Change affects everything: including the realm of online marketing. More and more focus is given to content marketing, ad retargeting, and social media engagement. But what about SEO? Unfortunately, the once over-talked marketing tool has become less looked upon by many. Others put it on the low-priority list.
Although many businesses can thrive without spending tons of effort on SEO, most are still dependent on SEO. Startups, for one, can leverage on SEO for their success.
So, why SEO?
Let me ask you back: do you use search engines? Do you search for a topic through Google or Yahoo or Bing? Which results do you look at the most? Let me guess: the first page results. This is, in part, the result of SEO. Data from Google says that being on the first page of SERPs, or search engine results pages, results to up to 80% of being clicked. The farther your website appears on the pages, say page 8 or worse 15, the lower chance it has of being visited.
If you find the above data compelling enough to pursue or enhance your SEO tactics, read the following to learn more about on- and off-site SEO:
Let’s study the foremost strategy: on-site SEO, or simply, the optimization done on the website itself.
Leading the audience to your website is one of the end goals of SEO. After a user visits your website, you can do more marketing and generate leads, sales, and repeat customers. This makes on-site SEO the primary concern for marketers.
On-site SEO is about properly labeling your contents to make it clearer and easier for search engine crawlers to index (search engine crawlers, spiders, or bots are employed by the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, to look around the web and get information about each and every web page there is).
To help you start and succeed on your on-site SEO, see the checklist provided below:
Let’s look at books, which are synonymous to websites and web pages. If you have a book that you would like to read, how do you identify it? By looking at the title, right? This is the same for search engines. They index websites and pages by looking at the titles. They even use the words inside this tag to put on SERPs. Compelling but simple titles are the best. Never miss the title tag and keep it to around 45 to 70 characters.
This is also used by search engines to show users a brief description of the contents that is found within the page. Like the title tag, it must be compelling enough to lure the users to click on a link.
Imagine a long article without subheadings. Boring and not so good to look at. Moreover, search engines use these tags to identify the major points of a content so that they can show users the most relevant results. Dividing the contents into a few subheadings makes it easier to read, too. Basically, header tags include H1 (main heading), and H2 and H3 (sub headings). Refer to your website’s framework on how to include these tags properly.
Images, videos, and other media
Search engine crawlers are still far from understanding what’s in a picture or video, and as such, tagging these media properly will tell search engines what’s in them. Fill up the ALT text and title tags all the time.
Many plugins and most frameworks allow for automatically structuring URLs. The simpler it is, the better. Breadcrumbs also help search engines easily index your contents.
Users, after all, want to read good contents that is relevant and useful for their needs. It also pays to make it readable, constantly updated, and easy to understand because users will keep on coming back for more. Post articles on a constant basis, too, so that users know when to check back.
After taking care of your on-site SEO, it is about time to take care of the next:
Most search engines were revised and improved to not only look on websites, but on other places as well, like social media, review sites, forums, and more. The more your audience talk about your website or share your contents, the heavier your site weigh on SERPs.
Let me discuss two of the most prominent places where your contents should appear:
With the billions of eyes looking at social media sites everyday, it is not hard to say that social media matter a lot for success. Sharing contents is easy to do, and engaging your audience through pages also add to your presence. People love to connect to influencers, and if properly done, it will turn users to raving and loyal fans. Take note: properly — this means that you should actively engage and be as natural as possible because any inconsistency between words and actions lead to damaged integrity.
Aside from being shared through social media sites, your online presence will also benefit when other influencers link to your contents. Before Google’s Panda update, many black hat SEO experts pay other sites to include their links. Now, this can be greatly penalized, meaning: lower SERP rank. One way to get others to include your links is by creating great contents. Another is to actively engage other influencers through social media, and ask them to take a look at your contents.
Search engine optimization can do wonders for your success. Make sure that you fix your on-site and off-site SEO strategies to make full use of it. We hope you enjoyed this article as much as we did, and we hope for your success.