Here in 2021, almost every business has turned to SEO for a way of long-term marketing that can offer awareness as well as conversion.
SEO companies and freelance SEO experts get top money to simply offer suggestions, and sometimes optimize what is already there, to push the site higher in Search Engine Result Pages.
But how important is SEO to the success of a website? and how can you start participating in a crowded SEO field?
- Why SEO Is Important for Your Online Success?
- What is SEO and How it Works?
- Why SEO Concentrates so Much on Articles?
- Should I Invest in SEO or PPC Ads?
- How Can I Draw an SEO Strategy?
- Where Should I Go for SEO Advice?
Why SEO Is Important for Your Online Success?
SEO is important for your online success because it is a cost-effective way to attract relevant users and customers to your site. SEO is also a long-term solution and can create awareness and trust, which are the keys to a successful business. So, how do you implement SEO?
SEO may seem expensive at the beginning and considering the slow rise of a new website, it may seem hopeless as well. But it’s a long-term source of relevant entrances to your website.
Through ranking in search terms that are relevant to your business, you can introduce yourself to the audiences that are looking for your services. For example, if you are a real-estate agency, you can write articles such as ‘How to choose the best apartment in new york’ and beside providing useful information, offer your services to the audience.
SEO is a long-term strategy to direct a sustainable audience to your site and convert a portion of them to loyal costumers.
Are there down-sides to SEO? Some experts have expressed doubts on how sustainable a SEO strategy can be. SEO is essentially our attempt to appease Google’s search algorithm. So what if this algorithm changes?
A website I was working on once lost half of its entrances after a Google core update. Although we got it back with the next update, this kind of sudden drop and rise is not uncommon within the SEO world.
SEO is great, but it should not be seen as the only solution. Digital Marketing is a vast field and other methods such as email marketing, social marketing, and PPC ads should be considered seriously as other ways of drawing attention to your brand and product.
What is SEO and How it Works?
SEO is a set of practices that ideally gets your site page to the top of search engine results.
SEO is mostly concentrated on writing quality content (mainly articles) that can direct your target audience from Google result pages to your site.
Writing quality articles is the basis of a successful SEO strategy, but it is not enough. Google has certain ways of understanding our articles and offering them to the public. So we need to optimize the content based upon Google’s understanding. Rules that are called SEO basics.
The search term that a user types into the Google search box is called a Keyword. In SEO strategy, we target those keywords. There are also useful tools to recognize how popular a keyword is and how difficult a keyword can be.
You generally go after keywords that your site has a chance in competing within. As your pages appear more in top results and creates more connection, you can go for more competitive (thus more popular) keywords.
Why SEO Concentrates so Much on Articles?
The short answer is, Google understands text better than other formats and usually puts text-based articles at the forefront of result pages. (Not always.)
Although, Google and its users are not looking for any article.
As users, there are many things we search for. Sometimes we just search for a word. for example ‘translate’ or ‘weather’. These words usually are covered by google itself or some huge multinational corporations.
Then you have queries such as the world-famous ‘how to tie a tie?’. Here the user is looking for a web page that would actually explain to him (preferably with pictures and video) how to tie a tie.
Google looks at the audience’s reaction to your page. How many entered after seeing the title? How many stayed? How many search the term again to find a better answer?
It also looks at other sites to see how many of them have linked to your article within the relevant context. So it measures if you are well-respected within your industry.
So what we tend to do for SEO is to target these long queries and write sufficient (and sometimes better than sufficient) articles answering the user’s question.
the length of the article, the kind of media that is used, the design of the page, all these factors are determined by the nature of your article and what the audience are looking for. But text remains the basis of what the article is about.
Also sometimes the user is searching to see something different. In a query like ‘best music classes in ny’ you see a lot of top pages being more of a dynamic list with star ratings (even Google’s own cards) rather than an article about the subject. Or in search terms where a video content would be more effective, Google offers the top videos before showing any articles.
Should I Invest in SEO or PPC Ads?
Many people conflate SEO and showing ads in Google search results (the so-called PPC ads). Pay-per-Click (PPC) ads are a very effective advertising strategy online. It lets you show your page on top of any search result and only pay when a user clicks on your link.
