In today’s digital world, SEO (search engine optimization) needs to be part of any effective digital marketing plan. In fact, SEO and marketing must work hand-in-hand for maximum online visibility and business growth. As a business person who is always looking for new ways to increase lead generation and conversions, it’s essential that you have a working knowledge of SEO concepts and best practices.
Here are 7 things you should know about SEO that will help take your online game to the next level:
1. You Must Appeal to Search Engines & Humans
Since search engine optimization refers to ranking organically in search engine results, it’s easy to make the mistake of creating content with only search engines in mind. For SEO to be truly effective, it must appeal to both search engines and the humans that will be reading it. It’s pointless to rank highly for your chosen keywords and never convert or to have engaging content that is never seen by your prospects.
2. Use Keywords Wisely
Keywords play a big role in any successful online marketing campaign, but there must be a strategy behind it. The days of stuffing pages with keywords and getting favorable results are long gone, so now you must have a plan to make the best use of keywords in your industry or niche. Some useful tips include:
- Avoiding ultra-competitive keywords you’d have no chance of ranking for
- Using long-tail keyword phrases instead of single words
- Researching search results in your industry to identify trends and see what Google seems to be putting on the first page
- Adding local terms if you are a local business (e.g., San Diego barbershop)
- Applying secondary keywords to posts and pages to prove to Google your content is relevant to the searcher’s query
3. Understand the Different Types of Search Queries
There are three basic types of search queries, and molding your content around which ones you’d like to appeal to will improve your SEO results. The three main ones are:
Navigational – this type of search query means the searcher wants to find a specific page or website. ‘Facebook’ is an example of a navigational search query.
Informational – an informational search query is a search that covers a broad topic or subject matter, where the searcher is looking for more information. If you typed ‘business growth’ into the search bar, you’d get thousands of results providing information on the subject.
Transactional – this type of search means someone is looking to make a purchase or complete a transaction. These include exact brand names or product names or more generic product names like ‘computer printer.’ Many transactional search queries also include words like ‘buy’ or ‘purchase.’
It’s also important to point out that voice search is becoming a big thing, so if you structure keywords and content how people speak, you will likely appeal to those types of searches and boost your SEO efforts.
4. Optimize Your Pages for Speed
Page speed is probably one of the last things on your mind when thinking of online visibility or lead generation, but it helps with your SEO efforts. Slow loading pages are no good for anyone, and that includes the search engines. If you take the time to optimize your pages for speed, you’ll provide a better user experience, which all search engines love.
5. Don’t Forget Meta Descriptions & Title Tags
Meta descriptions and title tags are HTML elements that are still relevant when it comes to SEO. The title tag lets search engines know the title of your page and is typically shown as the clickable headline on search results pages. They can also enhance the user experience and help with social sharing.
The meta description refers to the roughly 155 characters that are displayed in the search results pages that summarize the page’s content. These lines are golden opportunities to draw searchers in and engage them in your content and get that valuable click.
6. Make Good Use of Analytics
It’s easy to think of analytics as a useful tool just for paid campaigns, but you can also use them to your advantage with SEO. You can track just about everything that happens throughout the course of organic search campaigns, including how many clicks you received, where you ranked in search results, the bounce rate of your landing pages and lead generation and conversion metrics. Analyzing this data will let you know if you’re on the right track or if you should make some adjustments in your approach.
7. Optimize Images for SEO
Images make your website, blog posts, and landing pages look appealing and can boost engagement, but they can also help with your SEO efforts. Use images that are relevant to the text on your pages, use captions when possible for easier scanning, and add image alt text as a text alternative for search engines and searchers.
As you can see, online marketing and specifically SEO includes a range of different variables that must be working together to achieve optimum results. Organic search is a huge source of web traffic, and it helps to build credibility, authority, and trust among your customers and prospects.
If you want to learn more about SEO or find out what Storm Brain can do to help your efforts, get in touch with us today and we can go over the possibilities.