SEO or search engine optimization is a process of getting traffic from search results on search engines. SEO is also a free, organic or natural way of getting traffic. Yes, it is free, and I am breaking those few basics you need to know.
Let’s get started with the basics, so you’ll get to understand what Google and other search engines have in store for you.
Headlines and meta descriptions. This is where love at first sight happens, so don’t fail to be noticed, make your first impression last and make them click. Your headlines and meta descriptions are displayed in search results. Your post title is your headline, while your meta description appears as your tagline. If your headlines and meta descriptions don’t get the interest of your targets, you missed the opportunity to make them land to your content and consume it.
In search engine terms, this is where click-through rate is measured. Click-through rate is the percentage of people visiting a web page who clicked a hypertext link. Don’t just write a headline and tagline.
- Place keywords close to the beginning
- Make it catchy and engaging
- Don’t forget to make it short, simple, concise and genuinely representing your content.
Content. Think of these questions.
- How would you trust a business or a services provider or a website without valuable content?
- How would you get visitors if they don’t find value in your content?
- How would you get conversions, after getting visitors?
Not too long ago, we’ve been hearing a lot that the content is king. Yes, it is. Content can be long form like blog posts or case studies, infographics and videos. Content can be a combination of a long form with an infographic or a video explainer. You may also repurpose content like creating an infographic or a video explainer out of a successful case study or blog post. Don’t just create content.
- Create content that will get your target audience’s interest.
- Create content that provide value to the time spent by your visitors.
- Create content that make visitors act after reading or watching your content.
Don’t get too excited about impressions until you hear of the conversion, if visitors consumed your content or if it made an effect on the number of inquiries.
Links. In any relationship, be it work, friendship or something intimate, link is particularly important with SEO. Link building increases SEO ranking, the more trusted links you have, the closer you get to be friends with search engines like Google. So how do you start building links?
Take note of the “content.” If you made it right, then you can get this too. Organizations, people, or websites would want to relate to valuable content. If you got their interest, they’ll feature your blog, case study, infographic, or video and link to you as the source. Some people will simply share it on their social media.
Congratulations, your content strategy worked, and you made them act. You may have not converted them as your new customer, but you’ve just made them spread it.
User Experience or UX. Do not disappoint your visitors, you already got them interested with your headlines and meta descriptions. You don’t want them to miss the opportunity of consuming your content.
I’m sure no site visitor would want to wait for a century just for your web page to load. Not only that, do you know that Google’s threshold for your website to load in relation to UX is half a second? If you disappoint the site visitor for waiting, you also lose the trust of Google in providing the best user experience to its searchers. For optimized user experience, consider these:
- Increase site speed. You may use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyze the content of your web page and it will also generate suggestions to increase your site speed.
- Easy navigation is more than just a good-looking web page, but also letting your users know where to go after they land on your page.
- Do not annoy your visitors with tons of pop up ads.
Mobile-friendly. Mobile users are continuously increasing so as mobile web browsing. It is imperative that mobile responsive design is no longer an option but a standard component in a web design and SEO plan. Being mobile-friendly is more than a responsive view or design, it’s about the quality experience of your site visitors from mobile devices. Mobile responsive websites usually load faster than those that are not, which leads to a more positive user experience and boost in rankings. To find out if your website is mobile-friendly, try Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
So what’s next? Now that you know the basics, what are your next steps? No one is stopping you from learning more. Who knows, you’ll be an SEO superstar. Just a reminder, SEO is not a one-time strategy, search engine algorithms are constantly updating. It is a moving target which requires extensive knowledge and understanding of how search engines work, and you need to invest your time and practice to get it right. And maybe, by the time you thought you got it right, it has already changed.
However, there is an uncomplicated way– hire an agency or a freelancer to do it for you. I once thought of outsourcing too, but I decided not to, and I never regret learning and doing SEO. But in case you choose to go that route, remember these few things.
- Know your audience, goals, and priorities.
- Vanity metrics are useless without conversion or ROI.
- Work with the right people or agency that can deliver, not just vanity metrics.
Go ahead, create your SEO journey, and see what Google and other search engines have in store for you.