06 Nov Getting Started with SEO on Your Website
Search engines are the primary method through which internet users across the world access websites. Google alone sees billions of searches every day. It may seem nearly impossible to help your website rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs) against your competitors. However, with a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you can climb the ranks for your target audience. This isn’t to say that SEO is easy or magic, but SEO techniques can bring you the high-performing results you want to see for your website.
To rank high on search engines and boost web traffic, you need to have a firm grip on effective and ethical SEO practices. There are two ways of achieving your SEO objectives — completely on your own or with the assistance of an SEO specialist. Whether you recruit expert assistance or do it yourself, it is important to understand the basics of SEO to help improve your website traffic. SEO is a constant process, which means your strategies will need to be ongoing and evolve over time with the latest digital trends in order to maintain high engagement on your website to increase leads and conversions.
The three most important steps to getting started are understanding your customers’ needs, keyword researching, and improving your website content.
Understanding Your Customer’s Needs
Gaining a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs and interests is the foundation to building effective SEO strategies to target your audience. If you’re optimizing your website for the wrong audience or in the incorrect way for the right audience, all of your hard work will have been for nothing. For results-driven SEO methods, it’s important to tailor your website to the topics, keywords, and type of content your audience wants to see or is using to search for your online content.
There are a variety of ways you can fine-tune understanding your customers’ needs and interests. Social media is an excellent way to try social listening by seeing what topics your target audience are posting about or are following. Google Analytics also provides many tools to help break down and analyze your audience’s online activity.
Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is the technical backbone of SEO. It must come before you start developing any type of content for your website. However, you can’t just include keywords that you think are relevant — they need to be words (more to the point, long-tail keywords, which are actually phrases) that people searching for your product or service actually enter in search engines. Also, do not practice keyword stuffing.This became prevalent during the early days of SEO, when improving a site’s ranking was as simple as repeating your target keywords enough times to convince the search engines of yesteryear that your page was relevant to the search terms. Nowadays, if you use such tactics, you’ll often find that your page has terrible rankings or has even been filtered out as spam.
Follow these strategies when starting your own keyword research:
- Target low-volume, high-intent keywords. — You don’t need to target the most popular keywords in order to rank high in search results. What you really need are the right keywords for your website’s specific audience. These can be found through long-tail keywords that may have a low volume, but high intent. Long-tail keywords can easily be found by simply typing your search terms into Google and seeing which longer phrases appear as suggested search terms relevant to your topic.
- Target high-traffic, low-difficulty keywords. — High-traffic, low-difficulty keywords may seem like the opposite of low-volume, high-intent keywords, but this isn’t necessarily the case. The keyword golden ratio (or KGR) can be found by identifying a keyword or phrase that contains very popular keywords, yet with a combination that doesn’t produce as many search results as they do on their own. This way, it is easier to rank for the more popular keywords customers are using, while also ensuring that your website can target a more narrow audience with greater results.
- Include question keywords. — Questions as SEO keyword phrases can drastically help improve your web traffic. This is where understanding your audience will be especially helpful. Once you know the specific questions your target customers are asking, you can use those questions and your answers to rank high for them on Google — especially as featured snippets that come before other search results.
Optimize Copy on Your Website
The final core step to getting started with SEO on your website is to write engaging content based on your audience and keyword research methods. As mentioned earlier, keyword stuffing and duplicating the same content on multiple pages are just two of many black hat SEO practices that should be avoided at all costs — both for your website’s search engine ranking and for your audience engagement.
Instead, you should offer useful, interesting, and captivating content that users can enjoy, which will lead to increased conversion rates and stronger brand loyalty. Include (but don’t overuse) the best keywords based on your research into your website text copy as you develop your blog, product pages, FAQ sections, “about” pages, and more. Blogs in particular are a great way to keep your website current with fresh content based on SEO keywords that change with the seasons, trends, and audience needs.
The more frequently and with greater duration users engage with your web content, the more likely it is that your SERP ranking will increase! This is because Google is able to track how long users stay on your website and which pages they engage with the most. High engagement shows Google that your website is helpful for users and that it is a credible source. SEO may involve adapting techniques to win over search engines, but it’s really more about optimizing your website for people. Search engines are just a tool, whereas people are your actual customers who will return time and again if you provide the content they want with the help of smart SEO strategies.
Do More with a Dedicated SEO Expert
All of these strategies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO best practices. Dedicated, experienced SEO experts can help make sure nothing falls through the cracks of your digital and search engine marketing strategies. Virtual Stacks Systems UK provides SEO services that follow the most up-to-date SEO practices while also offering engaging content development services for all types of businesses. Contact us to discuss your SEO and marketing needs!