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 why is SEO important for your online success?
What is SEO anyway?
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.
Although writing quality articles may not be enough. There are certain rules that every SEO enthusiast needs to follow, to be successful in finding the right audience.
Besides all of this, you need to be careful in picking your opponents. You should look at your process as taking steps on a ladder, rather than taking huge leaps.
The search term that a user puts into the Google search box is called a Keyword. 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 in. As your pages appear more in top results and get more backlinks (more below), you can go for more competitive (thus more popular) keywords.
Why SEO Concentrates So Much on Blogs?
There are many things we search for. One type is to 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. The best way to do this is to write an article explaining different methods that you can approach this.
Google looks at the user’s time on page as a ranking factor. So a well-thought-out and engaging article that covers all the aspects of a subject can do much better than a short explanation of the general concept.
Getting links from other sites is a ranking factor as well, and a comprehensive article is more likely to be referred to.
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.
Although in some cases this may not be the best approach. For example, sometimes a short article does better because it gives the answer in a straightforward way, while a longer article may confuse the user and make them bounce back to the search results.
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. Also, you may find some first pages ranking well.
So each keyword requires a unique approach.
Why is SEO So Important in Digital Marketing?
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.
You usually target keywords that are close to your business and your products. So if you are a real-estate agency, you can write articles such as ‘How to choose the best apartment in new york’.
The people who search that query are very close to your target audience. So your target audience is getting introduced to your business and may very well use your services.
So SEO is a long-term strategy to create a sustainable audience for your site and covert a portion of them to costumers.
This sounds great. Although some experts have expressed doubts about 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.
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 on that 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 learn how to install a CMS, install a theme, etc., or do they want to know who to call for such thing or what are the strategies they need to have in mind? (
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 they say “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 on reading, 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: 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 determine 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 your 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.
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.