When it comes to digital marketing, there are a number of tools professionals use to create a strong online presence. Many have come and gone, but one tool that remains constant is search engine optimization. Abbreviated as SEO, this refers to the strategy of increasing organic website traffic by improving website ranking in search engines. Professionals who help companies achieve higher rankings attempt to do so for all search engines. However, the search engine that marketers are most concerned with is Google.
How Does SEO Work?
If SEO sounds like a magic trick so far, it’s not. Through consistent use, it will deliver you results time and time again—even many years after your initial investment. Here’s why. When you open your favorite search engine and type in a request, that search engine uses an algorithm to decide which pages will provide you with the best answers. The search engine scores the webpages in its database for relevancy and authority and then ranks those results accordingly for you to view.
As previously mentioned, Google is king of the search engine world, so most SEO marketers work to satisfy Google’s algorithms. To do this, SEO professionals in Madison, WI look at the more than 200 signals Google uses to rank search results, and then create simple writing guidelines that decide how your website content should be constructed.
The reward for following these guidelines is landing on the first page of Google’s search results. Why is this important? You only need to consider how you use the internet to answer that. How often do you click through to the next page? In fact, studies show that 95 percent of website traffic goes to the results on the first page.
It is important to note that Google does not disclose its algorithm. However, SEO marketers in Madison, WI use reverse engineering to discover what type of content Google likes best. In addition to this, Google does give recommendations from time to time on not just practices that will help companies to rank higher, but tactics that may get their website blacklisted. Google Analytics also helps webmasters to improve SEO ranking by showing information such as site speed, popular pages and user retention.
How Do You Improve SEO?
By now, you’re probably interested in testing out some SEO tactics for yourself. Before you start, it’s important to note that you should never become too caught up in trying to understand or follow Google’s algorithms.
The main goal of Google’s search engine is to provide the best results to users every time. Keep this as your main goal as well, and let specific SEO tactics take second place. That said, here are some of the main tasks tackled by SEO professionals. To make this easier, this section will be broken up into onsite SEO and offsite SEO.
When you work on your own website to improve search engine ranking, that is called onsite SEO. While writing is the main focus here, sometimes even the aesthetics of the website may be improved to increase the length of time people spend on your website, thereby also increasing the chance of them making a purchase. Here are the top ways SEO marketers make this happen:
- Ensuring content is geo-targeted to improve conversion rates by ensuring leads are relevant to the brand’s location
- Optimizing the website structure to ensure navigation of the website is smooth and easy
- Finding the right keywords that are relevant to both your brand and your audience
- Ensuring the website is properly indexed and set up for crawling
- Writing content that paints the brand as an expert in their field
- Ensuring webpages load quickly to reduce user frustration
Contrary to what many business owners may believe, SEO goes beyond just working on your own website. Also important are strategies to improve your visibility and authority off site. This is primarily done through link-building, but failure to do so correctly may bring more harm than good. Because of this, it’s important to ensure your links are coming from reputable sources. This is how SEO marketers achieve that goal:
- Liaising with journalists, bloggers, vloggers and other gatekeepers to earn coverage that results in links to your website
- Relying on digital marketing to improve visibility using strategies such as product placement or guest blogging
- Using content marketing to organically attract an inflow of links by creating high-quality content
How Do You Know If a Link Is Worth It?
Link-building is such an important but risky part of SEO that it deserves further detail. This is because many business owners become scammed into black hat SEO tactics, such as buying or exchanging links. While these may bring results in the short-term, it may lead to Google penalizing your website in the long run, bringing all your best SEO efforts to naught. So, here are some tips for strong link-building that brings long-term results, while remaining on Google’s good side:
- When you write for other websites, focus less on showcasing your business and more on showcasing your skills. This will paint you as an industry expert, which over time attracts even more links to your business website.
- Create link-worthy content that is not just informative and entertaining, but well-researched with proper citations included.
- When scoping out websites to write for, try to select sites in your field or that your target audience may be drawn to. Don’t just write for any website to build links.
- Stay away from companies that use link schemes to bring in a lot of links, but which are often of very low quality.
Would You Like to Improve Your SEO?
If your company website has not received the visibility you know it deserves, poor search engine optimization may be at fault. While paid ad campaigns and social media are helpful tools to improve this, SEO is that gift that keeps on giving.
Through SEO, articles written years ago will continue to generate hits for your website, whereas once an ad ends or a social media post disappears down the line, its contribution to your marketing efforts is now past. For more information on how we can help your website become digitally fit, contact Digital Fitness, today!