In today’s digital age, every business, irrespective of its size needs to have a digital footprint. Having an online presence opens doors to new opportunities, helping the business transcend geographical boundaries. That said, having a digital footprint alone is not enough. To effectively communicate with their target audience, businesses need to adopt a strategy to increase their website’s visibility. To get their website noticed and measure the success of their digital marketing efforts, businesses around the world spend valuable rands and man-hours to design and revamp their search engine optimization strategy every year.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization or SEO is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of user traffic to a website. The focus of SEO experts is on increasing the visibility of their clients’ pages or website. To achieve this objective, SEO experts come up with a strategy to optimize the pages or the website. Optimizing a website involves introducing specific changes to the website to make it more attractive to the target audience. SEO excludes the purchase of paid placements and focuses on increasing website traffic through organic search results.
To better understand SEO, let’s take a look at different terms and what they mean. Also head onto our in-depth article we wrote on SEO – What is SEO And How Does It Work? (2019 and Beyond).
Quality of traffic
Getting more traffic to your website won’t mean anything if your visitors are not interested in your products/services. If, for instance, you sell cosmetic items, attracting users who are looking for Apple products won’t help boost sales or generate more qualified leads.
Quantity of traffic
Increasing the quantity of traffic to their business’s website tops the priority list of every SEO manager. Once a business is successful in attracting visitors who are genuinely interested in buying its products, it must focus on getting more people to its website.
Organic traffic includes users who land on a business’s website as a result of unpaid search results
How to do SEO: A step by step guide
When it comes to increasing the quantity and quality of traffic, the importance of optimizing your website cannot be emphasized enough. To increase the visibility of your content, use impactful title tags and meta descriptions that set the mood for readers. To help search engines understand what a specific page is about, including your business name and keywords related to the particular page in your title tag.
Internally link to other pages on your website. Use apt keywords for images and alt tags. Content is the backbone of any SEO strategy. To build your reputation as a subject matter expert, upload informative and entertaining posts to your blog.
To rank at the top of search results, you need to get other websites to link to yours. To get links from reputable websites, submit informational and link-worthy posts that answer common customer questions to applicable industry directories at regular intervals. Reach out to your partners and enquire whether they have link pages for partners, suppliers, and vendors.
Monitor your results
You cannot just implement your SEO strategy and forget it. To measure the effectiveness of your SEO strategy, you need to track results continuously. Use tools to track keyword rankings for your website. Monitor your organic traffic sources. Use Google Analytics to learn about your visitors.
Over the years, Google’s algorithm has drastically evolved. Gone are the days when businesses could get away with keyword stuffing and other black hat practices. Google not only watches out for malpractices but also penalizes websites that are found of wrongdoing. To improve your site’s ranking and avoid getting on the wrong side of the almighty Google, you need to follow these SEO best practices.
Write impactful content
Content is the nucleus of an effective SEO strategy. To improve your site’s ranking, write high impact content that resonates with the readers. Use at least one H1 on every page and include a relevant keyword in it. Scatter long-tail keywords throughout your content without compromising on readability and share worthiness.
Focus on creating informational and interesting content. To set the mood, write a compelling intro. Link to resources (both external and internal). Avoid stuffing your content with keywords. To avoid penalties, remove duplicate content from your website. To improve readability, use short sentences and paragraphs.
Make sure all the images that you use on your website have a relevant name. To optimize your images, use appropriate descriptions, ALT attributes, and captions.
Take steps to increase your website speed
A study shows that around 40 percent of a website’s visitors abandon the website if the loading process lasts for more than three seconds. To improve your user experience, you need to come up with a strategy to speed up your website. To reduce the page load time, optimize caches. Keep images under 100kb. Compress and combine files. Run compression audits at regular intervals. For larger files, consider using an external hosting platform.
Use a sitemap
To help Google easily crawl your pages, use a sitemap. If you have a WordPress website, you can use a plugin to generate your sitemap. Businesses with a custom CMS can use an XML sitemap generator to generate their business’s sitemap. Once you have generated your sitemap, go to Webmaster tools to submit it.
Use trending keywords
Use the Google keyword tool to get a list with suggestions based on what people are searching online. Use keywords with higher search volume. To get more targeted search results, look for long-tail keywords.