A Guide to Understanding SEO
You’re no search engine optimisation expert, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn all you can about SEO. In fact, it’s your prerogative as a business owner.
Without this knowledge, you can end up engaging a strategy that goes against Google’s best practices. And we all know what happens at this point – de-ranking and penalization.Two things you definitely don’t want to happen to your site.
To help ensure this doesn’t happen to you, we put together a guide that will help you become more of a search engine optimisation expert.
Let’s jump right in.
Get Acquainted with Some SEO Notables
At the beginning of your journey to learning everything SEO, you’ll feel a bit overwhelmed. There’s a large learning curve, but nothing any business owner can’t handle with a little perseverance.
But what will definitely help make things a breeze is to follow two or more SEO “gurus.” This will help ensure you’re getting the latest and greatest tips in the industry.
It’ll also give you a network to bounce ideas and questions off of. Some SEO communities are very warm and welcoming and willing to answer any and all of your questions. It’ll be helpful when you run into confusing jargon and concepts.
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites are a great place to find and connect with a search engine optimisation expert or two.
Now, let’s get into some of the leading tips you may hear from these experts.
Begin Learning Some HTML
It’d be great if you could learn a programming language like Java and MySQL, but there’s really no need to. At least, not if you’re just focusing on becoming a search engine optimisation expert.
HTML is the language you’ll use in most cases to optimise your site. For instance, you’ll need to have keywords inside of your meta tags, descriptions, title, subheadings, and images. WordPress makes the process easier, so if you’re not familiar with HTML, you can still get the job done.
Plus, it’s a great way to learn the different HTML tags until you can memorize them.
Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Google Algorithm Changes
Now, this is one way you can keep yourself out of trouble. Besides following a search engine optimisation expert, you can do your own legwork to see what changes are being made to Google’s algorithms.
You can easily find this on the leading optimisation blogs, like SEMRush or Moz. Don’t expect to get much out of Google themselves because they like to keep these changes hush-hush. However, the experts that follow these changes closely will be able to analyze and identify them based on what happens to their own sites.
This is what happened when the Google Panda and Penguin updates rolled out. The low-quality, keyword-stuffed content got hit the most. You simply look at what’s helping or hurting your site, then make the necessary changes to appease Google and its search engine bots.
Become a Niche Search Engine Optimisation Expert
While knowing any and everything about SEO is great, most business owners don’t have the time or dedication to learn it all. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t become a niche search engine optimisation expert.
In this case, you’re well-versed in a key area of optimisation, such as inbound marketing, content marketing, or technical SEO.
Maybe you excel in choosing the best keywords and crafting content that draws the attention of your audience. This is just as important – if not more important – than having a little bit of knowledge about every SEO niche.
Whatever you’re not good at, you can outsource to an expert that is. The way to get good at a niche is to practice at it. Split test your campaigns to see if you can figure out which keywords and ad copy generate the best results.
Becoming acquainted with this knowledge doesn’t mean you have to always do it yourself. You can still hire an SEO professional to help you. This way, you have meaningful conversations with the expert on your campaign.
This is a problem many business owners have – not understanding what their digital marketing team is talking about.
Track Everything with Google Analytics
Having the right tools to monitor your SEO campaigns is key to understanding what’s working and what’s not. Google Analytics can track every aspect of your digital marketing campaigns.
This includes your ads, landing pages, website, blog posts, social media posts and online video. Google Analytics tracks all sorts of metrics, such as traffic, follows, comments, clicks, purchases, subscriptions and so on.
It’s important to tag all of your campaigns for Google Analytics so it can track them. For instance, your email campaign, PPC ads, social media posts, blog content and so on.
Just don’t get caught up in the vanity metrics. Any search engine optimisation expert will tell you that these are worthless. It really doesn’t matter how much traffic and engagement you get.
It’s all about the conversions – sales, subscriptions, and downloads. These are the goals you should set for your Google Analytics campaigns so you can determine if all your hard work is actually paying off. Otherwise, you’re just drawing in boatloads of traffic from the wrong audience.
Perform Regular SEO Audits
As you already know, Google algorithms are always changing. But even when you know what trends are working, it doesn’t mean your strategy is guaranteed to work.
So every so often, it’s a good idea to perform an SEO audit on your website. This includes onsite, offsite and technical SEO. All aspects need analyzing to determine if your site is performing optimally.
You can get a checklist to do the audit yourself or you can hire a search engine optimisation expert to do it for you.
Optimise Your Content for Your Audience
When you get into the world of SEO, you run the risk of becoming too robotic and analytical. It’s very important that your approach maintains a human touch. Otherwise, you will potentially turn off your intended audience.
With that in mind, it’s critical to ensure all of your content – whether on your website, blog or social media accounts – are crafted with your audience in mind. It’s very easy to get caught up in the numbers and algorithms and forget you’re writing for actual people, not just search engines.
Marketers and businesses that put Google bots before their audience will lose every time. The key to your success is appeasing your target customer. If they don’t like your content, then it will eventually hurt your ranking.
One way to learn more about the needs and desires of your audience is to connect with them. What better place to do that than on social media? Here, you can open up a two-way dialogue with your potential customers.
See what conversations they’re having and try to drive some conversations to learn more about their pain points. Create topics around the information you gather.
Don’t Forget About External Links
Your link profile is a key factor in helping to boost your SEO ranking. You’ll need to carefully build up your backlinks, so that they help, not destroy your SEO strategy.
In your website and blog content, you want to try to link to one to three external links that are directly related to the topic and/or industry.
The key is to include links that your audience will find helpful without drawing them to competitor sites. As always, it’s about your audience just as much as it is about search engine robots.
Then to help get more quality sites linking back to your site, you’ll need to do some outreach. Hopefully, you’ve connected with one or more businesses in your industry that aren’t competitors.
Building strong relationships with them will make it so you can reciprocate favors. For instance, writing a guest blog post for their site that links back to your own website. Or you can have them guest write for your site to help draw in some of their traffic.
Whatever you do, avoid getting backlinks from low-quality websites. If you have too many of these, it can really hurt your ranking in the search engines.
The key to making your content link-worthy is to ensure it’s highly-relevant and packed with great information.
Don’t Overlook Your Online Reputation
The power of online branding is very intense in this age of information. We’re all connected to the world wide web, which means you’re brand reputation is on the line. Before most consumers will buy from a brand, they will look them up on Google.
If the reviews that show up aren’t flattering, then it can really hurt your chances of converting prospects. The key is to focus on pleasing your customers the best way you know how then soliciting them to leave reviews for your business.
Then when you see poor reviews online, you can save face by reaching out to the disgruntled customer to see if you can fix the problem. In doing so, it shows that your brand cares and goes over and beyond to satisfy each customer.
Find a Reputable Search Engine Optimisation Expert
Sometimes, you need a little expert help with your digital marketing strategies. In this case, you should enlist the services of an agency with a proven background and experience in the industry.
At The Web Ally, we are proving our skills every day. We work together with businesses across all industries with enhancing their online presence.
Whether you’re looking to grow your traffic, boost your sales or engage with more users, we can help. Our services consist of content marketing, PPC marketing, SEO, mobile marketing, website design and more.
Contact us today to see how we can get started making your digital marketing strategies a success.