When discussing the subject of digital marketing, several topics keep coming up, like social media, email marketing and SEO. Digital marketing, and SEO specifically, can be quite daunting topics to the inexperienced professional. That is why most businesses opt to collaborate with an SEO and eCommerce agency, which can create a bespoke SEO strategy for each individual marketing focus.
This article was created to give you an overview of the world of SEO, its best practices and a few mistakes to avoid when starting out in your digital marketing journey.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation is a fundamental part of digital marketing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimising a website to increase its visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s an essential aspect of digital marketing that helps businesses drive more traffic to their website and improve their online presence. The world of SEO can be challenging. It has many rules, and although it has been around for almost three decades now, it requires keeping constantly updated with Google’s different updates. That is why it is particularly easy to make mistakes that could hurt your rankings.
The Dos of SEO
1. Conduct Keyword Research
Keywords are the foundation of any SEO strategy. They help you understand what your audience is searching for and what topics you should create content around. By conducting keyword research, you can identify high-traffic, low-competition keywords that will help you rank higher on SERPs.
2. Optimise Your Website
Website optimisation is an essential part of SEO. It involves both on-page and off-page optimisation. On-page optimisation includes elements like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and internal linking. Off-page optimisation involves building quality backlinks to your site from other reputable websites.
3. Create High-Quality Content
Creating high-quality, informative content is crucial for SEO success. Google loves conversational content. Easy-to-read content that is easily sharable is the search engine’s most important metric to rank your content. When creating content, shift your focus towards providing value to your audience instead of simply trying to rank for keywords.
4. Use Social Media to Boost Your SEO Efforts
User traffic on your website is another very important metric in SEO. Creating a presence on social media where you can share your content and eventually redirect your social media followers to your website is an important strategy. Additionally, social media profiles can also rank in SERPs, giving you another avenue for visibility.
5. Build Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are a crucial factor in SEO. They signal to search engines that other websites view your content as valuable and relevant. Building quality backlinks involves creating high-quality content, contacting other website owners to request a link, and leveraging existing relationships to build links. The two most important backlink strategies are broken-links and unlinked mentions. Broken-links is the practice of looking for authoritative websites linking to pages that no longer exist and offering a link to your own website. Unlinked mentions are the practice of looking for mentions of your brand on authoritative websites and reaching out to them whenever you see a mention without a link. Both strategies are easy, relatively fast and free options to grow backlinks.
The Don’ts of SEO
1. Keyword Stuffing
Keywords are crucial in SEO strategy, but it is important not to overuse them. Although it is not necessarily a penalising factor, stuffing your content with keywords will not help you reach higher rankings. Write your content about the keywords, and although there aren’t any specific rules on the max number of times you can enter a specific keyword, we wouldn’t do it more than five times on each page.
2. Using Black Hat Tactics
Black-hat SEO practices encompass all short-term tactics which will help your SEO ranking in the short term but that have the potential to hurt your business in the long run. A couple of examples of black-hat tactics are paid links and link farms. If Google finds out you have been paying for links, it will penalise your business in its rankings. Google has several ways to discover if you’re buying links to your website from low-quality, spammy websites, such as checking how fast you acquired these links. Organic link acquisition is the best way to go.
3. Ignoring Local SEO
Local SEO is crucial for businesses with a physical presence. It involves optimising your website and online presence to rank for location-based searches. Ignoring local SEO can mean missed opportunities to attract potential customers in your area. Something most people don’t know is that local SEO is so much easier than normal SEO. You can overlook many general SEO rules while still ranking high in your local area, eventually increasing your revenue
4. Neglecting User Experience
User experience is another extremely important SEO practice. Your site speed and general usability are very important metrics Google uses to rank your site. And don’t forget to optimise for mobile as well.
In conclusion, SEO is a complex and ever-evolving field, Following the Dos and Don’ts, outlined in this article, you can build a solid foundation for a successful SEO strategy. Focus on creating high-quality, valuable content, optimising your website for both search engines and users, and avoiding black hat tactics. By doing so, you can improve your online visibility, drive more traffic to your site, and ultimately achieve your business goals.