No doubt you have come across many people that claim to be able to get your website up the rankings quickly.
So-called ‘SEO specialists’ who perhaps practice some shady techniques that may work in the short term but probably will get you penalized in the medium to long term.
Effective SEO is a little different. In this short guide, we are going to teach you:
• What SEO actually is
• The stages of an SEO strategy
• Why content marketing and SEO go hand in hand
Let’s get straight into it.
What is search engine optimization?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a term that gets people confused.
In its most basic sense, it is allowing your site to be found by search engines and ranked organically. What do we mean by that? Well, we mean that instead of throwing a lot of money at paid ads and other forms of advertising, SEO can get your site listed on Google and found when someone enters key search terms without much cost to you.
It is all about increasing both the quality of your traffic as well as the quality.
Unfortunately (or maybe, fortunately, depending on what way you look at it), this can take a fairly long time. In fact, for a new site, it can take anywhere from 4-6 months and even longer to see any results. This can depend on many factors though.
The different stages of SEO
Creating an SEO strategy and implementing it can be quite complex but we have whittled it down to four main areas.
#1 Finding the right keywords
In its purest form, SEO is about the keywords.
When someone puts a search term in Google then you want your website to rank for that’s search term if it is relevant to your business, right? This is why you need to put the work in and found out what people are searching for.
There are many ways to do this from simply looking at the search term google suggest when you put in some keywords to using powerful SEO tools that can give you valuable information on the terms people put into a search engine. The latter comes with a cost but can take a lot of the leg work out.
Once you have some search terms that people are searching for and are relevant to your business, you can move onto creating content.
#2 Developing quality content
The internet and SEO was a different place 10 years ago.
You could find out a really good search time, put it 50 times on a webpage and Google would think “Oh, that website much be really relevant to this search term – let’s rank it highly!”. Easy, right? Well, that is no longer the case.
After quite a few Google updates the emphasis these days is now on creating quality content that people want to read. While having a few keywords strategically placed in your content is important, it is more about quality these days rather than quantity.
#3 Creating a good user experience
Creating the content on its own isn’t the only thing that is relevant to internet marketing and SEO – there are many other factors as well.
Search engines and Google especially are now more focused on a positive user experience. This means your website needs to be:
• Secured with https
• Mobile-friendly because more people than ever are accessing the internet through smartphones and tablets
• Load quickly on all devices
• Provide a positive user experience that isn’t just focused on climbing the Google rankings
These are all vital to a good SEO strategy.
#4 Obtaining relevant backlinks
Finally, we have backlinks.
Backlinks tell search engines what your site is about because if another site is linking to it then it must be fairly close to each other in relevancy.
By obtaining relevant and quality links back to your site, you’ll let Google know that your website is pretty important and alongside your other SEO efforts it’ll rank it accordingly. Avoid looking for things such as link farms and other shady practices such as backlink buying, you need to reach out to other sites and grow your links organically.
It can take a while to do this and it can be very frustrating but it works it in the long run and it is one of the key factors to long term SEO success.
Content marketing and SEO
SEO is ever-changing and that is what makes it so difficult.
Content marketing and SEO are two things that shouldn’t be seen as working against each other but rather working in tandem. The two can be integrated. You can use content marketing just for the purposes of SEO and SEO shouldn’t be focused just on content marketing.
With the right SEO strategy that implements all of the above, you should see results in the medium to long term while you run it alongside other forms of digital marketing.