The average consumer today relies on online validation for just about everything. From social media to search engines, we rely on Google or Bing or other search engines to provide us with relevant information. It doesn’t matter whether your business offers turnkey manufacturing, or accounting services or cookies – you absolutely need SEO for online visibility.
Which basically means that if you’re not ranking high in search engines, your competitors are. And that can result in lost business.
What is SEO?
In simple terms, SEO is the process of identifying what your prospective customers are searching for, and improving (optimizing) your website and individual pages with quality and relevant content/information. This signals to search engines that your content matches what customers are searching for (intent-matching), and over time, there is an improvement not only on where you appear in search results, but also in the quality and quantity of traffic.
The above is a simplification, of course. There are a large number of factors in play that impact your ranking. Ahref lists some of the key ranking factors used by Google.
Remember: SEO is not paid advertising, nor is it a short-term strategy. You have to consistently work on it to gain maximum benefits. If you give up focus after a few months, your competitors will outrank you very soon.
Types of SEO
Try not to think of these various SEO types as being distinct. Rather, they are small parts of the overall SEO process, with each of them playing an important role; the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
Technical SEO: this factor takes into account your website and evaluates its content on whether it is:
- Rich (has images, text, videos)
- Properly structured
- Easy for search engines to access, understand and index
If the content is structured, well planned out, and is relevant to your industry, then you’ve laid a foundation that your site is authentic (within your industry) and can be trusted – which will be then be supplemented by On-Page and Off Page SEO strategies.
On-Page SEO: Also referred to as On-Site SEO, this is the deep dive process that optimizes your website content – text, images, video – for user friendliness and easy navigation. The goal being that search engines find it easy to understand the meaning and context of the information on your website, and understand the relevance of what’s on the page.
Off-Page SEO: Beyond your website, there are other activities that you can do that add to your SEO grade – the higher you go, the higher you rank in search results. Off-Page SEO refers to anything that happens off your website, whether it be:
- Social media mentions
- Your brand or company featured on another site or blog linking back to your website.
For example, if you’re an upcoming food brand doing vegan cupcakes, and a major magazine or blog (considered an authority in your industry) mentions your company or product with a link, this is Off-Page SEO at work.
There are 3 other sub-types of SEO as well:
- Mobile SEO – this variant takes the 3 main SEO types above and ranks them for websites that are built with a mobile-first strategy
- Ecommerce SEO – high optimization of the homepage and category pages of products that you want to sell, followed by individual product pages.
Local SEO – more suited for smaller business that want to target customers in order to visit a physical store
Here are some pro tips to improve your SEO
- Ruthlessly Remove Anything Slowing Your Website Down: This one can’t be stressed enough. Slow page loads will not only throw off visitors to your site (who will click away), but also result in a down-ranking from Google.
Search ranking. Bounce rate. Page views. Conversion. Customer satisfaction. Revenue. Especially revenue – all are affected by site speeds.
The infographic by Strange Loop below demonstrates how important site speeds are to search rankings.
Here’s a short list on where to start assessing your page load speeds, since these elements are notorious for adding time to your page loads:
- Website hosting service
- Widgets or plug-ins on the site
- Heavy images
- Website design theme
- Browser/ Device incompatibility
- Analytics code
You can test your website speed on tools like Pingdom’s Speed Test or Google PageSpeed Insights.
- Make Content for Humans: It needs to be said that as far as SEO is concerned, it is very easy to lose sight of the fact that humans (and not search engines) will be engaging with the content on your website.
Merely ticking the boxes is not enough. While search engines will crawl your websites to check for relevance and other factors, it is human beings that are the actual recipients of the messaging.
Effective content development needs to be human-first:
- Gives visitors accurate and complete information on products and services
- Social-proof about your company or brand makes a compelling case for building authority
- Clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs) will also help drive conversions
- Improve Your Page Structures: Compare the following 2 links below on digital marketing articles from different websites, and you can see how building the right page structures will have an impact with not only humans but with search engine crawlers (tools that basically read your content and rank it) as well:
Search engines follow search users. So if your URL is readable and provides sufficient detail on what the result is about (as opposed to a number on the Entrepreneur.com article above), then you’re good to go.
- Push Out Unique Content Consistently: One of the elements used in the search ranking algorithm is the ‘Freshness Factor’. If your website content isn’t updated regularly and consistently with relevant topics or information, this will result in a ranking slide.
It is not easy to keep putting out meaningful, informative content on a regular basis. Businesses need to be disciplined and focused enough to do this thoroughly.
At Beespoke, along with our Digital Marketing strategies to help your business reach greater heights, we also have a team of SEO experts that can do a deep-dive audit your website and give you specialist advice on how to up your SEO game.
Our free SEO Analysis tool is a great starting point. Get in touch today to find out how we can take your business online to the next level.