Let’s talk about digital marketing and why SEO is important for your business. We’re going to review the elements of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, best practices in SEO, identify key SEO ranking factors, and share our favorite SEO tools.
SEO marketing is the portion of digital marketing that involves the optimization of websites and web pages for major search engines like Google.
Why SEO is important for business?
In this day and age, technology is an important part of our lives. Search engines help people find whatever they’re looking for with ease by indexing all the web pages in existence.
As the Internet’s largest pipeline of potential customers, search engines represent a goldmine for marketing purposes. SEO strategies tend to have much higher conversion rates than traditional ads or campaigns which makes them worth every penny spent on discovering new ways these platforms can be used.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing are closely intertwined, and SEO is an integral part of any content marketing strategy because it helps ensure that content is discoverable by search engines and, ultimately, by the target audience. By optimizing content for search engines and focusing on building backlinks, businesses can increase their visibility and drive traffic to their website.
As a small business owner, developing a good SEO strategy isn’t expensive and doesn’t require hiring an expert. It is one of the top 8 marketing channels businesses should focus efforts on.
Even a beginner can learn how to use SEO to increase website traffic and rank higher on google.
Elements of SEO | SEO for beginners
First, we will break down the three major components of SEO — On-page SEO, Off-Page SEO and Technical SEO.
1. On-Page SEO Elements
Creating quality content is a necessary step for any company looking to rank highly in search engine results pages. Whether it’s text, audio, or video form – the most important thing about your material will be how useful it is in providing answers and information that people need when searching online.
A major part of marketing through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) centers around producing high-quality webpages with original thought-provoking ideas.
Ideas that satisfy these evergreen needs:
1. Superior-quality offerings of information
2. Content that matches desired intent of targeted user
3. Always accurate, timely and relevant
4. Authority, expertise, trust
Keywords are the foundation of a search query and integral to SEO marketing efforts. To maximize revenue, you need to select appropriate keywords in both frequency and competitiveness levels for your industry niche or category target-market.
These keywords must be based on what you offer your customers with your products and services. Out-of-the-box thinking when it comes down to choosing your keywords can help you increase your rankings and beat your competition.
However, it’s important to use a keyword research tool, such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest, to select keywords based on performance indicators, such as search volume and keyword difficulty.
It’s important to optimize specific HTML elements on a website or page if you want your search rankings improved.
Meta descriptions and title tags all play an integral part in how well-found pages appear when being searched by Google users. Making sure they’re clearly defined will positively impact your digital marketing efforts.
If you have a WordPress website, we recommend using a free SEO plugin called All-in-One SEO to ensure your website’s pages and posts have the proper structured data and schema markup.
Optimizing your images will help your images rank in image searches on Google and will also provide a better user experience to your website visitors.
Make sure you resize images, we typically suggest an image size of less than 1000px x 1000px and image file size under 600kb (preferably 200 – 300 kb). Image file names should be relevant to the image and be sure to add image alt tags. Images should match the page content and include captions when it makes sense to.
2. Off-Page SEO Elements
Inbound links (backlinks) from authoritative websites demonstrate a high degree of credibility and importance. These external links to your organization’s digital content can be valuable for both search engine marketing as well as establishing trust within the eyes of potential customers.
This means it’s important not just how many backlinks exist but also their quality. High-authority domains will naturally produce higher ranking results and potentially greater impact to on-page performance across different devices.
To build authority and trustworthiness online, it is important to employ transparent SEO practices. These will help you occupy the first page of search results in major engines like Google with your website or web page.
Things like domain authority (backlinks, top-level domains), domain age (websites that have been around for a long time tend to rank higher than new sites), page authority (focused on each page), bounce rate (number of users who view one page on a website and then leave) effect your perceived authority.
Making sure you establish a solid and consistent presence on social media can help boost your search engine marketing efforts. Search engines look for both quality and quantity.
Quality involves the opinion or sentiment of the user, including comments, ratings, and replies. Quantity looks at measuring the total number of shares.
By creating good quality content and posting regularly on social media, your chances of increasing your social shares is much higher.
