Sometimes, search engine optimization feels like a terrifying, foreign world. SEO, what do those three letters even stand for? Did I need to major in computer science to follow what it means? Can a human even decode it?? YES! When you get to know SEO, you’ll understand that it isn’t such a terrifying trio of letters after all. In fact, it was created to optimize everyone’s online experience.
Sure, it’s a bit overwhelming to master. And yes, it might take some time to acquaint thoroughly. But it isn’t too far fetched in future lingo that we can’t understand its basic principles. Let’s break down some of the lingo to give you have a better understanding of the foundational purpose of optimizing your site’s ranking in a search engine.
We’ve broken it down into 8 layers. If at any point we lose your attention, write it down. Don’t focus on the area too much. Once the entire picture is painted, it will be easier to conceptualize what that particular asset was meant to demonstrate. If you write down where you get confused, you can refer to your list when building your strategy with professional experts.
More on the experts later, let’s hop to understanding SEO’s most basic building blocks:
Traffic, traffic, traffic. You need more traffic! I don’t know how much longer I can hear about traffic and how much SEO drives it. It’s true, in a way. After a successful SEO approach, your site will harness ample traffic. That’s great, but… what’s the point of tons of traffic if the majority of the drivers and passengers aren’t really interested in your product? You want a return on your investment, loyal consumers, brand enthusiasts. Not just window shoppers. SEO helps balance the needs and wishes of both the host and the visitor. SEO helps customers seeking your particular service and product find you. In turn, that SEO helps you win loyal customers. Voila.
Do not just take a stab at it! While the creativity is commendable, it isn’t worth the margin of error. Be specific on your content intent and research before you create. You’re selling sweaters. Okay, what kind? How are they sourced? What are consumers looking for locally sourced sweaters typing into Google to pull up websites? Start here and build your content around these phrases. Can you find niche phrases that yield results with which seem feasible to compete?
Most importantly, content needs to be quality. And within that quality, you can sprinkle a few SEO tricks. Here are the most important ones to keep in mind.
Titles. Titles catch your reader’s eye and make them read below. Balance keyword phrases from your research with witty and enticing headlines.
Keywords. Use the keywords that the research shows directly connect consumers with sites like yours. Don’t forget about video optimization SEO! Include keywords in your tags, this will help bring more consumers to your video. Additionally, hosting a video on your site can encourage more relevant consumers to check out your product.
Links. Link out to relevant, trustworthy sites. Maybe they’ll link back to you, too!
Quality. Hire great writers and producers. Don’t skimp out on quality. It does not matter how much traffic you can drive to your site if you can’t encourage readers and viewers to stay or come back for more.
Relevancy. Keep content fresh! Not only will your audience be turned off by outdated information or advice, but Google will punish you with lower search rankings.
Your site’s code is going to effect all of your onsite optimization. We’ll get more into that when we work together, but here’s a brief list of the different onsite elements that code can influence:
– Title tags
– Meta tags
– Domain name (keywords here will give you a huge boost!)
– URL and Site structures
– Alt Tags
Link it up. Seriously, the more sites you can get linking to your site, the higher you’re going to move up in the rankings. Whether you link out from your social media pages and create partnerships that include your link on other host sites, get as many as you can! That being said, it’s imperative for the sites linking to you to be trustworthy and relevant.
Run all of the website tests before publishing! You want to make sure there are no bad links, no repeated content, no dead pages, etc. While you are testing, you can run analysis that checks on optimizing for mobile devices. This makes sure that when a consumer opens your site on a tablet or smartphone, everything is in check and appears in an organized, user-friendly manner.
- Track and Measure
There are many tracking and measuring systems we can discuss down the road, but the overarching sentiment is to use them! A lot of times, businesses will create profiles for tracking systems like Google Analytics, but then fail to check in the analytics and adjust their website and SEO accordingly. Don’t neglect follow-up with tracking. This is free, golden advice.
Optimize locally! If you are a small business with a niche, local market, start there. Don’t get overwhelmed with ranking high on national and or global searches. Focus on your city or surrounding area and set a goal to be number one here. Start small, grow big!
As we said before, these are the basics. It’s a lot, we know. But you digested all the information, right? And as long as you take it step by step and keep pushing forward, these building blocks will become the natural backboards to every instinct that surfaces around your web design and content creation.
This list of 8 essential SEO elements is the most helpful place to start for understanding and building out your SEO strategy. If and when you are ready to learn more and dig into an even more in-depth strategy, consult Executive Digital. We specialize in bringing small businesses to the forefront of local consumer markets, and our approach is as straightforward and easy to follow as is this list. We’ll start at the beginning, with the basics, and work our way up together. Let’s get building!