Everyone talks about SEO and how it can improve your business. As a digital marketing agency, this is one of the questions our clients ask us about regularly. If you want to know what it is and how it works, we have created a guide to SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO standards for search engine optimization. It is the organic way to move your site up in search engine rankings. The multi-facets are selecting target keywords that you want to rank for, optimizing your pages with those keywords, blogs, and acquiring backlinks.
SEO is about taking your content and making it more appealing to a search engine, like Google. The goal is for the search engine to find you and display your website on page 1 and preferably near the top.
The goal of a search engine is to give the user exactly what they are searching for. By finding quality relevant web pages to give their users. Search engines will crawl and scan websites to understand what the site is about. Then when a user searches for a certain topic or keyword, the engine can give solutions.
When a search engine is scanning a site it also determines how easy the site is to navigate and read, higher user-friendly sites will get higher rankings.
So SEO is the process a business takes in order to make sure that their site gets a higher ranking. By improving your SEO and your search engine ranking, you will get more visibility and reach more potential customers.
On-Page and Off-Page Optimization
There are several factors that impact your search engine ranking, and while the exact algorithm will never be shared by Google, these are things that impact it.
There are two main types of factors on-page and off-page optimization that affect SEO. On-page optimization describes the manipulations that can be made directly within the website in order to improve its position and page in the search rankings. Optimizing content, meta descriptions, title tags, and headlines.
Off-page optimization refers to the page ranking factors that occur off your website like backlinks from other sites. It can also include promotional methods such as social media exposure.
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
The best way to think about these is that these are all the components that happen on your website. You can work on these factors over time and with best practices can get them to improve your ranking.
- Content – The more quality, relevant content pieces that you have on your website, the more likely search engines will give you a higher ranking. The more engaging your content is, the longer users will stay on your website. It is important when creating content for your site is using SEO keywords. Keywords are the relevant words and phrases that a user might type when looking for answers to questions or finding products and services. Freshly updated content also gets you better rankings.
- Meta Description – The meta description on your website tells search engines what the page is about. It should include your keywords and be readable, not a bunch of words stuffed, users will read this as well.
- Title Tag – The title tag has to be 70 characters or less, which includes the keyword your content focuses on and your business name.
- Sub-headings – Sub-headings make your content easier to ready, but it also improves your SEO. Break up long content with H1, H2, H3, and H4s.
- Internal Links – Internal links or hyperlinks improve your site ranking.
- Image Alt Tags – If you have images on your website or within your blog content you want to include your keyword in the image alt tag. It will help search engines index your images.
Off-Page Search Engine Optimization
Off-page SEO are the factors that you don’t have as much control over, however there are ways that you can improve these to help your ranking.
- Social – Social Signals, like likes and shares from social media and blogs. You want quality shares from influencers. When search engines see shares, they note it as quality content that people want.
- Links – One of the most popular ways to build off-page SEO is with backlinks. Create relationships with other businesses and influencers who will put a link back to your site in their content. An example of this would be if you sell a product and send a sample to a blogger to get a review on their site and a link to back to your website. This creates trust and makes your site have authority. The more people trust your product or content, the more search engines will.
Content and Changes to Improve Your SEO
Now that you have an understanding of SEO and how it works, you can make changes to your site in order to improve your SEO. Just remember that search engine optimization takes time to work, it is not seen overnight.
Always keep in mind that quality content is a huge factor, and without the content none of the other improvements really matter.