Do you have a well-defined brand strategy and identity? Does your website match your brand’s visual identity and portray brand cohesiveness?
Are there any press releases linked to your brand? Press releases can strengthen your reputation and establish you as an expert in your field.
Is it easy to find reviews and testimonials for your business? Have you created and claimed your google business profile? Do you have reviews for your business on your Google Business Profile?
3. Technical SEO Elements
The way in which your site is built can have a dramatic impact on SEO marketing!
Things like your site map, loading speed, website security, and whether your site is mobile-friendly all significantly affect your search engine rankings. Search engines need to be able to easily index your content and see that you offer a positive and safe user experience.
SEO Ranking Factors
Please share and save our SEO Venn diagram to use when you are auditing your website and marketing strategy. These are the key SEO ranking factors to consider when optimizing your website and tweaking your marketing plan.
Best Practices in SEO | Top SEO Tools
The best way to optimize your website is with an SEO tool. These tools will save you time and hassle by doing all that tedious keyword research for you, giving reports about where the greatest opportunities lie in terms of search performance countries/regions or languages.
Here is a list of the Top 5 SEO Tools we recommend and what makes them the best.
All-in-One SEO is our favorite WordPress SEO plugin that is easy to use, has a free version, a sitemap generator, an image SEO module, and a powerful schema generator that makes it easy for users to add structured data to pages or posts so you can get more clicks and traffic with rich snippets.
Ubersuggest is a free SEO tool (with paid versions) that not only aids in keyword research and generating new keyword ideas, but it also offers tools to perform a competitive analysis that show you what’s working for your competitors so you can adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
AnswerThePublic is a useful and free tool to research what questions are being asked about your business services or products. Use AnswerThePublic to figure out the FAQs your target market is searching the web for and add these to your content strategy.
Ahrefs tops the list as it is one of the most recommended SEO tools online. When it comes to website crawlers, Ahrefs is only second to Google.
What’s great about it? With it you can:
- Find out which parts of your website need improvements for better ranking
- Determine your competitors’ backlinks as a starting point for your own brand
- Discover the most “linked to” content within your niche
- Fix broken links on your website
- Discover your best-performing pages
Google Search Console is offered free to everyone with a website. (Winner, winner!) It offers a way to monitor and report your website’s presence and performance in the wide world of Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Why? With Google Search Console you can:
- Submit your sitemap to get your site discovered by search engines
- Understand how Google and its users view your website
- Learn ways to optimize your site for better performance
- Solve Googling indexing issues for free
- Be notified of Google crawling issues on your site
SEMrush, with over a decade of experience and over 10 million users, this complete marketing SEO tool is a fan favorite in the SEO toolbox.
Why? With SEMrush you can:
- Easily assess your rankings and identify changes and new ranking opportunities
- Perform Domain vs. Domain analysis to compare your website to your competitors
- Create analytics reports to better understand things like your website’s search data, traffic, and even your competitors
KW Finder can help you dial in on long-tail keywords that have a lower level of competition.
Experts like it because you can:
- Find the best keywords and run analysis reports on backlinks and SERP
- Use their Rank Tracker tool to determine your ranking and track improvement in one key metric
- Rank higher thanks to a ton of new keyword ideas
Moz Pro is a full-service powerhouse software that SEO experts continue to use and rave about.
What do they say?
- Despite Google’s regular algorithm changes, Moz always stays up to date
- The chat portal provides useful information
- You can get great insights on how your site is performing and how to improve it
- With their free downloadable MozBar, you can see your website’s metrics while browsing any page
Business owners that want to increase leads and sales need to drive more quality traffic to their website. The best way to increase website traffic is to rank higher on Google for the search terms relevant to your product and industry. And don’t overlook your SEO branding strategy either (a strategy to build SERP for your brand keywords)!
It is all about SEO.
The good news is by understanding the basics of SEO, you don’t have to be an expert to improve your rankings.
Need help? We offer everything from DIY to full-service SEO marketing services.
Klever Strategies helps small business owners gain clarity on their business goals. We help business owners identify digital marketing strategies, including SEO-focused website design, to propel their business forward and fine-tune these strategies to replicate what works year after year.