Yay, you have finally set up your business website! But it’s been six months, and it’s not getting as much online visibility as you would want. The website doesn’t appear in search engine results or come up when users search for information relevant to your industry. What could be wrong? Well, the answer is your SEO strategy. And now, you’re wondering what SEO really is. Today is your lucky day, as we will be answering the top ten questions about SEO. This will give you all the information you need to get your website visible to your target market.
1. What does SEO stand for?
The first thing to note here is that SEO stands for search engine optimization. In a nutshell, SEO refers to a set of digital marketing strategies that focus on traffic generation from search engines to your website, making you visible to the people that matter to your business. With SEO, you can make your website rank higher on top search engines, especially Google. To rank highly on a popular search engine such as Google, you need to include specific keywords you’re your target audience searches for on your website. Doing this helps your website appear on search results when search queries include keywords on the website. You really can’t grow your business online without paying attention to search engine optimization.
Research by experts has shown that websites on the first page of Google have the most clicks. Aside from industry research, when was the last time you actually went to the second page of Google? Exactly! You would almost always find what you’re looking for on the first page of search results. Hence, you wouldn’t want your website to be one of those on the second or third page of search engines because the further down you go, the fewer clicks your website generates. Considering that search engines are responsible for more than 90% of website traffic, that’s a lot of potential visits to your website and possible paying customers. The trick with SEO is that it is constantly evolving because Google is getting more advanced each day. So, experts are always updating their knowledge on what works and what doesn’t, as this is one of the best sources of long-term organic traffic you can find in today’s climate.
2. What are SEO backlinks?
You may have heard them being referred to as one-way links, incoming links, or inbound links. Whichever one it is, these are all referring to backlinks. Backlinks are those links that connect from one website to another. Google considers backlinks to be very important in ranking websites, especially when they are from reputable sources. You could say that these major search engines see them as votes for a specific page. Here’s how it works. If you were to write an article on photography and included only keywords with no links to any external page, this would probably pop up at the bottom of the search results on Google’s first page. But if you included a link to Forbes, which is a high-ranking website that receives a lot of visitors daily, this could catapult your page to the top of the search engine results.
It is a backlink because it directly points to a page on your website. What these backlinks are telling search engines is that your content is useful, credible, and valuable. The more links you have, the more votes from other websites and the higher your website ranking on top search engines, especially Google. Actually, backlinks are not new to search engines. In fact, they were known as PageRank and formed a key part of Google’s original algorithm. Of course, Google has made many changes to its algorithm since then, but backlinks are still a major ranking signal. You can input as many links in your article as possible without stuffing it up, but there are some basic rules. The most important is that backlinks are not created equal. This means that it’s always better to have one link from quality high-ranked websites than a thousand low-quality backlinks.
3. What is keyword research?
A significant aspect of search engine optimization is keyword research. SEO isn’t complete without discovering important words and phrases that people use in searching for products or services or information on search engines like Bing and Google. If you search for “Sony microphones,” this would bring up results specific to the keywords in the search query. If you have just the right number of keywords in your website content that matches the search query, you can be among the first set of results on Google. Keyword research is a major component of your SEO task and is usually the first step in your campaign.
4. What is on-page SEO?
On-page SEO is more than just sprinkling a few keywords here and there. Yes, keywords are important, just as we talked about in the keyword research section. However, while keyword research and including the right keywords are integral to achieving excellent SEO results, technical on-page is also imperative to establishing positive SEO performance. On-page SEO refers to technical elements on a website that affect a website’s SEO performance. The elements include:
Include H1 on each webpage. H1 refers to the main heading of a webpage. Google uses text in the H1 heading to gain textual understanding of a webpage. For example, if a webpage has the keywords “Kids Running Shoes” in the H1 heading, Google understands that the webpage is related to “kids running shoes” and displays the webpage for search queries related to these keywords.
Include alternative text for each image. Alternative text is a HTML attribute that gives textual information to an image. Google uses alternative text to gain textual understanding of an image and the page the image is on. For example, if an image has the alternative text “Mercedes Benz”, Google understands that the webpage is about Mercedes Benz and that the webpage that the image is on is related to Mercedes Benz or automotive. Writing the alternative text helps the webpage rank for keywords related to “Mercedes Benz” or “automotive”.
Include target keywords in webpage URLs. Google uses keywords in a webpage URL as an indicator of what the webpage is related to and which search queries the webpage wants to rank for. For example, if a webpage contains the keywords “/boys-bicycle” in the URL, Google understands that the webpage is related to “boys bicycle” and can display the webpage for search queries related to “boys bicycle”.
5. How do I start my SEO strategy?
How can you make sure that your website is ready to take advantage of all the benefits of organic search engine traffic? Here’s how you can come up with the perfect SEO strategy.
- Your SEO strategy starts with knowing your keywords. These specific keywords that you know your target market uses to find specific products and services. With a bit of research using SEO keyword research tools, you can determine the right keywords for your website content.
