You’ve likely had the lowdown on search engine optimization (SEO) for a while now, and you might think you understand how it all works. After all, it seems to be all anyone talks about when it comes to driving traffic to websites these days.
But is your knowledge really up to scratch? Do you have the SEO basics down? The latest information suggests that only half of small business owners are implementing SEO strategies, either because they don’t feel confident or they are unsure of their understanding of the concept.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry; we’ve got your back.
This article will take you through how to leverage your website with these SEO strategies, and by the end, you’ll be ready to turbocharge your web pages. Let’s buckle up and get ready for an SEO crash course!
Let’s start with a brief refresher in case you’re new to SEO or if it’s been a while since you’ve thought about it for your website. In its simplest terms, search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of giving your website the best chance to rank higher in organic search engine results.
It’s an ongoing process involving techniques and strategies to make sure sites appear at the top of relevant searches, attract more visitors, and target specific audiences.
If done effectively, SEO can help people discover what they’re looking for online more easily. Search engines like Bing or Google use algorithms to crawl through networks of computers and index web pages according to their relevance and content quality.
When someone asks a question—referred to in SEO jargon as a query—these algorithms help provide the best-suited answers on a search engine results page (SERP). SERPs usually include organic results, paid ads, and other features like images or videos.
Depending on the query, different types of SERPs can appear. For example:
- The “Local pack” displays local businesses related to the question asked.
- Featured snippets are condensed pieces of content that provide answers to specific queries.
- Knowledge graphs are interactive graphs showing information about people, places, etc.
By understanding search engines and what potential customers are looking for when they use them, you can leverage your website with SEO basics.
SEO is not a new concept, but it’s become more vital than ever as more and more potential customers use search engines to find what they’re looking for. It started as a combination of coding techniques and keyword research, but now many more factors go into successful SEO campaigns.
What Do You Want Your Site to Do?
Are you looking to generate more leads? Are you aiming to earn ad revenue? Do you want to bulk up your followers? It’s critical to understand the purpose of your site before taking the next steps in leveraging it.
Think about what sets your site apart and how SEO can help bring more users’ attention to those features. Once you determine why people should visit your website, you can choose which SEO techniques will be most productive in helping you reach your goals.
For instance, to gain more followers, you would focus on optimizing your content for keywords associated with your industry. If credibility and authority are must-haves, you might concentrate on link-building strategies and creating high-quality content.
By zoning in on what you require your website to do, you will be better equipped to apply the following critical SEO basics and leverage your website to suit your needs.
Here are some things you can do to maximize SEO on your site:
1. Perform a Website Audit
Thoroughly examining your site is the first step towards developing an effective SEO strategy. A website audit will help pinpoint any issues—like broken links or slow-loading pages—so you can address them before attempting other SEO techniques.
The information you discover from your audit will allow you to streamline the optimization process. Additionally, it will provide helpful insight into how well your existing strategies are performing and what potential areas of improvement there might be.
These words and phrases describe your content and are analyzed by search engines to decide which websites should appear in a search query. Here’s a list of various types of keywords:
- Short-tail keywords. These short phrases or single words usually have a higher search volume, and are, therefore, more competitive.
- Long-tail keywords. Phrases that are more detailed and lengthy than the average keyword tend to draw in people who know what they’re looking for. As a result, they tend to attract visitors further along in their buying process.
- LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords. Also known as “semantic keywords,” these related terms help improve your content’s relevancy and ranking by helping search engines decode what your page is about. For example, if your page’s primary keyword is “football,” LSI keywords could be “NFL,” “touchdown”, or “quarterback.”
- Branded keywords. Using branded keywords allows you to capitalize on the popularity of your brand.
- Geo-targeted keywords. These location-specific words or phrases help you target local searches and attract visitors from a certain geographic area.
- Competitor keywords. Analyzing your competitors’ keywords can help you gain insight into their strategies and better position yourself in the market.
By optimizing your website’s content with relevant keywords, you will boost its visibility in searches, leading to more web traffic and increased opportunities for lead generation, user engagement, ad revenue, and more.
3. Meta Descriptions
These brief summaries of your page’s contents appear underneath titles on a SERP. They should be concisely written yet engaging with no more than 150-160 characters to attract clicks from searchers looking for the answers you provide on your website.
4. Page Titles
Your page title is a critical element of SEO, as it appears in SERPs and influences whether a user will click on your link. It should describe page contents accurately, include keywords, and be under 55 characters for optimal performance.
5. Internal Links
Connecting to other related pages on your website helps improve its overall ranking by showing search engines that you are providing comprehensive information on a given topic.
Additionally, this encourages users to spend more time on the site as they navigate between different pages seeking out related information.
6. Image Optimization
This refers to enhancing your website’s images with descriptive file names and alt-text. Doing so can improve your site’s ranking and accessibility and help users find what they’re looking for more quickly.
7. Content Quality
Search engines prioritize original, comprehensive, up-to-date content that is easy to read (i.e., broken into subheadings), and includes keywords in natural language (not forced or fluffy). By consistently providing quality content, you will boost your website’s visibility in SERPs while keeping visitors engaged.
8. Mobile Optimization
We live in a mobile world, so having a website that looks great and works well on all devices is essential to SEO success. This means ensuring that your site loads quickly and looks good on phones and tablets and taking advantage of features like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
9. Technical SEO
This refers to the backend work necessary to ensure your website runs smoothly and performs optimally in SERPs. This includes setting up 301 redirects from old URLs, maximizing page load speed via caching plugins, fixing broken links, etc., all of which help improve the user experience while also boosting your website’s rankings.
10. Local SEO
If you have a physical business, making your website visible to local searches is important. This includes claiming and optimizing listings on your Google Business Profile and other relevant directories, and using location-specific keywords in your content and meta tags so users in the area can find you more easily.
11. Analyze & Monitor
The last step of leveraging your SEO basics is to analyze and monitor their performance, making necessary adjustments as needed based on data like search engine ranking positions and bounce rates which will help refine your strategy over time.
It’s Time to Get Back to SEO Basics
Incorporating these helpful optimization strategies is essential for getting the most out of your website and gaining visibility in the online world. With these SEO basics, you can ensure that search engines easily discover your content so that more potential customers find your business.
You can also use tactics like link building and keyword research to improve your ranking on SERPs. Achieving success with these methods requires knowledge of current best practices, time, and dedication—but the payoff is worth it.
At Buddy Web Design and Development, we specialize in creating high-quality websites tailored to our client’s needs. Our team will work with you to develop an effective SEO strategy that suits your goals and drives your business forward.
At Buddy, our goal is simple: be great, and be great to work with. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s work together to leverage your website and help you reach new heights of success with SEO!