What is SEO, why is it important, and how can my business benefit from putting it into practice?
Have you ever asked yourself, what is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization, and is a practice used by almost all successful marketers in 2021. This article will serve as an introduction and overview of SEO. Whether you’ve never heard of the term before, or you’re actively working on an SEO strategy for your business, this article will act as a how-to piece to guide you through your digital marketing journey.
Let’s get into it!
What is SEO and why does it matter?
Before getting into any detail, let’s cover the essentials. What is SEO, anyway?
SEO can be defined as the practice or method of increasing the visibility of a website in search engines through organic or unpaid means. SEO is important because it helps grow a company’s customer base, build the brand, and ultimately increase sales and revenue. SEO helps businesses not only by bringing in more traffic, but by bringing in more targeted traffic.
How does SEO work?
SEO involves making changes to a website’s content, design, and infrastructure to boost its visibility in search engines. Search engines work by providing the best experience—and most relevant information possible—to users. When a user types a search term into Google or Bing, the search engine “crawls” different websites and analyzes content. The search engine then selects the most relevant content and delivers it to the user.
When crawling websites, search engines look for elements like readability, accessibility, page load time, content length, relevance, recency, and quality, and web design. Search engines like Google will also look for the presence and placement of relevant keywords.
Here are a few other important SEO ranking factors:
• Mobile friendliness
• Bounce rate
• Domain age, authority, and URL
• Social signals
• Grammar and spelling
• Breadcrumb navigation
• Page categories
• Real business information
If you’re still questioning what is SEO, we at PaintedRobot can do a full SEO audit for you. If you’ve got this and prefer to do an audit yourself, here is an article from ahrefs.com on how to conduct an SEO Audit.
On-Page vs Off-Page SEO
Within SEO exist two main branches: on-page and off-page SEO. On-page SEO refers to manipulations or changes made directly to a webpage. On-page ranking factors include elements like keyword frequency and relevance, page and URL structure, internal linking, and page performance.
Off-page SEO is the part of SEO that refers to any changes made outside of a website, like backlinks, domain authority, and social media promotion. On-page and off-page SEO work together to boost a website’s authority in search engines, and should take equal priority in any marketing strategy.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what SEO is and how it works, it’s time to get practical. Here are a few tips you can use to help boost your company’s SEO strategy:
Research relevant keywords. You might be wondering how one goes about choosing those keywords that are so important. The key word here is research. There exist a variety of free and paid tools, like Google Keyword Planner or Google Analytics & Google Search Console, to help choose the best keywords for the target audience.
Follow a checklist for on-page SEO. On-page SEO is all in the details. To stay organized, consider following a checklist and process each time a new page is published. The list could include items like page title, URL, header tags, meta descriptions, and alt text.
Focus on content. One of the biggest factors in determining a site’s viability in search engines is content. You should be publishing a constant stream of relevant, interesting, and high quality content to the site. It’s important when writing content to always have the audience in mind; don’t write for search engines, write for people.
Use bullets and subheads. If a user can’t find the information they are looking for on your site in…oh, 5 seconds, they’re likely to hit the back button. This sends a message to search engines that your site is not providing relevant information to the user. By using bullets and subheadings, you make content easier to find and read, improving user experience and boosting your rank in search engines.
Don’t forget social media. There has been some debate as to whether social media plays a direct role in SEO. Despite the controversy, it’s true that social media pages do rank in search engine results. When you type a popular company’s name into Google, the top few hits are likely to include their social media profiles. Social media also improves content reach – another crucial factor in search engine rankings.
For more information on how Social Media can benefit your business, see our Social Media Marketing & the benefits for Your Business article.
SEO is a complex and ever-changing field. By staying informed about the latest trends, and doing your research, we guarantee you will deliver a successful SEO strategy. To learn more about what SEO can do for your company, check out some of our other blogs.