Emergence and History of SEO:
1991: World Wide Web (www) was launched and brought in a new way of communication within mankind. The human race saw a new era of online marketing, online searching, and navigating. Savvy online businesses could reach their target audiences faster than before. As online platforms became more and more crowded, there arose a demand for a centralized search system. This led to the rise of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Digitalization of businesses:
In the present digital world, businesses are digitalizing their strategies to skyrocket their sales. But how do they do it? Just having a great business idea is not enough. You have to execute the business ideas including various elements like creating a website, promoting your brand on various channels, and others. But the most important factor is gathering and engaging your audience. You might be spending long hours identifying and researching your customer but on the contrary, your customer might neither find your company nor your products. So making yourself online is very important. This is where the role of content marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes to play.
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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
SEO is a process of optimizing websites and web pages for better visibility on search engine pages. This can be done through “on page”, “off-page”, and “technical SEO” techniques.
- On-page SEO: On-page SEO is a process where detailed page metadata is created for each page by including images, static URLs, relevant keywords, clear HTML codes, etc.
- Off-page SEO: Off-page SEO involves strategies like content marketing, link building/ exchanging, directory submission, creating online communities on social media, etc. These strategies are created to develop an improved website with higher user engagement.
SEO is a type of marketing where the online visibility of a company is created by optimizing the website to be “crawlable”/ visible by different search engines. “Crawling” is the process by which the search engine finds relevant content on the web like updated sites/ pages, dead links, or changes to an existing website. SEO content is content created to provide answers to various customer queries asked on the search engine platform.
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Need of SEO:
A good SEO strategy is the backbone of your persistent growth over time. Combining the art of content marketing with the science of SEO marketing in your website will yield you the best results possible. The best part of SEO is that it does not need specialization on any particular topic. It just needs a website, a visitor, and a proper plan to engage such visitors.
What do you mean by SEO strategy?:
SEO strategy is the complete list of plans for a better ranking of your website on different search engines to drive in more organic traffic. Such plans may include many fundamental pillars like content marketing strategy, SEO techniques, on-page/ off-page SEO, user experience, and many more. So a strong SEO strategy will give an unprecedented search experience to the user and shall build a strong trustworthy relationship of the user with your company.
Tips to create an effective content to get algorithm favour:
- Popular search engines give more value to sites and blogs which provide well-optimized content covering a wide variety of topics related to your niche. So to create authoritative content, you can integrate your SEO strategies with your content marketing strategies.
- To create great content, you have to look into various factors. Keyword research, segmenting target audience, topic planning, exceptional writing, and editing skills are some of the essential factors to look into.
- A piece of good SEO knowledge will help you to meet all the requirements for creating strong content. The content made by website owners should be appealing to the human audience as well as to the search engines. SEO makes a website more optimized for search engine crawlers.
- On knowing your target audience well, you should focus and design your content marketing strategies around them. Your content should have a friendly approach with a human tone. Your content can engage more audiences with such an approach which will ultimately increase your sales. Thus, content marketing and SEO when properly blended together, will create a well-designed website which can satisfy the customers, web crawlers, and search engines.
- Carry on with the process of optimization: Keep updating your articles once they get published. Reference to old trends or research will become outdated after a span of time. Websites having outdated posts or dead links will lose the trust of the reader, which will further decrease your visibility. So it is advisable to have lean, fresh, and updated posts/ blogs on your website.
- Search Engine Result Page (SERP): Experts believe that to rank higher on search engines, the best possible way is to create mind-blowing content which can offer first-class assistance to the searcher. To create great content, always focus on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
|SERPs are web pages provided to the user when they search for something online through a search engine like Google, Bing, etc. On entering specific keywords, the search engine provides a SERP to the user.||SERP contains two types of content- organic results (listings of web pages which appear on the result page) and paid results (advertiser pays to display such results).||Embedded hyperlinks are essential elements to decide your SERPs, as they show the crawlers how organized your website is. Adding links of authoritative sites into your content will show the crawler the level of research you have done to create the content.|
- You should keep an eye on your performance. If you have invested time and capital to develop a well-curated content strategy, then you must see whether it is working or if it needs some changes. To track the success of your content, you can consider using some metrics like monitoring organic traffic, SERPs, user engagement, etc. Such metrics will help you find opportunities to improve the value of your website.
Tips to optimize content for search engine:
- Determine relevant keywords by performing keyword research to increase the visibility of your content. To create well-optimized content, you should:
|Do not overuse relevant keywords so as to avoid “keyword stuffing”,|
|Consider long-tail keywords as they can generate higher conversion rates.|
|Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Google Search Console, Ubersuggest, etc.|
|Use well-optimized images.|
|Use convincing language to persuade the reader to take relevant action. You can add social fans of your brand, including urgency in driving sales or success stories of your product.|
|See that your topic matches well with your keyword, also include key phrases which are similar to your relevant keywords.|
|Include a brief meta description to your content.|
|Wrap up with a CTA (Call to Action).|
- Include effective editing options to deliver your content in bits and pieces. Online readers lack patience, so try to write small paragraphs with catchy headings. Also include attractive images or GIFs in your piece of work.
