Knowing how SEO works in 2017 is a surefire way to win customers in the highly-competitive virtual landscape.
There are over 1 billion active websites as of reading. Just like me, you are probably thinking that that’s an overwhelming amount. It’s extra hard to stand out in the sea of internet, filled with different interestingly-looking websites.
Nevertheless, in order to promote your product and generate revenues, it’s still crucial to reach out and find your way to your target consumers. But how are you going to do that? Luckily, you’re in the right place.
In order to get the inside scoop on what the world of SEO looks like in 2017, and how small business owners can take advantage, we turned to our resident Build Live Give community member and SEO expert Matt Dillon of Boss Projects.
What is SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making sure that your website lands on the first few lines of a search engine when a customer searches a query. This website promotion tactic is the obsession of online businesses because it’s the key to visibility in the world wide web.
Importance of SEO
Optimizing your website for maximum website presence is very important since we know that visibility is the key to customers, and in turn more revenue. When you search “best macaroni recipe” on google, the first link that you see is the most optimized in terms user visibility. Without SEO, you won’t be able to engage your customers, and suffer eventually.
When your business is solely present in the virtual space, it’s sometimes confusing to identify which aspects of the business you need to prioritize. Nevertheless, amidst all the confusion, you have to keep in mind that optimizing visibility in the web is one of the most important focus areas that you should invest on.
So with that it mind, how do we ensure that we land the first page of the search engine?
Types of SEO
In order to do SEO, we must understand how it works. In boosting website visibility in the world wide web, we have to know the 2 components of website visibility optimization. You must ensure both are at the max performance to increase clicks to your website.
ON PAGE SEO
On page SEO is the process by which you optimize your website visibility by controlling the internal aspects of your website. Your page has many components that directly influence its visibility in the web.
Content is the main thing that your website is composed of. It’s all the articles, images, videos, that a user sees upon visiting your website.
It’s a struggle for most businesses to publish good content on a regular basis. But note, however, that content is not about creating. It’s about documentation of what you do everyday in your business in various forms and differentiating yourself from your competitors.
You must not just post any content that is on your mind and consider it as content. You have to customize it according to what your consumers look for, and make sure that you are using the right channels to bring it out there.
Different search engines use different algorithms to put websites in their first page. There are several aspects of content that influence how visible your website will be, but in general, it depends on the quality of the content, and if it contains keywords that are similar or synonymous to the keywords searched by the user.
You also have to keep engaging users by constantly posting fresh content to keep users visiting your webpage.
In order to increase content and ensure higher SEO, you can use several tools such as google docs voice typing feature, where you can already type content as you speak them out.
Voice recording is the best way to start so that the content sounds smooth and casual–entertaining and very easy to read that keeps them coming back.
The science behind your website also matters when the search engine determines who lands on the first page. HTML is the backbone of your website. It’s the artistic arrangement and usage of programming language that makes your website look like how it does.
In order to increase your rankings, your title must be clear and directly translates to what the keywords searched by the user imply.
You also need to optimize your sub-headings and make sure that they are informative, however short they may be.
Finally, your content should also be sub-divided into several sections, all of which must be coherent with a proper structure so that user can sift through your content smoothly.
Speaking about going through content efficiently, you also have to ensure that the experience of the user while reading through your content is good.
You don’t want to increase your bounce rate- the rate at which users stay in your website for only a few seconds, versus users who stay in your website for a long time. You want to keep the users engaged and be able to stay in the website for a good amount of time.
A good way of optimizing user experience is to make your website mobile friendly. Did you know that 90% of active Facebook users browse through their mobile phones? Looking at this statistic, it’s very important that users can see your content properly through a smartphone interface.
You must also ensure that the loading speed of your website is fast by decreasing the heavy graphics and content that need more loading time.
Finally, you need to keep your website secure and safe from all malwares.
Content is not about creating. It's about documentation of what you do everyday in your business in various forms and differentiating yourself from your competitors. Click To Tweet
On the other hand, off-page SEO is the process by which you optimize online visibility by influencing aspects outside of your website. There are several measures of your off-site SEO score.
Website authority is the trait of being the primary source when it comes to gaining knowledge from a particular subject matter. It’s that one website that you always go to when you search a particular topic.
In order to increase authority, there are two aspects that you have to note of–domain authority and page authority.
Domain authority is about having a strong domain name, and lot of external links that reference your website for the knowledge of a particular subject matter.
For example, Vetstreet has the authority when it comes to the subject matter of dogs, since it appears at the highest post when we search for “dogs” on google.
Checking the authority of your website is easily determined through website authority checking websites.
On the other hand, page authority is the ranking of a website regardless of subject matter. To boost page authority, make sure that your content is engaging, and that many websites reference your page and consider it as an “authority” of information in this regard.
