“SEO” is search engine optimization. It is a methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase website traffic by obtaining a high-ranking position in search results on search engines (SERP). SEO aims to increase “free” or “organic traffic”.
SEO used to be a discipline dominated by black-hat marketers whose focuses were to game Google’s algorithms in order to increase rankings and drive traffic. With Google’s algorithm changes, this is no longer the case. As the world’s online library, it strives to provide the most relevant and valuable information. Google seeks to connect the world with relevant information in the most user-friendly fashion.
The first element of a thriving SEO strategy is quality content and this truth establishes the inseparability of content marketing from search engine optimization. The link between SEO success and conscious content marketing has become more pronounced as search algorithm changes become increasingly customer-centric. SEO is a critical tactic in an integrated digital marketing strategy and usually comes to mind before content marketing for its contribution to online marketing success. This is tired thinking. Digital marketing requires technical SEO prowess and SEO is grounded by quality content. Site content plays a great factor in the website’s search result position. SEO needs valuable content to thrive.
Aside from quality content, there are many factors that affect SEO success. SEO is comprised of different techniques and tactics.
Valuable content is the heavyweight champion in a competition for top SEO. An archive of information increases likelihood of being considered a reputable resource. Google indexes every page that is posted and the more pages posted, the more opportunities for higher ranking pages. The crux in posting frequently as a strategy is that Google prefers high-quality pages. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence, they are able to determine “intent” in articles and determine if the article provides what the reader is searching for. Create better content, not just more content.
Recent algorithm updates have resulted in localized content being highlighted more notably in search results. Heightened targeting parameters provide physical businesses with advantages in search rankings. The “Local 3 Pack” displays 3 local businesses prominently in organic search results as opposed to 7 local businesses. If you’re a local business and service a local market, capitalize on this. Optimize your site for local users.
A “mobile-friendly” update has given precedence to mobile-friendly websites in search rankings. Google processes more mobile search queries than desktop queries and it is necessary to take this into account when making website improvements. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile browsing to service today’s preferred usage habits.
Mobile web search is more prevalent than desktop web search and mobile apps provide more pleasant browsing experiences. Mobile apps could overtake mobile and desktop sites in the near future. Link your mobile app if you have one to benefit from outstanding mobile app visibility in organic search results.
Google’s changes mean creating a network of spam links and stuffing keywords into pages can no longer game the system. Links are built upon relationships with individuals and this algorithm adjustment forces companies to create connections and provide user value. Social media and public relations will play a large part in this shift in “link building”. Social media in terms of social networking highlights relevance of a site when individuals continually link to it as a source. Public Relations are important because earned media back-links add credibility to a site. Devote your time to building genuine relationships with your expertise rather than a score of links.
Use the right keywords in the right places. Google is prioritizing personalized user experiences. Use long-tail and location-based keywords so your audience can understand your value-preposition and exactly what you offer.
Optimize elements that are direct SEO ranking factors and ensure that you effectively tackle these elements. It is crucial that when you have optimized these elements that you don’t overlook your meta-descriptions. Your meta-descriptions provide concise previews of your website and can help distinguish your brand from the competition. Take the time to create a well-written meta-description and enjoy the increased click-throughs to your website.
SEO is a marketing strategy that rewards marketers that consistently provide genuine value. It is a long-term strategy that centers on creating a conversation that is relevant and resonates with your target audience. It is not a yearly task but an ongoing process.
Not sure where to start? TrueCourse has SEO experts ready to guide you in creating these conversations.