So, what do we mean by SEO? Especially if you don’t work in marketing.
SEO is a commonly used acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. In digital marketing, SEO is a way to improve the quality and quantity of web traffic to your website or landing page from a search engine.
If you take away one idea from this post it is that SEO is critical for your business’s digital presence. Without a solid plan and execution, your business will get lost amongst the thousands of other businesses vying for customers online. By implementing SEO best practices, your business will garner more visibility online by ranking your website higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) leading to more web traffic, marketing qualified leads, and sales.
To help you get started with SEO, I put together my top 6 takeaways from a recent HubSpot Academy SEO Certification course I completed. Coupled with some great resources, these tips are sure to help you to implement the right SEO strategies for your business.
1. Remember to E – A – T
The first thing to understand about SEO is to learn what search engines are looking for when they review (or crawl) your website.
An easy way to remember what’s important is with the acronym E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. These three attributes are important not only for the website itself, but also the page’s contents including blog posts, case studies, videos, title tags, image tags, site maps and more.
Pages with low expertise, authority, and trustworthiness tend not to rank highly on SERPs. As you think about your own site, think about addressing your customers’ questions and concerns, and keep E-A-T in mind when you create new content.
To get a better understanding of how authoritative your website is, try out some of this free domain authority analysis tool from Moz.
2. The Key to SEO is Backlinks & Link Building
While there are many important components to a successful SEO strategy, backlinks and link building are often considered the most important piece.
This is because Google takes backlinks as a signal that your site has high-quality content that others want to reference. This is why sites with lots of high-quality backlinks tend to rank higher than those without.
But how do you get other sites to link to your awesome content? This is where link building comes into play.
Getting other sites to link to your content is difficult, so building links (and relationships) becomes super important. Essentially, link building is all about encouraging other marketers to link to your website.
So in the new year, continue to create great, high-quality content, but make sure to reach out to other marketers, business owners, and influencers in your network about sharing content.
3. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
At this point, you understand that content creation and SEO go hand-in-hand. However, a common mistake is to make content for content’s sake without keeping your target audience in mind.
Before writing any new piece of content, ask yourself, “What is my ideal customer searching for?” To easily and accurately answer this question, try conducting some keyword research.
Keyword research is the process of pinpointing what search terms people are entering in a search engine and using that information to create relevant content for your specific target audience.
There is no single best practice for keyword research, but you may want to try out the following tips to get started:
- Begin by listing out all of the relevant topics you want your business to be known for. Start with high-level terms – The Endurance Group (TEG), for example may use a broad yet high-level search term like: “lead generation”.
- Once you have a complete list of keywords, try to get more specific. What kind of lead generation does your business perform? For example, in TEG’s case, we could add “lead generation b2b” or “lead generation strategies” to our list.
- Check the search volume and competition of your keywords using sites like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Answer the Public.
- Finally, you can also use Google Trends to see if your chosen keywords are being searched for more or less frequently.
By enacting some of these strategies, you will start to create content that resonates with your audience and brings more qualified traffic to your site.
4. Get Organized with Topic Clusters
Once you have an idea of what topics you want your business to be known for, you’ll need to organize these topics into clusters so that your content is easier to find for your customers and search engines.
Start by grouping your keywords into clusters around a specific topic. For example, in TEG’s case, “lead generation b2b” or “lead generation strategies” may fall into the same general “lead generation” cluster.
Now you can start to create content around these topics. Just remember that you should only target one keyword per page. By staying focused on one keyword per page, your content will rank higher in search engine results and your target audience will find your content more focused and helpful.
5. Try Adding Video
To enhance your website and keep your audience engaged, try adding a video to your page.
While it may not be immediately obvious, videos do positively impact your SEO! For one thing, search engines like Google factor videos into SEO, meaning you should strongly consider adding videos to bump your ranking.
Not only do videos signal high-quality content to search engines, but viewers are also more likely to stay on your page longer if there is an engaging video.
As for those all-important backlinks, people are more likely to link to videos making multimedia content a great addition to your site.
6. Don’t Forget About Mobile
Finally, in today’s world, you can’t forget about mobile traffic. Depending on the industry you are in, mobile visitors to your website could account for a majority of traffic to your site.
Luckily, if you are following the steps already mentioned, your site is in a good position for mobile optimization.
In evaluating your website, consider page speed and loading times for images/graphics. Also, consider the user experience on mobile devices. Don’t make buttons too small, too large, or in the way of scrolling. Limiting pop-ups can also make your site easier to navigate for mobile users.
The easiest way to optimize for mobile is to make sure your website is built with a responsive web design. For more information on responsive design and others ways to optimize for mobile, check out this article from Moz.
Although there is a lot to talk about when we discuss SEO, these initial steps can make a big difference. However, if you find yourself stuck, reach out to The Endurance Group for additional ways to increase your web traffic, leads, and overall sales.
Our marketing experts would love to help optimize your website and improve your Google Search ranking.