Keeping these 2 optimized will ensure that search engines will consider your webpage as an authority in your field of domain.
Lastly, the social aspect of your website also matters when it comes to increasing website visibility.
The number of shares of your website increases its social aspect. In this case, the search engine understands that the the content in your website is engaging.
Users think your page is worthy of their time, to the point that they share it to other users as well. When this happens, the website gets bumped up to the top of the search results.
Another aspect that the engines look at is the quality of shares of your website. There are what we call influential users that are on the web. In twitter, these are the ones which have a check mark beside their twitter handle. If more influencers share your website, it gains a higher point in SEO and boosts its visibility.
SEO is a game of ranks in the online business environment. The higher your rank is, the more customers will be aware of your services.
Since many people try to optimize their online visibility, many incorrect techniques have come up that people continuously employ, thinking that it will help in their SEO ranking.
Before you start optimizing your website, let’s bust the myths that people mistakenly practice in SEO to help you avoid doing these things:
- SEO for one word/phrase
This is a big mistake when it comes to optimizing your web visibility: using a single keyword, and repeating it many times in your content.
First of all, not all users will search that keyword to find information on the subject matter: everyone has their own vocabulary and not everyone that are interested in the subject matter might be aware of the keyword.
Second, you are risking the chance that your website might be considered as spam, and when this happens, your SEO ranking will crash down and it’s difficult to recover.
Make sure to create content that talks about the keyword, but be able to prepare varying phrases or words that still discuss the same thing.
- SEO is a once-off job
SEO is not just a one-time job where, when you’re done, you just drop everything and leave it working continuously.
Everyday, many websites, users, etc. are added in the virtual space. Tastes and preferences vary every single moment. You must be able to keep engaging users by constantly posting content that is relevant and informative to your them.
- SEO is an IT job
SEO is not just IT job because optimizing your website is very easy and can be understood by anyone, just like how you are reading this SEO guide now.
You don’t need technical knowledge to be able to win the audience attention; you just have to know your audience well and keep them engaged by showing them what they want to see.
Make sure to create content that talks about the keyword, but be able to prepare varying phrases or words that still discuss the same thing. Click To Tweet
- SEO is different to marketing
SEO is basically online marketing on its own. Almost all online experiences start with a search on the search engine.
Being on the top of the search results when a user tries to search for a given keyword will ensure that you are part of several users’ online experience–what most online businesses solely want.
- SEO is expensive
SEO is free and can be done by anyone, anytime. You just have to inform yourself on how it works by reading relevant websites and apply these techniques on your own. In no time, you can easily top off the search results when you are able to perform well in all SEO metrics.
These kinds of mentality are dragging to the growth of your customer engagement capability as a business. If your company has been plagued by these wrong practices, it’s a good idea to perform small, daily practices that in the long run will fast track your business growth.
How to ensure your company practices SEO well
As a business owner, we want to get everything perfect in running our business. Tools that improve our productivity are sure ways to achieve a smooth-running business. The most crucial part of leading a business is to ensure that your company does well In the aspect of engaging customers.
Almost all businesses present in the virtual space practice some sort of SEO in their own ways. Given this, it’s difficult to win the attention of users if you don’t engage in optimizing your web visibility.
However, in order to win the SEO competition, you must be able to incorporate SEO to your company, not through a quick SEO seminar, but by incorporating the website optimization in your company’s process.
- Discovery meeting – lets you understand your product, your market, and how you will use the virtual space to make sure that your market knows and prefers your product. When it comes to optimizing your website, this is the point where you analyze your user behavior so you understand how the user will reach your website.
- Keyword workshop – Given the subject matter of your company or product, which keywords will be synonymous to it? This is where you will flesh out keyword ideas.
- Keywords analysis – From the keywords you came up with, which ones are the best to use? How many times should you repeat it throughout the website’s body? This is where you will analyze the keywords’ effectivity.
- Website audit – Looking at your website, what score will you give it in terms of online visibility? Knowing the metrics for SEO, look at where your website can improve on.
- Competitor analysis – Check your direct competitors in the business and see if they are higher/lower than you in the search engine. Visit the website of those higher-ranking websites and see which part of their pages they are performing well.
- SEO plan – Create an SEO plan on how you can improve your website in connection with the SEO metrics.
- Engagement – Execute the plans that you included in the previous step. Do you want to continuously engage customers via blog postings? Do you plan on having a video to keep users to stay in your website? These tactics are very important to ensure that your SEO ranking is high.
- Reporting – After a considerable amount of time, try to observe what impact your tactics have done on your website performance. List down the aspects you improved and also those that still need more improvement.
- Review & refine – Having a good understanding of the implications of your execution, come up with ways to further improve those weak parts of your SEO executions.
In order to win the SEO competition, you must be able to incorporate SEO in your company's process. Click To Tweet
To connect with Matt Dillon check out his website