of your website for relevant searches in the SERPs.
It is one of the digital marketing techniques that help online businesses including small and large businesses build a brand by helping them target potential customers, grow thought leadership and build a community of online loyalists.
It helps you to know and understand what your potential customers are searching for online and the keywords they are using. It allows you to know the mind and intent of people searching for the type of goods or service you offer so you can be found easily by customers. And you can only know the mind of your targeted customers and the words they are using through various keyword research tools and online marketing strategies. In simple words, these tools help you “pull the crowd” to your business and build brand awareness.
Components That Form SEO
- Keywords: Keywords are the building blocks for SEO. They show the intent of the user. For online marketing business, keywords help you get started in writing optimized content; they are used to drive targeted traffic to your business. Keywords permit search engine software to recognize that your website is relevant to certain topics and contents.
Usually, long-tail keywords (that exceed 3 words) are the best keywords that rank high in SERPs because they have less competition compared to one-word keywords. The longer the keyword, the lesser the competition giving you an edge over your competitors.
Inserting relevant keywords into your content will allow your website to rank high on search engine result pages. However, stuffing keywords irrelevantly is bad SEO practice and search engines algorithms have been designed to detect such- you cannot outsmart the system. Also, when you repeat the same word frequently, or you duplicate contents across your website, search engines can detect these. It is a good practice to distribute “keywords” evenly and allow them to fit naturally into your content.
For quality content, you need to perform keyword research, leveraging certain tools. These keyword research tools (free and subscription-based) help you understand the intent of your targeted audience when they are searching.
Here are some best SEO tools you can employ for your content marketing strategy.
Best Tools for Keyword Research
- Ahref: After Google, Ahref is the second most recommended SEO tool for keyword research. It is used by many SEO experts for keyword tracking, competitor research, etc. Besides, Ahref is used to determine the most linked to contents in your industry.
- SEMRush: This marketing SEO tool has the feature of an organic traffic insight. It allows for easy assessment of your rankings and detects new changes and ranking window. With SEMRush, you can monitor your rankings including your leading articles and related keywords, word count, and social shares, and find tips on how to improve your site’s performance. The Domain versus Domain analysis feature permits you to compare your competitor’s keywords and domain.
- KWFinder: This tool is one of the best keyword research tools. It is particularly good for searching for long-tail keywords with a lower level of competition. SEO experts and SEO consultants utilize this tool to search for the best keywords and also run analysis reports on SERP and backlinks.
- Ubersuggest: Developed by Neil Patel, this keyword tracking tool helps you find keywords and the searcher’s intent by revealing top ranking search engine result pages from short-tail phrases to long-tail phrases. It is a great SEO tool. Features of Ubersuggest include keyword volume, competition, seasonal trends, and CPC.
- Google Search Console: This is one of the most effective SEO tools opened for all website owners, so if you’re just starting with your business, you will probably need this tool. With Google Search Console, you can monitor your website contents and control what gets indexed.
Other keyword research tools are Google Keyword Planner(free), Google Trends(free), Keyworddit (free), MozPro, Answer The Public (free), Woorank, SEOQuake (Free), Questiondb (free) Bulk Keyword Generator(free).
- Content: Content is king. Posting optimized content written around a keyword allows the content to rank high in SERPs. According to HubSpot, businesses that post content consistently receive 3.5 times the amount of traffic as companies that publish 0-4 posts. Content is also one of Google’s top 3 ranking factors. However, writing quality content is not enough. To rank high on SERPs, your content should be able to meet the need of someone searching for a keyword relevant to your content. This is what we call, Digital Content Creation.
Content marketing strategy works hand in hand with SEO. In content marketing, sharing free and relevant content that solves the problem of your targeted audience on your website will convince your audience that you’re an expert. This content strategy will make them visit your site often, hence, build your brand awareness and increase your online visibility.
- Backlinks: This simply means linking your web page with other web pages across the internet. However, it isn’t about the number of links that point back to your website but the quality and the authority of the links that will help you rank on search engines.
- Meta tags: Meta tags are the invisible tags that tell search engine algorithms what your website content is about. They give additional information about the site to search engine and can amplify SEO ranking.
- Domains: A domain is a name allotted to a website. It is popularly known as your website address. It is the URL internet users use in accessing the website.
How To Optimize For SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works mainly in 3 ways: Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking.
- Search Engine Crawling: Any contents, (texts, images, videos, documents) on SERPs are found by links. A Search engine uses “crawlers or spiders” to discover new contents online and these contents can only be discovered via links. These crawlers follow the link to discover new URLs which are added to an index known as Caffeine (a large database of URLs). The URLs are later fetched whenever a searcher searches for contents relevant to the URL.
- Search Engine Index: This merely involves processing and storing all content information gathered by the crawlers. It is the search engine’s word bank.
- Search Engine Ranking: When a person searches for information on Google or other search engine algorithms, search engines scan the search and retrieves the most relevant information to the person’s search from the word storage. The retrieval of the most relevant information is determined by “ranking”.
For a site to rank high in SERPs, a website owner needs to improve the on page SEO, match content to search intent, publish relevantly and optimizing contents evenly, build backlinks amidst others.
How Optimizations Are Done
Every blogger has experienced the excitement that comes with launching a new blog or website. But what happens 3-4 months down the lane? Will the positivity and good vibes dwindle and you abandon the site when you don’t get the desired results?
The knowledge of SEO is important for the success of your blog’s traffic. Knowing how to do it will help your site become searchable and attract readers and potential clients.
Learning how to do SEO yourself can be time and money consuming especially when you’re not familiar with SEO strategies. If you can afford to use the services of an SEO agency, many SEO specialists offer SEO services and are ever ready to manage your online marketing business for you in exchange for a little cash. There are a large number of SEO agencies in Lagos if you reside there and of course in every other part of the world. However, if you are on a low budget and you’re keen on learning how to do SEO as a blogger, there are many SEO tutorials for beginners online that teach how to do SEO for free.
You can follow the below tips to increase the ranking for your website.
- Specific Title Tags: Title tags shouldn’t be neglected. Specific title tags can make a lot of difference and high ranking especially if your eCommerce site produces default titles relating to your site’s name and niche. Your title tags should be in this form: “Men’s Shoes” instead of “Men’s Wears”
- Know how to do Keyword Research: Keywords are the basis of SEO. They can be in the form of phrases (short-tail keywords) and long-tail keywords. The best keyword tools allow you to search for these keywords. Some are free, the most common is Google Keyword Planner while others require payment.
- Study your Competitors: Type a keyword in your niche. The first three websites should have similar keywords you may need if the sites are similar to yours. Competitors’ websites help you know the things they are doing right, how they structure their website to get organic traffic amongst others.
- Constantly optimize your website Contents: Relevant and fresh content can earn you a high rank. Take efforts to update your content (texts, graphics, and audiovisuals) at least every month.
- Create Logical Links: Inbound links (links pages to your website) and outbound links (links to outside sites) hold a lot of weight in earning you a high rank in optimizations.
- Strong Social Media Network: Your net worth is your network. Many businesses majorly find their targeted audience on Facebook. Your social media audience is likely going to share your links and help you reach a wide audience.
With all being said, you now have full knowledge on how to rank your website and what it takes to increase organic traffic.
All that’s left is for you to apply these in your digital marketing strategy and consistently create relevant content for your target audience.
Do you need an SEO specialist to handle your website? You can contact us.