What is SEO and Why Should You Care?
You’ve probably heard of SEO before, but might not be entirely sure what it is or why it’s important. SEO is a short form for “Search Engine Optimization”.
It is a long-term marketing strategy employed in order to improve a website’s visibility and organic search results in google and other global search engines.
In other words, it’s a way to make sure your website comes up as one of the first results when someone searches for something related to your business.
For example, if you own a bakery, you want people who search for “bakery” or “cakes” to find your site.
You can do this by including those keywords in your website’s content, and by making sure your site is easy for search engines to find and understand.
Types of SEO
There are two main types of SEO:
- On-page and
On-page SEO refers to the optimization of a website’s content and code.
It includes things like choosing the right keywords to use in your site’s titles and metatags, and making sure your site’s structure is easy for search engines to understand.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to the optimization of a website’s link profile. A website’s link profile is the collection of all the other websites that link to it.
The goal of off-page SEO is to build up a website’s link profile in order to improve its position in search engine results.
SEO is important for 2 reasons:
- Most people use search engines to find information online, so if your website isn’t ranking high up on the first few pages of results, chances are you’re missing out on a lot of potential visitors; and
- Organic (Unpaid) search results tend to have a higher click-through rate than paid advertising, so investing in good SEO can be more effective (and cheaper!) than running ads.
Let’s break down each of these points further.
Most People Use Search Engines to Find Information Online
Think about the last time you needed to look up something online. Whether you were trying to find a new recipe, the name of an actor in a movie, or just some basic information, chances are you went to a search engine like Google or Bing and typed in what you were looking for.
You likely didn’t scroll past the first page of results and may have even been sceptical of anything that wasn’t on the first few pages.
The same goes for potential customers who are looking for products or services like yours. If your website doesn’t come up on the first few pages of results, there’s a good chance they’ll never find you.
And even if they do stumble across your website by accident, they probably won’t trust it if it’s not near the top of the results.
This is why SEO is so important- by making sure your website appears as one of the top results for relevant searches, you’re much more likely to get clicks (and customers!).
Organic Search Results Tend to Have a Higher Click-Through Rate
In addition to appearing higher up on the list of results, organic search results also tend to get clicked on more often than paid advertisements.
This makes sense when you think about it- if someone sees an ad, they know that it’s an advertisement and are therefore less likely to trust it as much as they would trust something that came up organically.
They might also be more likely to feel like they’re being sold to, which nobody likes.
On the other hand, if your website appears as one of the top organic results, searchers will see it as more credible and trustworthy, and therefore more likely to click through to your site.
As we’ve seen, SEO is a long-term marketing strategy employed in order to improve a website’s visibility and organic search results in global search engines.
It’s important because most people use search engines to find information online, and because organic search results tend to have a higher click-through rate than paid advertisements.
Investing in good SEO can be more effective (and cheaper!) than running ads, so if you’re not already using SEO tactics to improve your website’s online visibility, now is the time to start!
How to improve your SEO ranking
1. Do your research
The first step to any good SEO campaign is keyword research. You need to figure out what terms people are searching for that are relevant to your business, and then optimize your website around those terms.
Use a tool like Ahrefs or Moz Keyword Explorer to find relevant keywords, and then use those keywords throughout your website in the title tags, header tags, meta descriptions, and in the actual content itself.
You can use a tool like Surfer to help you figure out what content is currently ranking well for those keywords, and then use the clusters of keywords and word suggestions that Surfer provides to use in your article.
This will give your blog post a better chance of ranking for those keywords!
2. Optimize your website for mobile
More and more people are using their phones and tablets to search the internet, so it’s important that your website is optimized for mobile devices.
This means making sure that your website loads quickly on mobile devices, is easy to navigate, and contains content that is easy to read on a smaller screen.
You can test how mobile-friendly your website is using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Just enter your website’s URL and Google will tell you if there are any problems that need to be fixed.
3. Improve your website’s speed
One of the ranking factors that Google takes into account when determining where to place your website in the search results is page speed.
In other words, how quickly your website loads. If your website takes too long to load, people will get impatient and are more likely to click away which is bad news for your SEO ranking.
There are a few things you can do to improve your website’s speed, such as optimizing images and using a content delivery network.
You can check how fast your website loads using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Just enter your URL and Google will give you a report with specific recommendations on how to improve your website’s speed.
4. Improve your website’s content
One of the best ways to improve your SEO ranking is to add new, high-quality content to your website on a regular basis.
This could be in the form of blog posts, new products or services, infographics, or any other type of content that is relevant to your business and that your target audience would find useful.
Not only will this help improve your SEO ranking, but it will also help keep people coming back to your website, which is good for business!
Note: Learn more about how to craft a good blog post here.
5. Build links
Link building is another important SEO tactic. Links are like votes. The more links you have pointing to your website, the higher your website will rank in the search results.
There are a few ways to build links, such as guest blogging, directory listings, and social media. You can also use a service like HARO to help you find opportunities to guest blog or be interviewed for articles.
Just make sure that the links you’re building are high quality and come from reputable websites, or else they could do more harm than good!
6. Monitor your SEO progress
Once you’ve implemented all of the above SEO tactics, it’s important to monitor your progress to see if your efforts are paying off.
The best way to do this is to track your website’s SEO ranking over time. You can do this manually by keeping track of where your website ranks for certain keywords, or you can use a tool like RankMath (If you’re on WordPress) or Moz Rank Tracker to do it for you.
Monitoring your SEO progress will help you see how well your SEO campaign is working and whether or not you need to make any adjustments.
SEO is a long-term game, so it’s important to be patient and consistent with your efforts. If you keep at it, you’ll see results!
7. Hire an SEO expert
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, you may want to consider hiring an SEO expert to help you out.
It might become a bit costlier but if you want things to be done in the right manner with all of your desired keywords, then this is something that you might want to consider.
An SEO expert can help you with keyword research, link building, and improving your website’s content and speed.
SEO can be a complex and time-consuming task, but it’s worth it if you want to improve your website’s ranking in the search results.
8. Use social media
Social media is a great way to promote your website and its content. When you post something new on your website, be sure to share it on social media and include a link back to your site.
This will help people find your website and, hopefully, share your content with their friends and followers.
In turn, this can help improve your website’s SEO ranking. So, don’t forget to promote your website on social media!
SEO is a complex and time-consuming task, but it’s worth it if you want to improve your website’s ranking in the search results.
It might be overwhelming at the beginning but once you get a hang of things, it will surely become easier for you. Just keep at it and you will see results!