Search Engine Optimization refers to techniques that help you achieve better rankings for your website in organic search results.
It’s all about making your website more visible and more compelling to people who are searching for your product or brand.
SEO really means writing for humans instead of writing for search engines.
You should do careful keyword research, then place these keywords in your content in a natural and useful way, then promote your content to be linked and shared.
On-page SEO describes practices you use on your website to attract the attention of search engines and your visitors, and create an enjoyable user experience for your readers.
On-page factors all have to do with elements of your website: Technical set-up, textual and visual content, and the user-friendliness of your site all factor into SEO. If you own your website, you can control the technical issues and the quality of your content.
Focusing on on-page SEO will also help your off-page SEO strategy be successful.
Main on-page practices are:
- Writing high quality content that is fresh, original, and provides real value to your readers: Inbound marketing starts with content. A blog is one of the best ways to attract new visitors to your website. To get found by the right customers, you have to create helpful content that speaks to them and answers their questions.
- Using the keyword in the URL, titles, and subtitles
- Using the keyword in the first 100 words of the body copy
- Using keyword synonyms that Google uses to determine a page’s relevancy
- Engaging with images, gifs, videos, infographs, diagrams to shake it up
- Writing compelling meta descriptions and titles to encourage clicks
- Including alt text on images that contains the main keyword
- Using responsive layout that makes it easy for visitors to read and digest the content from every size and shape of devices
- A fast page loading time
What is off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO refers to practices and techniques that you use to show the value of your website with relevant links.
Basically, it shows how authoritative your site is, or how popular it is.
The biggest off-page SEO factor is the number and quality of backlinks to your website.
- Collect high-quality backlinks from other websites
- Build internal links using the anchor text from other pages within your domain
- Develop content for publications, linking back to your website
- List your business in any applicable directories
- Build your social media presence
While link quantity is still important, bloggers and SEO professionals are realizing that link quality is now more important than link quantity. And creating shareable content is the first step to earning valuable links and improving your off-page SEO.
Google will penalize you for buying links with the intention of manipulating page rank. You can also be penalized for submitting your links to link directories wishing to increase your domain authority. Again, quality wins out over quantity when it comes to link building.
SEO should be part of your marketing mix
SEO is a very important marketing tool in any businesses. It’s a valuable tool for pulling in prospects, and can help boost conversions too.
But this is not the only marketing tool you should rely on. SEO alone cannot help you reach your highest marketing potential. Social media, email marketing, branding and other marketing strategies complement SEO, and get the desired results – whatever your goal is.
It’s the marketer’s job to pick the right marketing tools and social media platforms for their business, and set a clear strategy that supports the company’s goal.
SEO is a long-term strategy
While you can get quick results with SEO, it has got an amazing benefit in that it delivers an ongoing ROI over the long term also. This isn’t an expense, but a long-term investment.
Done correctly, SEO can be long lasting. With proper SEO analysis up front, you can stay on the front page of search results for years, without spending money in the future.
Can I do SEO for myself?
SEO is complex, but most people can easily understand the basics. Even a small amount of skill in SEO can make a big difference.
If you spend a few hours or days learning about Search Engine Optimization (from guides like this blog post), with a little practice, you can make some positive and effective changes on your website.
And if you don’t have the time or the ability to learn it, you can hire a marketing team that will take care of it.