Grow Your Business by Mastering These 6 SEO Basics

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on August 03#best-practices

When you want to increase the visibility of your business and generate more sales, you need to go beyond designing and launching a website or an e-commerce store. You also need to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO is a process used to bump up the ranking of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher a site ranks on Google, Bing and other search engines, the more visible the website becomes. This results in a higher chance of users clicking on the site. These clicks translate to organic traffic, which could create more leads and conversions for your business.

When implementing SEO for your business, you have the option to do this on your own or hire an agency and pay the relevant SEO costs. If you’re looking to take the DIY approach, you need to be aware of the current best practices.

6 SEO Basic Strategies to Implement 

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

1. Figure Out Your Target Audience

This is helpful, regardless if you are an expert on SEO or not. As an entrepreneur, you need to know who would buy your products or sign up for your services, along with what they’re searching for, to determine your target market. 

You could start by using an analytics platform, such as Google Analytics, to look at how people are currently finding your content.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

2. Find the Search Terms that Customers are Looking for

Another SEO best practice you should keep in mind is to perform keyword research. Figure out what your ideal customer is searching for. Then, try to answer their question or respond to their concern better than anyone else. By doing this, the search engines will recognize your website as something that should show up on the first page of the search results.

If you’re a time-strapped business owner, use online tools to make keyword research easier and faster. A few free and paid platforms available are the Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, SEMrush and Moz Keyword Explorer. 

If you’re not sure where to begin, analyze the suggestions you obtain from Google’s autocomplete feature. When you type keywords in the search bar, you’ll find suggestions generated for you. They represent the most searched phrases. Feel free to use this information as a jumping-off point for content ideas. 

3. Perform On-Page Optimization

On-page SEO refers to processes that you implement within your business website to attract the attention of Google, Bing and other major search engines. 

A few of the on-page optimization techniques you can do to improve your website the following:

Clean Up the Meta Tags 

Content management systems, such as WordPress and Joomla, allow you to enter meta tags. These tags serve as the descriptions of your website content. Search crawlers look at these tags to make sure that the content on the page matches the description of your site. By using relevant descriptions and keywords in your meta tags, you make sure that search crawlers know what your web page is all about.

Use Proper Header Tags 

You need to optimize the headers on your post to include relevant search terms. What’s more, these headers need to be clear and digestible to your readers. 

Header optimization is one of the simplest formulas for SEO success, so don’t overlook it.

Optimize Headlines and Page Titles 

The headline of your web pages is a major factor in your click-through rate (CTR), which is an important part of how search engines determine their rankings. The CTR is the percentage of users who view your headline and click on it. If your headline or page title is too long, the search engine will truncate the sentence by adding an ellipse at the end of the character limit. So keep your titles short, sweet and to the point.

4. Do Off-Page Optimization

Women in team meeting

Equally important to on-page SEO is off-page optimization. This process involves activities that you do away from your business website to raise the rankings in the SERPs. 

One primary example of an off-page SEO action is building backlinks from reliable sources. Earning quality links to your site from other websites shows that your content is both trustworthy and relevant. Search engines see backlinks as a strong indication that the content you’re offering is valuable to readers.

Recently, search engines have prioritized sites that have a degree of credibility for a particular topic. This is why SEO gurus talk about a website’s E-A-T, also known as Expertise, Authority and Trust. Google and other search engines reward quality backlinks that come from authoritative and well-known sources.

If you have great content on your website, you may find backlinks showing up on your site without you doing anything. Many businesses that take SEO seriously, however, work to obtain other quality websites to link to them. This typically entails getting in touch with content creators, bloggers, social media influencers and webmasters and asking them for links. 

Apart from backlinks, you can do other off-page optimization tasks, such as guest blogging and content submission to article directories.

5. Implement Technical SEO Strategies

After performing on-page and off-page work, do technical SEO for your business website.

Technical SEO helps search engines read your site. By taking time to tweak the technical aspects of your website, you can improve both user experience and search rankings. 

Prioritize the following SEO strategies:

Secure Your Website 

Make sure you secure your site from cyberattacks. One way to do this is to obtain an SSL certificate. This gives your domain the higher-priority “HTTPS” prefix instead of just the traditional “HTTP.” By making your site secure, you keep it protected from cybercriminals and help increase its site rankings. This is because Google is giving a ranking boost to secure HTTPS/SSL sites. 

Use Redirects

Users, along with search engines, don’t like 404 errors popping up throughout a website. If you’re going to moving around content in your business website, use a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new or updated one. 

Add Internal Links

Internal links are vital, as they can help search engines understand and rank your business website better. By providing Google with internal links together with descriptive anchor text, you can indicate to the search engine which pages of your website are important, as well as what they’re about. Internal links may also improve engagement and user experience.

If you’re going to add internal links, make sure to keep the number of links per page reasonable. An excessive number of links can look like spam to search engines, which can negatively affect your page’s authority. 

Work on Your Site Speed

The speed of your business website matters a lot. Users will abandon your site and go somewhere else if it takes more than three seconds to load

So take steps to increase your website’s page loading speed. You can do this by optimizing the images on all your pages, leveraging browser caching, minimizing your redirects and enabling compression.

6. Publish Quality Content

Man on laptop

Content is king — and still is up to this day. During the early days of SEO, many in the optimization business didn’t think about delivering quality content. This isn’t to say that no website published quality content. Many sites did, but they didn’t land on the first page of the SERPs. 

Then, the earth-shaking algorithm updates came and forever disrupted the rankings game. Google penalized websites that did keyword stuffing and posted garbage content to manipulate the system. What’s more, the search engine giant rewarded sites that had useful and engaging content. 

Fast forward to today, Google considers quality content as a ranking factor, and businesses would make sure to give their audience that kind of content. 

Here are a few suggestions to help you publish engaging and valuable content:

List Posts

These are articles written in list format. A couple of examples include “5 Ways to Grow Your Business” and “7 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching a Business.” 

Users like relevant, engaging, well-written and well-conceived lists. People will likely share them with others, which is always good for your SEO.

Authoritative Blog Posts 

If your website has a blog section, publish authoritative articles. These posts can position your brand as an authority within your niche. Well-written opinion pieces about developments within your industry along with relevant industry news qualify as quality content.

How-to Articles

Millions of users scour the web every day in search of solutions to their problems. How-to blog posts covering specific topics related to your niche or industry serve that need, which is something that Google will notice. If you’re going to make these articles, think about answering common problems or questions related to your products or services. 

Infographics

An article covering a particular topic is good, but an infographic covering the same subject can make a topic easier to digest. Infographics are more visually engaging, which means that people are more likely to share them with others. 

A Business Need to Invest in SEO

Search Engine Optimization may feel like something that you want to postpone doing. After all, you have sales to secure, employees to hire, customers to please and business decisions to make. 

The longer you wait, though, the further you may drop in search results. When you drop in search results, your visibility drops and consumers aren’t likely to think about your business. 

The beauty of SEO is that it doesn’t have to get complex. Start your optimization efforts with six basic strategies and invest further as you go along.

This article is a guest blog written by Itamar Gero. To contribute a guest post to Workast.com, please complete the expression of interest form here.

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