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Do I Need Search Engine Optimization For My Website?
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is a marketing practice that aims to grow your online visibility through organic or non-paid search engine results. I know this seems a great definition to start-ups who may have limited or no funds for online marketing.
SEO covers a large scope including both the creative and technical aspects required to boost a website’s ranking, improve one’s brand, and drive traffic to the website. In order to achieve all of these, your SEO techniques and efforts must comply with the rules of giant search engines like Google. You have to make sure that your website uses proper structure to be crawled successfully by search engines. From the keywords you use on your website to the backlinks you get, all these factors among others play a crucial part in ensuring your SEO success. By applying proper SEO techniques, the website is able to use a language that is understood by search engines.
On the other hand, SEO should not only be about making your website search engine-friendly. You must also work on making your site better for your target audience.
Does my website really need SEO?
Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the 3 major search engines that drive most of the traffic to a particular website regardless of its purpose. Although social media have been recently playing considerable role in generating visits to a website, search engines still remain as the primary sources of it. Obviously, you need traffic to your website to gain profits and SEO does it for you, ensuring that you only get visits from people who are looking for or needing your offer.
Search queries or the keywords that people type on search engines carry immense value. What SEO does for your website is bring you on first page of search engine results. Now, if you perform a quick search using a keyword that is related to your offer and find your website on the latter pages, do you think people will bother to go through every page? You got it! They definitely won’t…
Truth is people have this mindset that those websites that appear on top of search engine’s first page are the most credible. I mean we all like to do business with websites we can trust. You’re getting the point, right? By not employing and investing on proper SEO techniques, you put all your efforts to waste and surrender all your potential revenues to your competitors. If this does not convince you about SEO’s huge role in your business’ success, I don’t know what will…
Getting Started with SEO
SEO has 2 key components – (1) on-page, and (2) off-page. This quick walk through will help you create your own SEO strategies that will surely beat the competition.
In layman’s term, on-page SEO refers to the things you can do within your website so that it becomes well-optimized for the search engines.
There are some on-page factors that influence higher search engine rankings. These are:
Content is king. You probably have heard about it. The content of the page is what makes it worthy of a top position on search engine results. Content is what people see and read. It talks to your audience. It speaks directly to search engines. Hence, you must provide good content at all times. However, the question is: “What makes a good content”. In an SEO expert’s point of view, a good content is (1) able to supply demand, and (2) linkable.
Content that supplies demand gives its target audience the information they need. For example, if your niche is about Alkaline Water Machine, then you must provide relevant information about alkaline water – its health benefits, its difference from purified water and tap water, and why people should buy an alkaline water machine. Your content can be in the form of an infographics showing the difference between alkaline water and purified water, a tutorial video about how the alkaline water machine works, a comprehensive write-up about the health benefits of drinking alkaline water, and so on…
These are also known as title elements, and are necessary for social sharing and SEO. The title tag must contain a brief and accurate definition of what a webpage is about. Note that Google only displays the first 50-60 characters (not words) so it’s better to keep your titles under 55 characters. Additionally, the optimal format should be: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name.
A good URL shows the hierarchy of information found on a specific webpage.
More Tips for On-Page SEO
- Optimized description
- User sitemaps and breadcrumbs
- Formatted text (H1, H2…)
- Optimized images
- Optimized internal links
- External links included
- All pages verified under Google Authorship
- All pages must be user-friendly
- All pages must load fast
- Fresh and high-quality content
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, refers to the things you can do outside of your webpage/s. Just like on-page SEO, off-page SEO is equally important. Search engines have been combining on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and other quality factors in determining which webpage goes up the search results.
Moreover, off-page SEO gives the search engines an overview of how other websites and web users view a particular webpage. Websites that have useful and quality content tend to have more social media mentions, backlinks from other websites, and are often bookmarked and shared within the online community.
There are several components of off-page SEO, which include (1) social media, (2) social bookmarking, and (3) link building.
To make the most out of the various social media platforms, you have to properly configure your social media pages and profiles. Likewise, the more social media mentions your website has, the more back links you have. These both help boost your search engine rankings.
Social bookmarking means promoting your content through social media platforms like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Scoop.it, and Delicious among other. Although these don’t have as much popularity as it used before, still, these are good ways to gain website traffic.
This is the most popular off-page SEO technique. By building as much external links as you can, you are able to outwin your competitors and rank higher on search engine results.
There are a number of ways to increase link count according to webmasters, which include: (1) blog directories such as YellowPages, (2) comment links where you can use your keyword as your username instead of your real name, (3) forum signatures where you can include your links, (4) shared content directories like HubPages, (5) article directories, (6) guest blogging, and (7) link exchange schemes.
The Benefits of Off-Page SEO
Website owners get abundant benefits from off-page SEO in terms of increased rankings, more exposure, and increased page rank.
SEO plays a major role in your business’ success. However, with a lot of competition going on, you have to do more than just backlinking. By carefully digesting all the information here, you are giving yourself the advantage of knowing ways to boost your search engine ranking.
Remember that on-page SEO and off-page SEO are equally valuable, so don’t focus on just either of it. With ethical SEO practices, persistence, and consistent high-quality and fresh content, everything will eventually fall into place. For now, you just have to review the content of your webpage and evaluate whether it will be loved by major search engines or not.
If your webpage already has fresh and high-quality content, it’s time you employ the on-page and off-page SEO strategies above to boost your rankings and maximize your earning potential. If you find your content lacking the qualities of a good content, it’s time to tweak it a bit or hire the services of a professional writer to help you with your content before you push through with using proper optimization.
SEO might initially take time yet it is well-worth the rewards you can reap afterwards.