What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the use of keywords and phrases that essentially optimise your content, website and online presence to rank in search engines and SERPs (search engine results pages) such as but not limited to, Google, Youtube, Bing, Yadex.
Its focus is on using the keywords (code) to ensure that your audience can find you and your business (and what it does) using relevant and appropriate terms.
KEYWORDS IN A NUTSHELL:
Keywords are code. They are primarily made up of letters but they can also include numbers. The order of these codes connect and unite data and content across the internet cataloguing it like a giant library. It is defined not just by terms but huge number of factors: by date, location: how many people like you are also looking at/for it etc. The meaning of those collective letters means something to humans, an emotive ask or a response. This is principally how the algorithms work.
So depending on your strategy, SEO can be used to target:
- Large audiences: By utilising broad keywords, you can reach wider audiences. For instance, if you are writing about a specific niche, you can expand this content to a wider audience by using broader terms. For example, “bakery and wedding cakes” instead of the narrower focus “gluten-free ornate wedding cakes”. This can be through mentioning the industry as a whole, the most popular keywords associated with the chosen topic and most searched terms relating to that keyword. There are lots of keyword research tools available. Whilst this is good to attract the audience initially if the content is irrelevant to their searches, it may lead to low retention and low conversion rates which impacts how your site is shown in search engines results pages (SERPs).
- Quality audiences: By understanding your audience and assessing their needs and wants; you are able to determine or guess the type of terms they may use to search for your content or product. It is important to get to know what their goals are because you can then tailor the content to meet their objectives. If you know they want to buy, use keywords and phrases that encourage selling. If it is for informational purposes, then use words and terms that encourage awareness and education.
- Niche audiences: You can target niches audiences by using narrow search terms which while will fewer people, the people who it does reach will stay on the site longer and mean greater conversions which entail positively impacts your search rank meaning your site ranks higher in SERPs (search engine results pages) to the people who are looking for what you offer. This is often the best tactic to grow a steady and reliable audience, however, if your site is new and starting out it is advisable to boost niche targeted traffic from other sources.
But SEO is not limited to keywords. SEO is a collection of small technical actions that all amount to the larger impact of increasing your site/content in searches across the internet. Some actions have a greater impact than others, but collectively they work well as a team.
There are nine main methods that can help reach your audience through the use of SEO.
Essentially, these are:
- Effective copywriting: Effective copywriting signals quality and relevance to the searcher’s query. This helps with rankings, engagement and conversion.
- Keyword research: There are many tools that you can use to assess the strength and popularity of keywords such as utilising Google search terms, keyword discovery tools and search volumes, frequency and other relevant criteria. (Tip: If the term is popular consider first who you are competing with. If you are new perhaps locality and narrower keywords might be more beneficial.
- Creating metatags, alt tags: The process of creating metatags and alt tags is crucial as it helps with description and helps the reader asses the relevancy of the page. It is usually a good idea to make these metatags and alt tags persuasive and descriptive that resonate with the search terms your target audience might use.
- Creation of reciprocal links – backlinks. Using links that are related to the topic, product or service is helpful because it usually provides the reader with more insight. It is a good way to generate more traffic, encourage credibility especially if the backlinks support the premise of the content.
- Html coding: Improve the readability and accessibility of your website, natural navigation, pages and content by ensuring the best html coding practise to improve SEO success.
- Designing page titles: Design page titles to entice a potential reader. Review the title length, keywords, uniqueness and authenticity (does it read well?). Always write for a human before considering the search engines.
- Search engine friendly URLs: After you’ve titled your post you can change the title URL to be more search friendly. Generally, the URL should be informative, close to the title or summary of the content. Remove dates, random strings of words or letters that do not give the reader or the search engine a good understanding of what the piece or post is about.
- Conversion: Monitor the posts and pieces that have a good conversion rate and imitate the good qualities that make your content successful. This is a good strategy for SEO because it allows you to optimise/tweak aspects that work well and incorporate it into the content or pages.
- Maintaining proper navigation structure (H1, H2 etc):
The maintenance of clear navigation hierarchy and structure allows good presentation and ensures that ease of readability. This simplicity encourages good retention rates which can lead to more engagement. The number of views and engagement can actually attract more audiences indicating the success of the SEO process.
SEO is about making our site/content easy to find and has a high search rank. Design for humans first so that the content is user-friendly and people want to return again and again. This data is collected and let’s search engines know that the site/content is relevant, on topic and of use to like-for-like people, which in turn sends it up and out to reach even bigger targeted audiences.
If you want to use SEO tactics for your content or site speak to us to discuss how we can help you.