Suppose if someone searches “chocolate brownie” on Google, most likely they’re looking for its recipe or ingredients or places to eat or order it from. Now, if you have the content that is relevant and addresses the query of the user, you’d want it to be visible to people. This is how you will drive a customer/user with the right intent to your website. This is when SEO enters into the picture.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential tool for driving traffic, acquiring new customers, and getting visibility online for everyone, from the world’s top corporations to small personal websites (such as blogs). If you’re someone who’s just starting or intrigued by the dynamics of SEO, little knowledge about it can help a great deal! The world of SEO is ever-changing and complex, but don’t worry, this guide covers all the points you need to know before venturing into it!
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the strategies, techniques, and tactics that help you get your website’s pages to the top of Google and other search engine result pages (SERPs). Given that 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, the importance of SEO amplifies even more.
SEO is different from paid advertising and involves “organic” ranking. While this means that you don’t have to pay to appear on SERPs, it also implies that to rank above your competitors, your online presence needs to be optimized and targeted.
SEO is majorly divided into two categories:
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing web pages to rank better, increase visibility and traffic. This funnels down to incorporating good quality keywords into your content, pages, metatags, website, etc.
Off-page SEO refers to the actions taken outside your website to improve your ranking on SERPs. This most commonly includes building credibility through backlinks. A brilliant SEO strategy is built by the amalgamation of on-page and off-page SEO techniques.
Vital components of SEO
- Keywords: Keywords are one of the basic and most important components of SEO. Targeted and niche-related keywords can help bring traffic to your website. Always try to go for long-tail keywords instead of competitive ones.
- Website names and URLs: Choosing the right keywords in the website name and URL according to your niche helps you rank better. It increases the website’s relevance to the search query. A study found that 63 percent of the top page results were for websites that included keywords in their URLs.
- Page content: You must have heard that content is king, well, it’s true! Creating good quality content can help you rank better for keywords, create a positive user experience, and generate backlinks.
- Meta tags: Meta tags are significant since they provide information to visitors about your website and provide search engines an idea about the content of your website.
- Backlinks: Backlinks are crucial for SEO strategy. It’s not about having the most links; it’s about having the highest-quality links pointing back to your site.
- Page/ Website experience: Google’s recent algorithm update places “page experience” as a metric for website ranking. Emphasizing on technical-SEO, page experience gives users the best browsing experience with the optimal loading speed, responsiveness, and visual stability across devices.
Importance of SEO
Due to the rapid digital transformation over the last few years, having a remarkable, distinct, and trusted online presence is extremely important. While platforms like paid marketing, social media, and other online mediums can help drive traffic to your website, a major chunk of online traffic is driven by search engines. It’s crucial to note that 53% of all trackable website traffic comes from organic search.
SEO is also one of the few online marketing channels that, when done correctly, can pay off in the long run. Your traffic can snowball over time if you provide quality content that deserves to rank for the right keywords, whereas advertising requires ongoing funding to send traffic to your site. Remember, working to build and execute a good SEO strategy can help you rank better, gain visibility and credibility and drive specific, high-intent traffic to your website and in turn, boost your business.
Tools to help you begin your SEO journey
Beginning with your SEO journey with fewer resources doesn’t mean you have to compromise with your business goals. Thanks to the internet, there’re plenty of free SEO tools that can help you up your SEO game. SEO tools provide data, insights, and alerts regarding your website’s general growth and performance. They can assist you in identifying areas of opportunity as well as shortcomings or concerns that may be preventing you from ranking and gaining visibility in the SERPs.
There are SEO tools available to assist you with:
- Keyword Research
- On-page SEO
- Rank Checking
- Site speed
- WordPress SEO
- Local SEO
- Mobile SEO
Here’s a list of SEO tools that can help you build a strong SEO strategy:
1. Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a priceless tool that is almost required for any digital marketer who is interested in SEO. It delivers a wealth of information on websites, including the number of visitors, traffic sources, and demographics by area. With Google Analytics’ extensive data, digital marketers can fine-tune their content strategy and determine what works and what doesn’t.
2. Answer the Public: Answer the Public is a useful keyword research tool that gives content marketers information on the questions people ask on the internet. When you type in a keyword, it pulls up frequent queries based on that term and creates a cool graphic with the questions and phrases people use when searching for that topic.
3. Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest is a free SEO tool that provides access and insights to new keyword ideas, top SEO pages reports, content ideas, backlink data, etc. You can get insight into the strategies that are working for others in your market, content pieces that are getting the most social shares and backlinks in your niche, volume, the competition, and trends for each keyword and so much more!
4. SEMrush: Semrush is a comprehensive toolkit for increasing web exposure and uncovering marketing insights. Marketers working in the following services can benefit from various tools and reports: SEO, PPC, SMM, Keyword Research, Competitive Research, Public Relations, Content Marketing, Marketing Insights, and Campaign Management.
5. Google Search Console: Google Search Console is a free Google service that allows you to track, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s visibility in Google search results. It can help you better understand and improve how Google views your site.
SEO isn’t something you perfect instantly, it takes a lot of time, practice, and patience. Getting started with SEO seems pretty daunting, but the trials and errors you make on your SEO journey are what are going to help you ace it. If you found this guide useful, have a look at our B2B digital marketing guide.