One of the main questions asked by website owners is about SEO and ways to improve it, as search engine algorithms change and websites rank differently than before. The answer is never simple, as SEO involves a complex set of tactics, but the basic principles of SEO can safely be applied by any website out there.
What you can do is to try and learn how the search engine algorithms work, from the source itself. Google and Bing publish extensive support literature explaining their algorithm, good practices for websites to follow, important metrics in determining search engine rankings, and so on.
While SEO can theoretically be done for free, it involves research, time, and some monetary investment to get you the results you want. Let’s first see why your website needs SEO and what elements you should monitor and control for the best results.
Why Does Your Website Need SEO?
Today, even businesses that don’t carry their operations online need a website. SEO is the most cost-effective way to use your website’s potential to reach your target audience and get you more revenue. In the context of Covid-19 and how it changed consumer behaviour, SEO is more needed than ever.
As people look for services and products online, they are constantly inputting search queries and modifying the ranking of websites, creating trends and pushing brands higher and lower on the popularity scale. At the same time, Google and other search engines are doing their best to retrieve the most helpful, relevant information to its users, proving effective and keeping their users loyal.
The main search engines are huge profit companies and have grown to have extensive, multivalent suites of services and products (Google Search Console, Google Analytics, etc.). They will only use genuine value to keep users satisfied, so SEO today is a lot about the quality you provide.
To answer the question, your business needs SEO because:
It directly improves improvements that you will benefit from anyway.
It associates your brand’s image with good quality.
It connects you with your target audience.
It teaches you to be better at what you do.
What Factors Should You Consider for SEO?
SEO means that you have to consider many factors when publishing content, when developing and maintaining your website, when promoting your brand, etc. We will go through the basic things to consider when creating an SEO strategy, or what an agency would start with to increase your performance.
One of the key factors in SEO is to use the right keywords in your content. Finding the right keywords involves regularly checking what keywords are top ranking in your domain, who uses them, and how to include them in your content.
Target keywords have to be revisited regularly, as people in your target audience won’t be searching for the same thing all the time. At the same time, your competitors might target the same keywords, which makes it wasteful to target the same keywords. This can be avoided by targeting long-tail keywords.
Your keywords strategy is kind of like always seeking opportunities and renewing your strategy as your competitors change theirs. It’s kind of like a race between the best-performing keywords and who gets to use them better. And a crucial idea to take into consideration when it comes to keyword competitors is that they won’t necessarily be the same competitors you have on the market.
Focus on the User Experience
UX (user experience) is one of the most important things to focus on for SEO, as Google announced last year. User experience is given by how easy your website is to use.
This translates to adapting to different mobile devices and having the same quality and smooth browsing. It means the images you are uploading are not late to load and they don’t delay the content, causing leaps in the page. Also, your pages should load fast enough to keep the user’s attention.
SEO improves your site overall because Google and other search engines will actually promote what users appreciate most. This is why investing in SEO ultimately means investing in your relationship with your customers, the ones who pay for your services and products.
Metadata markups are more advanced SEO tactics that can be used for crawling and indexing. By using Schema.org markups for the data on your website, you tell Google and search engine crawlers what the data means, and how to index it. For example, you can use such markers to indicate that a certain piece of information is your business’s name, another is the phone number, another is a menu, a promotion, an address, etc. By adding these markers you encourage Google to include your content in the rich data results on the SERPs (search engine results page). Rich results are Google results that show more engaging details of the content it recommends (such as reviews, events, books, articles, etc).
Featured snippets are concise, short answers to direct questions. They appear like fragments of a piece of content, on top of all other results, and they show that the question in the query was answered in a simple and understandable manner. You can optimise your content for appearing as a featured snippet by answering the most frequent questions in your field in a concise manner.
Don’t forget about title tags, meta descriptions, and page titles, as they are helpful in SEO.
Content marketing is one of the key elements of SEO, just as the targeted keywords you include in it. In order to make your website rank better and have higher domain authority, you have to regularly publish optimised content your audience is interested in.
The pieces of content on your website don’t always have to be promotional or even connected to the brand itself. In fact, on social media, you are more successful if you publish mostly related content and a small part (about 20%) of promotional content.
Speaking of social media, it is a great way to promote the content on your website. Just make sure to create landing pages that offer what is promised in the ad, Facebook post, or another source the user is coming from. You should also use internal links to promote your own content and redirect traffic to less popular pages.
Backlinks & Offsite
Get other websites to publish links towards your website for an increase in your Google ranking. Websites getting a lot of links from external, legit websites are considered leaders in their domain. If others are recommending your content, it means that it’s valuable, relevant and that is the kind of thing search engines will promote to the top of the results pages.
Link building can be done by writing guest blog posts for web pages you share an audience with. It can also mean looking for broken links towards related content and offering to replace that missing content with fresh, relevant one.
Why You Should Hire SEO Specialists
Often, website owners read that SEO is free and that anyone can do it. The beauty of SEO is that, indeed, any website owner can research the principles of search engine optimisation and make the necessary tweaks to improve their website’s performance. However, results take time to appear in the case of new website owners, and the time it takes to learn all the details of an SEO tactic is a cost in itself.
Also, making mistakes can cost you. Engaging in the wrong SEO practices, like using black hat tactics for your website, can get you flagged by Google or Bing and drastically reduce the traffic you were trying to increase in the first place.
The most cost-effective thing you can do as a business, even as a small one, is to hire an SEO specialist to handle it. Determine the budget you can use for SEO and get in touch with Australian Internet Advertising. We will determine how you can maximise your investment and what can be done to generate more revenue. Our aim is to bring you profit and to grow your business, adjusting the SEO needs along the way.
You can also get a free SEO audit, which is a much better start than tackling everything by yourself. Contact us and request a free consultation and SEO audit, or ask us anything about SEO.