Some people find it challenging to gear organic traffic to their website because they consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) an afterthought. SEO sounds intimidating, but it can turn out to be quite an easy process if done the right way while ensuring whatever you do is as per the Search Engine’s recommendations for SEO.
One should bear in mind SEO is not a quick-rich scheme, and you cannot expect positive results overnight. It demands patience, determination, hard work, and most important of all, the right skill set.
In this blog post, I will shed some light on what SEO is and how you can hit the right SEO KPIs to achieve your desired ROI. Whether you are a business owner, a digital marketing manager, an aspiring SEO professional, or anyone who feels intimidated just at the thought of SEO, this blog post is for you.
To put it simply, SEO comprises all the practices to drive organic traffic to your website from SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), intending to generate leads and sales, in addition to driving traffic to your website.
A step-by-step guide to SEO
Here, I will refrain from discussing any advanced tips & tricks and the technical aspect of SEO. I will keep my language as simple as possible so that you will have a clear understanding of SEO. And the steps you need to take to optimize your websites to ensure visibility across search engines eventually leading to more traffic, leads, and sales.
First thing, your website copy should be clear and on point. But what makes a copy clear and on point? The content should be original.
Your effort will all be in vain if you have copy-pasted the content on your website. For instance, Google’s algorithm updates, from BERT to MUM, not only enable it to understand the meaning of individual words or sentences but also grasp the context of the whole article. So, focus on producing original content that deeply covers the topic and clearly explains the related concepts to reinforce your authority on the topic you write. With the rapid advancements in AI technologies, search engines will be more advanced than ever before. So, it is only wise to future-proof your websites.
Besides this, you can consider other on-page SEO and content-related factors to make search engine-friendly content. But let’s save that for another post. However, you can use multiple content assessment tools, such as Yoast SEO, for content optimization. Copy-paste your content in the tool and aim to pass as many content-related and on-page SEO assessments as possible.
Still, intimidated at the thought of SEO? I hope not. In any case, continue reading as I hope you will not be intimidated after getting yourself acquainted with the next steps.
Another aspect of making your website search engine-friendly is to ensure that your website is crawlable by Google. Technical SEO includes practices like implementing schema markups so that Google can crawl and understand the information on your page, which gives you the edge over competitors. The World Wide Web is a complex network of several websites hosted on innumerable servers globally, and Google crawls, indexes, and ranks all these websites.
If your website does not follow the standards recommended by Google, Google will not crawl your website. Hence, it will not index your website, which means your web pages will not appear in Google Search results, and you will not be able to rank for your desired keywords in Google.
This practice of making a website crawlable is often known as Technical SEO. I know, at this point, you might be slightly intimidated. However, worry not – an SEO professional will be able to assist you with the technical SEO of your website. And you don’t need to spend months or years to learn the technical aspects of SEO.
The most ignored aspect of SEO is page speed and the overall user experience. Let me take you down memory lane. There must have been a time when you clicked on a URL, you kept on waiting and waiting, and it still didn’t load. So, what did you do then? You clicked the back button without reading the content of the URL that you clicked earlier because it had poor page load time.
Now with the Google Page Experience update rolled out. Page load time is officially a ranking signal. According to a recent study, 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. So, whether you are running Google PPC campaigns or putting your everything in to drive organic traffic to your website, now you know how much traffic you are missing out on and losing on opportunities to generate more business.
Well, do not worry just yet because this is not a mistake that you cannot rectify. To improve the load time of your website, first, you need to know what is causing a poor load time on your website. To check, you can use Google Speed Insights. It is a tool by Google that will help you monitor your loading time and see the issues with your website, giving it a poor load time.
The good news is you don’t have to sort out all these issues on your own. You can hire a seasoned SEO professional or a qualified development team to help you sort out these issues. Depending upon the complexity of the issue, either the SEO professional or a software engineer will be able to help you out. Even after taking these steps, you are unable to see any improvement, try changing your website hosting company or upgrading your hosting package to the one that guarantees better performance.
Once I upgraded the hosting on one of the websites and saw an immediate rise in traffic up to 20%. Do not lose on the opportunity and take the required steps now.
Hold on. I have stressed the need for better page load times, but that is not it. As there are many other factors to consider to give your visitors a good user experience, go through them here.
You must have come across people stressing over the need for backlinks to rank better in SERPs and using different outdated practices to earn backlinks that were left useless years ago. Backlinks indeed help your site rank better but only when done the right way.
So, you must be wondering about the right approach to backlinking. Luckily, there are still several means to earn backlinks for your website. One of them is writing a high-quality content piece on someone else’s website and requesting them to link back to yours – otherwise known as guest posting. It helps increase your presence across the Web and score better ranking.
The goal of this article was to explain SEO as simply as possible so everyone can understand it and lay the foundations for their learning journey in digital marketing and SEO specifically. Indeed, SEO is not intimidating, but it does need a lot of effort, patience, perseverance, and most of all, knowledge and the right skill set.
Syed Sarmad Ali
Associate SEO, Digital Marketing