Today, the benefits of digital marketing are no surprise to anyone. Marketers are giving a shot to pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, Google Ads, and whatnot. Although these strategies give brands a heads up against the competition, nothing beats search engine optimization (SEO). In this data-driven world, people don’t stumble on websites themselves; instead, search engines influence traffic and lead prospects. It ranks websites, increases targeted traffic and drives more sales.
But do you know how to create an effective SEO strategy? Many marketers limit SEO to keywords and content. Google, the global search engine market leader, regularly makes changes to algorithms to improve user experience. Thus, brands have to keep upgrading their strategy to land on the search engine results page (SERP).
In addition to algorithms, hundreds of variables work together to determine the webpage’s final placement. Undoubtedly, apprehending all those factors is next to impossible, so why not stick to the basics? Here the six most critical pillars of a successful SEO strategy.
1. KEYWORD RESEARCH
The only thing consistent in SEO is keyword research. It is the process of finding search terms – words and phrases that people use to search for products and services. It uncovers common queries and questions people want to ask. Inbound marketers use the same words and phrases on the brand’s website to improve search visibility. However, finding relevant keywords is only one keyword research element; you have to assess difficulty, popularity, and search volume.
Firstly, you have to list all the essential topics and align them with your business niche. Start filling in those topics with keywords and use a keyword explorer to analyze them. An in-depth analysis will help you determine whether you should enter into the competition for that keyword or not. After all, there is no point in aiming for a keyword if its probability of ranking is impossible. Keyword research will unfold less competitive keywords, offering higher ranking and visibility chances.
2. TECHNICAL SEO
Have you heard about technical SEO? Even though it seems a little daunting to marketers, it holds power to streamline your entire SEO marketing campaign. It ensures search engines can read your content and explore your webpage as quickly as possible. Here are four areas that technical SEO covers.
Crawling: It ensures Google spiders can crawl to your webpage readily. If any broken links are causing blocking for the spiders, the technical SEO tools will notify you immediately.
Index: Marketers have to ensure the webpage is readable by the search engine. Eliminate all empty pages and update the navigation tools to let Google index faster.
III. Mobile-Friendliness: With increasing smartphone users, you have to ensure the webpage is mobile-friendly. Technical SEO examines all ‘zoom in and out’ problems to streamline the user experience.
Hierarchy: It defines the structure of your website content. Is the content divided into headings? Can users understand it?
Whether you have a website with two pages or a million pages – technical SEO reshapes your website, building a fast and mobile-optimized site.
3. COMPELLING CONTENT
In the SEO world, content marketing is inevitable. Google values high-quality content that answers people’s queries while delivering meaningful information. Therefore, marketers have to create interactive blogs, articles, and guest posts to engage with audiences. Look out for trending and hot topics within your niche, and feel to give your opinion. For instance, if you are in the food industry, making organic and healthy products, talk about keto or other diet plans.
In addition to informational content, entertain online users with visual media, infographics, and videos. People love to engage with interactive content and often share it with their friend circle. Thus, try different content formats – GIFs, quizzes, contests, images, or anything your target audience prefers. However, never publish duplicate or plagiarized content as Google penalizes webpage while suspending your account.
Have you heard of schema markups? Usually, marketers fail to understand the technicalities behind the schema markups. And as a result, they exclude them from the SEO strategy. Surprisingly, schema markups are a powerful way to optimize the website for SERPs. It is a code you put on your website to help the search engine offer more informative search results to users. Likewise, it lets Google spiders index your page readily, making it appear on SERP’s top results.
You can use data markup for articles, book reviews, products, and local businesses. Structured data describe business operations to improve understandability for the search engine. In turn, Google might create rich snippets using your data, enhancing visibility, and increasing traffic to your webpage. Otherwise, you can opt for simple schema since there are many languages to code websites.
5. SSL CERTIFICATE
With the increasing threat of cyberattacks, Google is emphasizing online security. It encourages websites to install a site-wide secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate to protect users from data breaches. In addition to increasing user experience, it adds to the trustworthiness of your website. After all, now, Google considers SSL certificate as a primary factor for analyzing page quality.
Moreover, developers have to ensure the website runs on an HTTPS connection because it provides a secure network. The encrypted servers ensure no one can collect sensitive information – personal details, debit and credit card information, passwords, etc. Besides this, Google gives a ranking boost to every site running on a secure HTTPS connection.
6. SEO AUDIT
From loading speed, voice optimization to keywords, the SEO world is diverse. Therefore, every marketer has to conduct an SEO audit to analyze the webpage’s strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few things you can examine during the audit.
- If your website has an attractive design, assess user experience, content readability, and how much time it takes for the website to load.
- Check the backlinks coming to your site and eliminate all spammy and paid links. If there are any broken links, fix them immediately. Similarly, monitor whether your backlinks are coming from authority and trustworthy sites or not.
III. In case you get any penalties from Google, find the reasons and fix those glitches.
- Assess target keywords and analyze their SEO performance.
Once you identify flaws in your SEO strategy, it will help you uncover opportunities to improve performance, traffic, and conversions.
Usually, the complexities of SEO scare marketers away. Instead of digging deep into the advanced tactics, why not streamline SEO strategy with the basics? Having a keen understanding of keyword research, content marketing, technical SEO, and schema markups can safeguard your position in the top results. Similarly, performing an SEO audit will help in staying one step ahead in the market. Believe it or not, but these essential pillars of SEO can get your website on the top of the SERP.
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