- Choose popular topics for your content which are searched the most over different search engines. You can research different topics over Reddit or Quora to find out the popular topic and select the ones which shall be relevant to your target audience.
- While creating your content, don’t get diverted from your topic. Avoid unnecessary keywords so as to create well-informed content.
- Includes links to external sites within your content to increase credibility. Such links should be relevant, trustworthy, and authoritative.
Content is a key element for SEO. A well-optimized content will drastically improve the website’s exposure. So after content optimization, you have to create an SEO content strategy to execute your business goals in a better way.
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SEO content strategy:
- Set SEO goals: To measure Return of Investment (ROI) it’s crucial to define your goals for SEO. Without a clearly defined goal, your SEO activity will yield no results.
- Understand your competition and execute your analysis: Scrutinise the organic search rankings of your competitors and a technical SEO audit and recreate your strategies accordingly.
- Conduct exclusive keyword research: Proper keyword research can yield you the best SEO ROI possible. Tools like Google Search Console show keywords that already drive organic traffic into a website increase your scope of optimization. Also, look into your customer feedback to know your strengths and weaknesses.
- Spot popular topics using your relevant keywords: You should target words with higher search volumes (SV) in your keyword research to increase search engine rankings.
- Ensure that your website is technically sound: A well-optimized and technically sound website is essential for SERPs. Internal issues will cause your SEO team to fall back on link building without a strong base. They might give rise to technical issues with user experience, web crawling, and others. This will affect your Google ranking. Also, keep a check on your URL structure and XML sitemaps.
- Create and accumulate meaningful links: Links play a major part in SEO and website rankings. Use relevant and authoritative links from other websites and include them in your website organically. The reader should feel that your business has something worth sharing. A strong SEO-driven content marketing strategy should include quality contents which have accumulated passive links into them.
- Create shareable content: You have got an idea about the keywords relevant to your niche which have a good ranking, so plan accordingly to create meaningful and great content. You can use similar keywords in different content formats. Proofreading is too important for content to find out any changes if required. Attach genuine sources to value your content. The readability of the content is also very important. Meaningful and engaging content will drive organic traffic faster.
- Line up your content with user intent: Google provides the most relevant content to the user in very less time. Your content should have keywords which align well with the user intent towards your business, product/ services.
- Optimize your page for mobile devices: With the rise of mobile usage, Google has been moving towards a mobile-first index model. So your website should be well optimized for mobile. Use tools like Google Search Console, to see how well your mobile-friendliness is.
Keeping the above points in your mind, you have now created good SEO content. The next step will be to track the success of your work. You can track this by using some SEO metrics to check the overall SEO performance of your content.
- Keyword ranking – High keyword rankings are a strong indicator of the organic search visibility of your webpage.
- Organic traffic – It is the amount of actual volume of visitors visiting your website and their activities. Free tools like Google Analytics help in providing information about organic traffic to your website.
- Organic sales – The measure of your actual sales, revenue, and leads will give a rough idea about your SEO result. Tools like Google Analytics can help you in taking such measurements.
- Page speed – Google focuses on providing a better user experience. A fast-loading page will be one of the goals of Google. In 2020, Google introduced “Core Web Vitals”, a search ranking factor to measure page load time. The present set of Google Core Web Vitals metrics focuses on loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
- Backlinks – Your domain authority can improve by adding relevant backlinks from popular domain authorities. Increasing the number of new referring domains can ultimately increase your organic traffic.
- Readability – A better user experience involves text readability and relevancy. Rankmath/Yoast SEO plugin provides you with a readability score for every page on your website. Yoast also suggests the use of shorter sentences/ paragraphs and an active form of a voice in your words. Tools like Clearscope analyze content based on its relevance with the related search terms of your competitor’s content. Using both the tools (Clearscope and Yoast SEO) can add comprehensiveness and digestiveness to your content thus improving your search engine rankings.
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- Click-through rate (CTR) – It is the ratio of users who click on a particular link to the number of total users who visit your page. You can track CTR directly in Google Search Console’s “Performance” module. Ranking and CTR are directly proportional to each other, i.e. the higher you rank, the more clicks you will earn.
Now let us look at some tools for SEO metrics:
- Google Analytics – tracks organic search traffic, page per visit, bounce rates, etc.
- Google Search Console – monitors performance, CTR
- SEMRush – Monitor keyword ranking, domain authority, etc.
- DeepCrawl, ContentKing, Screamingfrog – To identify technical errors
- Google PageSearch Insights – to measure page load time
- Yoast SEO plugin, RankMath SEO plugin, Clearscope- for on-page optimization and readability, and many more
Many companies first create a good marketing strategy and complete it with campaigns and then look at SEO and website optimization. SEO can act as a strong tool in your marketing development strategy. Opt to create an SEO strategy that helps you address your individual business goals like increasing customer acquisition and increasing business success. So incorporating a good SEO strategy into your business strategies will make your business reach heights.
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