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Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is one of the most effective digital marketing tools any company can have. But what is SEO, and how can you incorporate it into your company’s online presence? In this post, we’ll look at the ins and outs of SEO, and show you some techniques for improving SEO on your site.
What Is SEO?
SEO is a combination of tactics you can use to increase your site’s ranking in search engine result pages. A higher search engine ranking translates to a higher number of site visitors – which means more customers for you!
Internet searching has become so ubiquitous that “to google” is a verb. Nearly all of your potential customers will start their purchase journey by tapping a few words or phrases into a search engine like Bing, Yahoo, or Google. They’ll usually choose from the top five or so results, without even bothering to scroll down. This means that site rankings are crucial for drawing traffic to your site.
Constant use of search engines is why companies see Google Ads as a worthwhile investment. However, SEO is not the same as buying ad placement through Google or another search engine. SEO improves your search engine rankings organically by making your website more appealing to search engines.
So, how does SEO push you up the list of search engine results to the prime spots at the very top?
Let’s take a look at some common organic SEO strategies and how they work:
Keywords are a set of key terms related to various topics. A search engine will flag these terms on your website in order to judge whether your website is relevant to any given search. Common search terms give you a guideline for high-impact keywords, but it’s important to remember that you may be competing with sites that are already established as high-ranking results for these keywords.
Keywords can come in several different forms. You can incorporate them into the title of a post or page, as in “Organic Fair Trade Colombian Coffee Beans,” or you can include them in the content of a post, as in “Our organic fair trade Colombian coffee beans are sourced from farmers in the renowned Paisa region of Colombia…” or you can incorporate them into links as in, “Click here to learn more about our organic fair trade Colombian coffee beans.”
For best results, keywords should be incorporated into the important parts of a page or post, including the heading, subheadings, and lead paragraphs. Search engines are a bit like a rushed reader “scanning” the first part of a newspaper article – if your keywords are buried in “below the fold” text,” they probably won’t be noticed. To avoid triggering spam alerts, use variations instead of repeating words in the same order each time.
A backlink, or inbound link, is when another website links to your website. Backlinks are important because they help search engines figure out how well-known your site is. Search engines see backlinks as recommendations. If a lot of other sites are linking to you, then you must provide useful info. Popular search engines, including Google, give significantly higher search-engine rankings to sites with more backlinks.
Quality is as important as quantity – a quality backlink uses your preferred keywords or keyword phrase, and appears on a website with the same theme or similar content as your own website. For example, if you sell “Fair Trade Colombian Coffee,” a link from a fair-trade products site or artisanal coffee café site holds more value.
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Link Building is the practice of exchanging links with other websites in order to increase your own site’s backlinks. You can achieve this cross-linking SEO boost through networking. For example, if you write a guest post for an industry or professional association blog, your post will include at least one quality backlink to your site. If you become a regular contributor, you may be able to put up a profile page including a company bio and backlink.
You can also court industry influencers and fans by offering them the chance to test and review your products. Chances are, they’ll be happy to review your product in exchange for a sample. Anything posted on their sites will include interesting content, relevant keywords, and quality backlinks. You may be able to turn these reviews into sponsorships, and you’ll have a foothold in a committed, close-knit circle of invested leads.
Social-media connections will also help you generate organic backlinks. If you repost and share content from an entrepreneur or company in your industry, they’ll be more likely to link to your content in return. One way to combine the benefits of social media and guest posting is to generate an infographic. Infographics are shareable and they can be published in many of the same venues as guest posts.
Remember that these tools work in tandem, and a steady SEO boost requires consistent effort over time. You might also consider investing in professionally-produced content from a digital marketing company guaranteed to use all of these techniques consistently and successfully.
Are you interested in learning more about SEO and other strategies for increasing traffic on your website? At Square 1 Group, our dedicated team of digital-marketing professionals makes it a mission to stay at the leading edge of marketing technologies, so that we can offer our clients the best possible strategy for business success. Contact us for a consultation today!