Forbes contributor Jayson DeMers published an article about the first 9 things that you need to learn about SEO. It serves as a good reminder, even for experienced marketers, so we want to review these tips and add some helpful information.
#1 The Big Picture
SEO can be condensed down to improving rankings by increasing your website’s authority and relevance. However, the particulars of how you reach that goal vary depending on the specifics of your site or brand. Relevance is measured by how appropriate your content is for specific search engine queries, while authority is measured by the trustworthiness Google considers your website to be.
Companies that stay focus on the big picture, and don’t try to “game” the system through gray hat or black hat SEO methods, experience long-term success with their internet marketing.
#2 Domain Authority and Page Authority
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that measures how well a website is likely to perform in search engine results.
Similarly, Page Authority (PA), also developed by Moz, predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine result pages (SERP).
To increase Domain Authority or Page Authority, improve the link profile by getting external links from high-authority pages, which in turn act as “votes of confidence.”
Since backlinks are one of the 3 most important aspects of ranking high in SEPRs, improving your Domain Authority and individual Page Authority will improve your visibility on search engines. Furthermore, and equally importantly, DA and PA are comparative metrics important for assessing the competitiveness of websites and developing effective strategies to overtake a competitor in the SERPs.
#3 On-Site SEO
On-site SEO can be done without any technical knowledge with a little training.
- Optimizing meta titles and descriptions.
- Optimizing for target keywords.
- Optimizing images, including alt tags and title tags.
- Internal linking.
- Social signals.
- Relevant content.
#4 Content Marketing
Content marketing is a strategic approach to creating and distributing online content that stimulates interest in a brand’s products or services, resulting in profitable customer actions.
Each page of content, therefore, must be search engine optimized effectively. Furthermore, content marketing is a component of SEO in general.
Content marketing and SEO are inseparable, therefore, which is valuable information for business leaders.
Unfortunately, there are SEO companies still selling services to improve search engine rankings without developing valuable content. The result of neglecting to include content marketing as part of an SEO strategy is the ultimate failure for the SEO company and its clients.
#5 Link Building
There are two major types of links: internal links and backlinks.
- Internal links are the links from one page on your website to another page on your website.
- Backlinks are links from another website to your website.
It is easy to get internal links since the links are from page-to-page on your website. As you create content, link to relative pages that help the reader learn more about the topic.
Backlinks are more difficult to earn because they are coming from other websites that you probably have no control over. So, you must do something that encourages the website to link to a page on your site. Creating high-quality, relative content that companies organically link to is the best strategy. However, a single strategy is insufficient to build a solid link profile in a reasonable time frame.
Related: 2018 SEO Strategy Should Focus on Topic Clusters and Backlink Domain Authority
#6 Measurement and Analysis
Without analytics, it’s impossible to know your site’s ranking and to optimize it for topics and keywords.
There are several good tools for analytics that include Google Analytics, Google’s Webmaster Tools, SEO PowerSuite, SEMrush, Moz’s Pro Tool, Ahrefs, and SMclicks.
Key SEO metrics you should consider are:
- Leads and sales.
- Organic traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rate.
- Keyword rankings.
- Backlinks and referring domains.
- Social signals, including reviews.
- Local visibility.
- Click-through rate (CTR).
- Pages per session.
- Average page load time.
- Top exit pages.
- Pages indexed in Google Search Console.
- 404 errors.
- Crawl errors.
- Empty or duplicate titles and descriptions.
- Image empty alt text.
#7 Keyword Research
Tactics such as keyword stuffing are no longer effective; however, keyword research and implementation are absolutely necessary to rank on search engines.
A slight correction with keywords can take a website home page with moderate domain authority from page two of Google to the first page in a matter of days.
Keyword research, therefore, is essential to ranking on search engines. The best tools for keyword research include:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Search Console
- Longtail PRO
- Google Trends
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer
#8 Technical SEO
Technical SEO is SEO work that is done apart from the content. It is more difficult to master; however, it’s made easier with the use of high-quality website software (e.g., Yoast for SEO ) and tools such as Google Webmaster Tools.
Technical SEO includes:
- Website architecture.
- Mobile optimization.
- Structured data.
- Page redirects.
- Duplicate content.
- Crawl errors.
- 404 errors.
- Page speed.
#9 Troubleshooting, Analyzing, and Adjusting Your Strategy
SEO is not a one-and-done activity. It takes constant work to become competitive in search rankings and to stay competitive.
As a result, troubleshooting problems, analyzing performance, and adjusting your SEO strategy is an ongoing process that never stops. In part, this is because SEO is always changing, since search engine algorithms are constantly changing.
It is necessary, therefore, to use SEO tools to regularly analyze key metrics and identify whether a website is meeting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Every business leader using internet marketing in any form should understand the basics of SEO. If not, the business is prone to be taken advantage of by ill-qualified or fraudulent SEO companies.
To learn where your website stands regarding SEO and the overall effectiveness of your company’s digital marketing, request a free analysis: Free Website and Marketing Analysis.
Recommended: The First 9 Things You Should Learn In SEO
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We specialize in internet marketing, including SEO, social media marketing, website design, content marketing, video marketing, email marketing, SMS marketing, mobile web marketing, online reputation management, CRM integration, and more. We also provide consulting services, including conversion analytics.
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