Google makes up for almost 73% of search ads market. So PPC is almost synonymous with Google search ads.
Considering the effectiveness of Pay-per-Click ads, should we consider PPC instead of SEO?
The truth is, these strategies are never mutually exclusive. PPC gives you a targeted audience at a cost. So you need to calculate if your ad ends with enough conversions that pay for the PPC cost.
At the same time, SEO is much more sustainable and also is a very powerful awareness and trust-building apparatus. It’s difficult to create trust with an audience who knows they are directed to your site because of an ad.
An audience that find you organically through search results, will very soon consider you to be an authority within your field. More so if they find you several times in top results.
So you can use both, but they have different functions.
How Can I Draw an SEO Strategy?
There are many professionals who are more than willing to create a SEO or Content strategy for your site.
But if you are running a small operation, it’s understandable to want to take it on yourself.
To start any marketing strategy you need to recognize the persona of your costumers. Who are they? Where do they come from? What makes them need your product?
There is a great chance you’ve already done some persona research in the past. If not, you can read up more on the customer persona and how to research it.
Find keywords that have low difficulty and its audience are close to the persona of your costumers.
Through searching those terms, you may find some websites repeatedly rank on your target keywords. You can consider them as your competitors.
Using the tools above, as well as Alexa, you can find more about your competitors, what they are targeting, how well they are doing, and even find some more competitors in your field.
So you are now familiar with your field and the players within it, and you are also familiar with the audience you are intending to target.
Then move forward to creating a content calendar and targeting the keywords through high-quality content.
Create Your Content
To Write a proper content for your keyword, you need to understand the intent of your audience.
Why are they searching this keyword? and what are they looking to find?
If they search ‘how to start a business website’, do they want to know how to technically setup and configure a website? Or do they want to know who they should call and what kind of strategies they need to have in mind upon entering the online world? (Notice those are to slightly different personas.)
To understand the intent of searchers, check the first page of Google and the websites that are already doing well. Google ranks pages that are doing well in answering searchers’ questions. Those pages give you a general idea of what you are up against.
Then you just need to start writing.
Start with creating a general structure. Choose your subheadings (H2s and the H3s) and try to write a better and more comprehensive answer compared to your competitors.
Remember it says “you are only interesting, to the extent you are interested”. So, avoid creating a long article that says very little.
Try to make it easy for the readers to find their answer and also encourage them through good writing to keep the onside, even though they found what they initially were looking for.
Make the text better by using appropriate pictures. try to limit the use of stock pictures and use more of your own original pictures or screenshots that are relevant.
Pay Attention to On-page SEO
There are certain never dying (some of them pretty much dying) rules that you need to follow to properly introduce your article and your website to Google.
Use Keywords properly: Make sure you are using the keyword organically within your text. Use it in the subheadings, first paragraph and other parts of the article. Google will obviously look into the words you have used and through that, determines the content of your article and the keywords it needs to be indexed in.
Add Internal Links: Link to other articles and other important sections of your site within the article. Again in a way that is organic. Google will follow these links to understand both pages better.
Add External Links: Link to relevant web pages for the audience to read more and for Google to understand the environment your article lives within. This is also essentially a SEO shout-out to those pages, as they benefit from it.
Modify the URL: Make sure the URL of your article reflects on its subject. So ‘How to buy the best broccoli?’ can have ‘example.com/buy-best-broccoli’ as its URL.
Also, Pay Attention to Off-page SEO
To rank within the more competitive keywords, you need to get some relevant links from other websites, referring to your article as a good read.
Don’t buy links as it simply doesn’t work. You can read more on SEO link building which is a gradual and pretty much an organic process, and also is directly related to the quality and the type of content you are writing.
Where Should I Go for SEO Advice?
SEO and marketing are fields heavily reliant on experience. So it may be a better choice for most companies to hire experienced in-house SEO experts or agencies (or sometimes freelancers) to take care of this process. Although for an optimal result the SEO usually works with a content team that already understands the job.
You can also create a support group within people of your industry (for example through LinkedIn) to share experiences.
You can also leave a comment here or send a question. I will try to share my experience as much as possible.