In the year 2019, if you’re a business owner or slightly tech savvy, there’s a good chance you may know what SEO is. However, the world of SEO is ever-changing and must be able to stay on top of the latest trends! With that in mind, there is a sea of knowledge out there provided by awesome SEO companies.
Some of my favorites are:
– Moz Blog
So, what is SEO?
Essentially, SEO is setting up your website so that it has the highest chance to rank at the top in the organic search results.
Think of Google (and the other search engines) as a library. Housing millions of books, and it’s their job to recommend accurate suggestions on what they think would be valuable for us searchers.
Just like books, websites host valuable content for us to read and engage with. You wouldn’t recommend a sci-fi novel for a friend that likes poetry.
That’s what Google gets and is getting better at understanding our search intent.
Why is SEO important?
There are approximately 40,000 searches happening every second all around the world. That’s 2.5 million searchers a minute and over 140 million an hour!
There is major potential for your business when you rank number one organically in the search results. You can leverage keywords and intent to rank highly for terms that are relatable to your business.
In essence, it’s like getting free warm leads!
More on the basics of SEO (hyperlink to SEO page)
To get started with the basics of SEO, here’s a list of all the essential SEO that you can get started today:
– Title tags
– Meta descriptions
– Site Structure
– Social media
– Local SEO
– Technical SEO
When we talk about title tags, we’re talking about the blue header font you see in the Google search results page.
Your title is your pitch to searchers to say “click me! I am the answer to your question/interest”.
For example, a Title tag could be “Dave’s Bagels | Best Bagels in Chicago”
Just like title tags, meta descriptions are to provide searchers with a snippet of your website’s information.
Although, not as the title tags, meta descriptions are still an important piece of your online real estate.
Utilize this to draw in searchers even more so from beyond your catchy title tag.
Using the example above to write a meta description for “Dave’s Bagels” we could write, “We’ve been serving delicious & delectable bagels for the last 10 years. We make our bagels fresh each and every morning so you know you’re getting the Chicago’s best. Come in or order online and get your favorites today.”
Keywords are how you get found on the internet. You want to do substantial research into any and all keywords your business wants to rank for, and then developing a plan on how you’re going to achieve that. There are plenty of great keyword tools out there in today’s world, but if you’re just starting out and, on a budget, Google Keyword Planner is a great free tool.
You’ve most likely heard that content is king and it couldn’t be truer. Along with keywords, Google looks at your webpages information and deems how informative and helpful it is to searchers. The more useful, the higher it ranks.
Although you normally can’t craft amazing content in just a day or two, it’s important to create a strategy, much like keywords on what content you want to curate and how it will provide value. Your content marketing should include all content on your website including copy, blog, newsletters, and any value propositions.
Content marketing should be at the center of your marketing efforts and should make strides on how to accomplish your content goals today.
Site structure is important for both humans and for the robots that crawl your site.
It might sound like a lot at first, but in order for Google to show your website to searchers it has to crawl and index your site. Think of a library adding a book to its collection. The easier you make it for Google to crawl your site, the less mistakes it will make and avoid having your site not fully indexed.
Site structure is also important for your users! You want to have an easy navigation that leads to your most important pages such as your about, product, and contact pages. Plentiful linking to these pages on your site’s content, blogs, and newsletters help drive traffic to those pages as well as give a little SEO boost!
Social media is another great way for you to gain visibility online. Although, ranking factors may not deem social signals highly, the importance of interacting with your target audience through this route is extremely important.
It allows you another avenue to interact with your target audience and build engagement. Use social media to stand out. Don’t just post your blog and company newsletters, use social media to stand out and differentiate yourself from the competition. Like everything in marketing, you’ll want to create a strategy and a schedule on interesting posts and when to post them.
Another easy, but crucial step in SEO is creating and updating your local listings. Google My Business, Bing, Yelp, and many more directories. These listings provide accuracy to your business data in the search engines. If there’s inconsistencies, it confuses the search engines and they will rank you lower than you should. As a part of directories, and your marketing strategy, you’ll want to regulate and routinely check on your reviews. Review management can make or break a searcher picking up the phone, clicking on your site, even giving your business a second thought.
Writing local content and acquiring citations is another great marketing goal you should strive for!
There are many different technical aspects to SEO. It is important to have a confident and capable SEO expert on your team to handle these issues if they arise:
– Site speed
– Site structure
– Mobile friendliness
– Canonical pages
– Structured data
– XML Sitemaps
– SSL and HTTPS