“It is not the job of search engine optimisation to make a pig fly. It is the job of the SEO to genetically re-engineer the website so that the pig becomes an eagle.” – Bruce Clay
If creating a great website is like building a road, then Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the map; it points you in the right direction and is an essential tool in getting you to your destination.
SEO is a set of techniques that make it easier for search engines to find, include, categorise and rank your web content.
Rather than being an after-thought, effective SEO needs to be part of your core marketing strategy. When done correctly it not only attracts more visitors to your website, but it attracts the right kind of visitors: people who are already looking for your products and services and are more likely to be converted in qualified sales leads.
Recent research has shown that:
Here are 3 tactics to get up to date with best practices for boosting your organic search listings.
Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in SEO strategy. Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website.
Keyword research helps you learn which terms and phrases you should target with your SEO and unlocks valuable insights into what your customers are specifically looking for.
“Keyword research is when people use keywords to find and research actual search terms that people enter into search engines,” says HubSpot’s Rachel Sprung.
“The knowledge about these actual search terms can help inform content strategy, or marketing strategy overall.”
By building your content around specific keywords, it’s much more likely to start appearing in a potential customer’s search queries.
Haven’t done your keyword research? Start with Google Keyword Planner.
Google updates its crawling and indexing algorithms 500-600 times per year. Mostly they are minor adjustments, but every now and then the will release a major upgrade that affects the way your website’s content is scored.
Such a major upgrade happened in September 2016 with the release of Penguin 4.0. This updated algorithm is more to the previous ‘Panda’ algorithms, and rewards companies that create fresh and compelling website content. On the contrary, companies found manipulating links are punished severely.
Savvy marketers and business owners know that SEO and content marketing are like ice cream and sprinkles: they work perfectly together.
It should also be built around a solid content marketing strategy, designed to give people the relevant material they want. By combining great content with solid SEO techniques made shareable via social media, you will gradually build organic visitors to your site. With this approach, you’ll improve your SEO rankings — but even better, you will have created an authoritative, relevant website that people will want to visit.
Linking needs to form an essential part of your SEO Strategy. An internal link is one that points to another page on the same website. Effective link building points web visitors to other useful content on your site, and signals to Search Engines that your site is legitimate and offers useful and relevant content.
In the 2016 State of Link Building Survey, 90 percent of respondents reported they use content publication/promotion and guest posting as part of their link-building strategy. And 78 percent of survey participants believe it's the most effective SEO-boosting strategy.
“If you’ve created an exciting blog post or ebook, you’ll naturally want to work on making sure that you are driving as much traffic to it as possible,” says SEO expert Brian Whalley. “Part of that strategy should always include internal linking, and understanding how the other pages of your website can contribute value toward your new page.”