You probably heard it before the word SEO, and how important it is for your site but how can we define SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In other words, SEO is the tactics and practices that make your website stands out among other websites. Those tactics increase the quantity of traffic in your website but also the quality.
That’s why SEO is important for your business because it’s with SEO that your page shows up in a better place in search results in Google or any search engine.
There are many search engines, but the fact is Google takes almost 90% of all over web results so the majority of your customers will search for your product/service/information there. We also know that the first three results that show up in Google results are where around 70% of people click. We don’t know what goes into the algorithm of Google ( and it’s always changing) that makes or not makes your page stands out but we know what we can do best to optimize your website to make it more favorable to show up.
So how SEO works? Search engines have bots, small software programs, that crawl all over the internet and all the information that they found the gather, and index it. The same way that you open a book and go to the index and search the topics of every book, Google and all search engines do that to all pages and all info. So the better your webpage is optimized and the better content it has, the more chances you have to show up in better results on Google. How we do that? I will talk about it in a moment but first, let’s just take something out of the way.
You might are thinking, so if I pay for advertising for my website, does that affect the SEO of my page? Well in this case we are talking about SEM. Let’s see the differences between…
SEO is what optimizes your website for ORGANIC search results. It’s all about your content and how your website is made and prepared for SEO. SEM, on the other hand, SEM uses paid strategies that make your website stands.
Many consider that SEM includes both, organic and paid results because even that you buy a lot of ads for your website, in some instances the website has to be optimized to take these results. To create a clear distinction, if you are paying for an ad you are using SEM, while if you are optimizing your website content, metatags, etc you are working for organic search SEO.
Now that we take this out of the way, let’s see what are the best…
We know now that if we want that our website stands outs, we need good SEO but how we do that?
Seo is not a one-time job thing. SEO practices take time to take effect and need improvement always. Yes, you can when making a website, for example, create the website to be fully optimized for SEO, but that optimization needs to be grown. The good thing is, SEO takes time to implement but stays for long. So imagine that you have some blog posts that hit the point and it’s getting many hits and start show-ups in Google results, those good results will take effect for quite some time most of the time.
There are many tactics and SEO is a big world so I will mention the biggest tactics and explain briefly.
So keywords are important and should be put (in a smart way) on your webpage. So if you have a webpage that talks about organic vegetables, you should use these keywords in your content. Where you use that content is also important, for example, the title of the webpage and even the link. I will say it again: the title and the link of your webpage are really important for SEO and should contain the main keyword.
Don’t overdo it also. It doesn’t help that you just put as many keywords as possible in your title or content. Search engines also know that and when you are stuffing keywords doesn’t help your webpage to show up in results
Your content, your title, your description of the webpage have to be unique. Google doesn’t like if you have content that is not unique so the chances that don’t show up in results are bigger.
- Webpage not website
You might have realized that I am writing a webpage and not a website. That’s because if your website has 2 pages, each page should be optimized individually.
For example, if you have 2 different services, you should use 2 different pages as it better for SEO.
In these 4 weeks, I have been talking about web performance and all the topics connected. So a website that is not optimized for accessibility might not be mobile friendly and it will decrease the speed of the website on mobile. Therefore it will affect the SEO of the page. Yes, all is connected.
So a fast website, especially in mobile is a ranking factor for SEO for Google at least.
- Images, videos
Again, something that was mentioned in a late article, but when you have images or videos on your webpage they need to be optimized. Not only the size but also give a description, and an alternative text to each one of them.
You want better SEO? Write (good) content. Not only content. A long bad blog post worth less than a short but amazing one. So it’s important that you feel your webpage with content but more importantly, it’s that content is unique and insightful to one is reading but also to your business.
- On-Site Seo vs Off-Site Seo
On-site-SEO is all you can do to make your website optimized and with better performance to rank higher in search results. That includes all that I mentioned above and much more.
Off-site-SEO is what is made outside your website that gives a good impact on your website rankings. These off-site SEO tactics are not necessarily controlled by you, but all the good tactics that you do as on-site SEO affects the off-site SEO.
The main topic of off-site SEO is backlinks that are links outside your website that point to your website/blog post, etc. That can be links that you don’t have any influence there – someone that likes a post or your company and decides to share the link. These are the best are they are natural links.
There are also more manual links or self-made. Those are good but they have to be treated lightly as Google and other search results, know this and can see it as bad SEO, and instead of adding value to your website, it takes it away. What are they?
Are links that you put in your customer's website that point to your website, are the links that you create in a forum or blog that points to your website.
All those of them create backlinks but if not backed up with some content they might even affect negatively your SEO.
Also bought backlinks…Please don’t.
So you know you have all these tactics above implemented, how do you measure it?
It’s not straightforward the measurement, as I mentioned before, to see results in SEO, like measuring results you need Patience.
Think about SEO as the relationship between your website and Google and other search results. Like any relationship, it takes time to create bonds. You don’t ask your future partner to marry you on the first date right?
So yes patience is necessary to see any results.
Besides that how can you measure?
- Organic Traffic
Is your website getting more hits? When you do search for your company or something related you see any change in the search results? If so that is a good sign that your SEO is in practice and you start to see some results.
You can do that with Google Analytics or there are some other options, more private that you can use
- Keywords measure
Like organic traffic, measuring the power of your keywords is a great way to know who your website is ranking.
- Conversion Rate
From this organic traffic how much of it is converted into real paying customers? That is the conversion rate and the bigger the better.
- Time, mobile, backlinks
There are many other ways to measure SEO. How much time your customers spend on your website? How many people go to your website through mobile? Do you have a lot of backlinks to your webpage? These are other ways to measure your results.
You might think that this is only for big companies that want to be in first on Google results, but the fact is SEO is everywhere and you can be the first in search results in one term (keyword) but not even show up in the 3 pages on another.
For example, imagine that you have a barbershop in Helsinki If you go to Google and write barbershop the chance of you show up in the first results might be slim in the beginning, but you don’t need that barber shows in results in London or even maybe in Turku. So you might want that your business shows when the search is for example barbershop Helsinki, or even barbershop Punavuori right?
That’s why we also talk about…
Yes, there is local SEO. Some businesses don't want or need that their business shows up in google results globally. Don’t think that local SEO is not important as almost 50% of the searches in Google need information about local services/products…
Did you know that 76% of people that search for something on a mobile visit a business within 24h?
How you make your website prepared for local SEO?
The tactics said above are all necessary, just more adapted to a local search but other things are important for Local Seo.
For example having your business in google maps, in Google My Business, or and not less important reviews of your website are great ways to grow your local SEO
Is not only your website SEO
To end this post I need to refer that SEO is not only used for your website but for all the platforms you use. If you have a Youtube channel you also have to optimize the SEO of your channel to show up in the results. The same goes for Instagram, etc.
Yes, SEO is everywhere basically online and it’s important to know about it and to know how to use it on your behalf.
I hope you had liked this series and more will come
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