You probably already heard about the famous SEO and that a lot of marketing professionals talk about it, probably told you that you need to work with it to get more traffic which converts to sales. Although, is there anything you can do on your own to increase your SEO? The answer is yes!
Actually, you don’t even need advanced web development knowledge to do that. Follow my website, because I will share with you tips and methods which you can use to increase your SEO, but just remember methods don’t work unless you do.
Firstly, let’s start from the beginning and plan all the steps together. Let’s make sure that we are the same page and do we correctly understand SEO.
SEO 101, Beginner’s guide to SEO
What and why?
Let’s start from the beginning, SEO stands for search engine optimization and it is a practice of increasing quantity and quality of website traffic, through organic (non-paid) ways to exposure brand in search engine results. It’s more about understanding what people are looking for online, what kind of answers they want, the words they are using and what do they expect from that. Understanding this data will allow you to make high-quality content for your visitors, the content which they value. In order to help viewers to find information about you, firstly you need to understand your potential customers.
Answer those questions to yourself about your clients:
- What types of your product / service are people searching?
- Who is searching for those keywords?
- When are people searching for product / service? (Are there seasonal trends?)
- How are people searching for product / service? (What questions do they ask? What words do they use? Are people more use mobile device?)
- Why are people seeking for product / service? (What is the aim to find this product / service?)
- Where are potential clients located? (Locally, nationally, internationally)
- How can you provide the best content about your product / service to make value for people who search for it?
What are those “organic” search results?
Organic search results are those results for which you are not paying. That you can influence only by effective SEO. Of course the first search results people see when they do a google search is ads, but usually people search for free results, because it answer more to their questions.
Why you need SEO?
Yes, paid advertising really generates some traffic, but the majority of online traffic comes from search engines. Also, when a person comes to your website from search engines that means that he is really searching for your product / service and it is not just a quick ad which he saw. Optimizing your website will help to deliver better information to search engines that your content could be better indexed and displayed.
White vs black hat SEO
“White hat SEO” are tactics which abide by search engine rule, the main focus is to help people and to give them value by creating good quality content.
“Black hat SEO” it’s strategies which is try to spam or fool search engines. Those tactics could work, but it’s a huge risk to be removed from search results, what could even lead to bankruptcy in some cases.
Basic principles of search engines
Guidelines can vary from search engine to search engine, although the underlying principles are the same. Provide a good online experience for you viewer and don’t try to scam search engines.
- Make content primarily for users and not search engines.
- Provide deep, clear, easy to find and engaging content on your website.
- Keep page titles relevant and clear.
- Page speed is super important with a positive user experience.
- Use alt attributes to describe your images.
- Ask yourself questions: “Does this content help my user?”.
- Think about how your website is unique, engaging and valuable.
- Automatically generate content
- Copy, duplicate content
- Participate in link schemes
- Hidden links and texts
- Create pages only with affiliate links or showing mostly ads
Fulfill user intent
Understanding of user’s desired outcome is a must. The main idea is to answer their questions or to give what they want. It can be an answer, tickets or specific photo, fulfill “user intent”. If a person search for “ice cream”, is their intent to find yogurt ice cream, ice cream shop, ice cream recipe or something else?
Common user intent types:
Navigational: Searching for a website. Example: Olive’s restaurant
Information: searching for information, Example: how to live longer?
Transactional: Searching to buy something. Example: Where to buy winter tires?
Always check what your competitors do and how they do it, think how can you provide way more valuable information. When you give relevant and high-quality content on your site it will help you rank higher in search results, more importantly, it will increase credibility and trust with your online viewers. Although, before you do anything you need to understand your website’s aims so you could make a strategy for SEO plan.
Website / Client goals
Every website is different, so focus what are your Key Performance Indicators (KPI), what is your barometers which measures your success of organic search? Write it down even though they are simple. Common KPI’s for start:
- Email signups
- Phone calls
- Contact form submissions
- Click to website
Do you notice that there is no “ranking” or “traffic” in this list? If your traffic do not convert to help you reach the website’s KPI then what’s the point of traffic?
Should you hire a SEO specialist?
It depends. For sure you need to use SEO and have a basic knowledge if you have a website, but it depends how complex your website is and how much are you willing to learn. You could perform some basic SEO by yourself, but if you see that you are facing the difficulties then you could hire a professional. Although, I recommend you to try it by yourself at first just to see how small are those details which you have to change to improve your website and to see how your traffic is changing. Also, to truly understand what those SEO professionals are doing and why they are using specific methods and not the other methods.