- Include these keywords as naturally as possible into your content. Moreover, create engaging content that would be very valuable to your audience. The content should focus on educating your target audience rather than selling to them. If a search engine such as Google detects that you’re adding keywords for the sake of incorporating keywords in your website content (commonly known as ‘keyword stuffing’), the search engine will punish you by reducing your search ranking.
- Your page URL is also important for SEO because Google uses the keywords in the page URL to determine the relevancy of a webpage in relation to a search query. Make sure that you include relevant keywords that your clients use in their search queries so your webpages can appear on search results for these search terms.
- Make sure your webpages have relevant keywords in their titles so the webpages can rank for related search queries. For example, if your webpage is about the 2022 Toyota Corolla, make sure that the title includes the text “2022 Toyota Corolla”.
- Ask for help from experts when necessary. It’s always more effective and cost-efficient to work with a SEO expert to accelerate your SEO performance!
6. What are breadcrumbs?
Home > About us > Our team
There is something peculiar about this arrangement. Apart from it being pleasing to the eyes, you could quickly backtrack to the about us page if you wanted to or just click on home to go back to where it all started. That’s the beauty of breadcrumbs. They are a navigational feature that gives a fantastic user experience as it lets users track where they are on a website easily.
Most websites place this at the top or under their navigation bar. They function like internal links as they help users find whatever information they want quickly. Today, they are not just useful for aesthetics but constitute a significant component of SEO. A quick look at the Google search results page will show you that they now display breadcrumbs to categorize information on this page. With this, Google can navigate and categorize your website. Of course, you can’t add any breadcrumbs to your website. There are three major types you should know about. The page-based breadcrumbs inform website visitors about where they are in the site structure and how they can navigate to the homepage, just like in the example above.
Attribute-based breadcrumbs are mainly used on eCommerce websites and look something like:
Home > bags > school > women
Finally, there is the history-based breadcrumb that functions like your browser history. With breadcrumbs, Google can crawl through and index different pages and show them on search results.
7. Which is better, SEO or SEM?
SEM means search engine marketing, which is a digital marketing program where advertisers can pay to bid on a specific keyword or keyword phrase in the search engine so their ads can appear in SERPs. For example, an advertiser can use a SEM tool such as Google Ads or Bing Ads to bid on a keyword phrase such as “women’s running shoes” and serve their ads when prospects enter those keywords in their search queries.
SEM and SEO can be used simultaneously. SEM can be used to generate results right away because you can bid on keywords and show your ad on the top of SERPs. SEO, on the other hand, is used as part of the long-term digital marketing strategy. It usually takes six months to over a year to achieve significant results from SEO. Hence, you can use SEM in the meantime to appear on top of search results and generate leads or other conversion types while improving your search ranking using SEO tactics above to optimize your website’s search ranking in the long-run.
8. What is domain authority?
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz, a SEO software company and digital agency. This relevance has a direct impact on its ranking by search engines, trying to assess domain authority through automated analytic algorithms.
DA is used to predict how likely a website is to rank in SERPs. DA scores range between one and 100, with higher scores corresponding to better search ranking.
The best method to improve your website’s DA is by gaining more quality external links pointing to your site, also known as backlinks. The more backlinks your website earns, the better your DA and the higher your website’s search ranking. To gain backlinks, you can engage in link building strategies such as guest blogging and media features. We’ll discuss earning backlinks from high authority websites in the next section.
9. What is link building?
Backlinks are external links linking to a website. For example, when Website B links to Website A, that link is considered as a backlink for Website A. The more quality backlinks a website has, the better it is for the website’s search ranking. Quality backlinks are links from credible, high authority websites such as credible newspapers or business publications, chamber of commerce, or government or education organizations. To earn backlinks from these websites, you can engage in guest blogging, which is submitting articles on these external sites and gaining backlinks to your websites by including your company website URL in the author bio. You can also earn backlinks by getting featured in business magazines or a local newspaper for achieving an establishment. You can also earn backlinks by producing unique content such as a new research study that other websites want to link to. Using the strategies above will help you earn more backlinks and improve your domain authority which lead to a higher search ranking.
10. Do categories help SEO?
Categories group similar posts together under one topic. For example, if you’ve written several articles that offer home renovation tips, you can create a category called “Home Renovation Tips” and group these blog posts together under this topic.
Categories on their own aren’t particularly effective at boosting a webpage’s search ranking. That said, categories improve a website’s user-experience (UX) because they help users navigate through a website more seamlessly. Moreover, categories give more context to a webpage which helps Google gain a better thematic understanding of the webpage. For example, if a blog post has the category “Technology News”, Google will use the category to understand that the blog post is related to technology news and display the blog post for “technology news” related search queries.
Are you ready to update your SEO strategy and accelerate your SEO performance? Get in touch with our SEO experts and we’ll be happy to help optimize your website and improve your website’s search ranking!