Why do we use SEO in marketing?
Search Engine Optimization, more commonly known as SEO is a range of practices that helps your website to be ranked higher in search engine results pages. In other words, an SEO marketing strategy makes your website more visible organically. SEO in marketing has revealed itself to be key, as the main source of organic traffic for a website comes from online searches. Making some changes to a website might improve its relevance to a search engine and make it appear higher in the results. To do this, the content must be not only accurate according to the user’s search title, but also of high quality. By following SEO good practices, you will be able to boost your visibility organically.
Once you’ve been through the process of understanding what SEO in marketing is all about, it’s time to consider how to optimize your landing pages and see how it all works. As there are two approaches to enforce SEO to increase your online visibility, SEO in marketing can be implemented on-page or off-page.
Only 10-15 years ago, if you were doing SEO as a profession, people might have had no clue what that meant. Nowadays, SEO is a common practice important for every company that cares about their website visibility and ranking in organic search network results.
The difference between on-page SEO optimization and off-page SEO optimization
1. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is an important asset you can control and modify as you wish, from content marketing all the way to the construction of your website with HTML tags for instance. Google’s algorithms are continuously changing, but there are a few tips to keep in mind to maximize your search engine rankings. As mentioned above, the quality and relevance of your content is crucial and will remain so. Keep this in mind as it will be applied to each of the points we will be listing here.
- Title tags and Meta-descriptions
We will begin with the first item of the on-page SEO we notice when browsing a search engine. It is important to set a title tag with a number of characters under or equal to seventy, so we recommend to keep them shorter.
On the other hand metadescription do not affect seo ranking but can increase the click through rate (CTR) if they are of good quality, always make them unique to maximize your chances !
- Internal links
Having internal links as part of your on-page SEO strategy is a very effective tip to increase the visibility of your website on the search engines. The search engine will realize the veracity of the presence of your website. But remember that your content has to be of high quality, to be helpful and enriching for the user. Internal links simply consist of incorporating links from your own site, on another page. For example, you can add a link to the page of an article you wrote, on the page of a product you sell. The internal link must obviously be relevant.
- Image name and alt tags
You should also pay attention to each and every image you use on your website, they must be named and have a corresponding keyword in the alt tags. By doing so, your on-page SEO referencing will be clearer for search engines and will allow you to be more easily associated with the field in which you specialize.
2. Off-page SEO
In addition, there are off-page factors that may affect your search engine rankings, which are beyond your control. Nevertheless, you can try to use them to increase your chances to get them to work in your favour.
Sharing your content online is essential, hence nothing is better than targeting influencers. To increase your chances of being shared by influencers you will need to create quality content that will be valuable to influencers and their followers. If an influencer recommends your website, chances are their followers will probably visit your website.
You must also earn google’s trust, it is essential. To win it you will have to apply all the techniques we have seen so far, but keep in mind that you must engage with the user and not the algorithm.
Importance of keywords in 2020
What are the big changes in 2020?
Let’s look at on-page optimization first. Some years ago, SERP ranking was all about keyword optimization, since the competition was low and the Google algorithm was less intelligent than today. This led to the much-hated black-hat SEO techniques, where companies practised keyword stuffing around the whole website in order to rank as high as possible for specific keywords.
Today, keyword stuffing is a no-go strategy for SEO and a long-forgotten one, although keyword analysis and research are still important and relevant.
Since competition has increased across the web, ranking for relevant keywords has become more competitive. Keyword research for medium tail keyword phrases helps to boost organic ranking. Especially for 2020, on-page keyword optimization must include LSI (latent semantic index) keywords, which help Google understand the relevance of the website in order to rank it higher. LSI keywords are any words that are relevant to the website’s content and the business itself.
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How does Google rank pages today?
This is one of the most important questions to answer for all digital marketers. And since the ranking factors are constantly changing due to Google’s algorithm updates for its search network, the topic remains a high priority for all digital marketers year after year.
Keyword research and optimization are still relevant for websites and an important ranking factor. Nevertheless, valuable content that interests the audience plays a bigger role than before. Google focuses on delivering value for users and therefore with their RankBrain update, the machine learning system tries to identify the relevance and user-friendliness of a website in order to rank it on the organic search network. This includes high-quality content, user experience, and the relevance of the website.
Pogo-sticking has created some buzz online recently since it is part of RankBrain update based on Backlinko’s report. Briefly explained, pogo-sticking is a method where a user clicks on many search result pages and bounces back to the result page until they find a page which does not return to the SERP anymore. Referring to Rand Fishkin’s article on Moz, it can be said that pogo-sticking plays an important role in user experience and should be taken into account, while also optimizing landing pages for user-friendliness and relevance.
Ranking Top 5 is not enough
SEO is all about ranking on top of a SERP. Ranking on the first result page of a search engine is important for every business, but that does not automatically mean that your website will get the click. Let’s have an example:
Let’s assume you are searching for information about marketing analytics. Your SERP for “AI marketing analytics” shows the following top 5 organic search results.
The top three URLs that are ranked here are wordstream.com, marketo.com, and nexoya.com.
Now, the question: Which link will I click?
I see nexoya’s link and click on it since I know the brand and have read other articles from them in the past. I am certain that they deliver good content and I will not lose time surfing on an unknown website.
Even though ranking on top of a SERP is an important deciding factor for a user to click on a link, similarly the URL of the site is playing an important deciding factor for a user.
If the page is known already and has created certain credibility in user’s mind, it is more likely that user will click on the URL that they know from before regardless of if that URL is ranked on first or even fifth position on the search engine result page.
Therefore, brand awareness plays another important role in the user’s decision-making process.
Focusing on top rankings is not enough. It is equally important to get into the user’s mind.
An integrated marketing strategy that includes activities on all channels like social media, social ads, and others, already play a major role in the game. Even if a user would not click the ad, they’ll still fix the company’s name in their consciousness. These are the first steps in brand awareness related to SEO.
Why would you link to other pages from your content? Just like internal links, outbound links are important as well; Google counts the site’s relevance by outbound links that link to relevant, high-quality websites.
Additionally, outbound linking can create attention among the targeted websites and perhaps increase the visibility of your website.
From the user’s perspective, outbound linking increases user engagement and their experience on the site. Linking within the text provides quick access to more detailed information when it is needed and a transparent connection or relationship between the content and linked websites.
Why are backlinks important?
As part of the outbound linking method, backlinks are very important, as they are a sign of reliability that allows the website linked to rank higher. A backlink is similar to a vote for search engines, which makes it very positive for SEO strategies. Usually, the more highly relevant websites that link to your page, the more you tend to have a good ranking on search engines, consequently better visibility.
Watch out, not all backlinks are the same, they derive in different ranges in terms of trust, popularity and authority. Basically, the higher the domain authority of a website, the better! You might also want to know that there are two main types of backlinks: no-follow and do-follow links which will redirect directly to your website.
SEO and UX walk hand in hand
All your SEO efforts can end up meaningless if the targeted website does not fulfil the expectations of the user and does not provide an easy, fast, clean, and transparent user experience.
As mentioned before, bounce rate and time on site are comprehensively influenced not only by the content but also by the website’s user experience — how easy the website is to navigate, a website design that speaks to the user, and the overall atmosphere that the website creates in users’ minds.
Google’s algorithm changes frequently, but some SEO tips stay consistent. Let’s play it safe on what you can control, to get the best domain authority possible and a higher chance of conversion from your visitors.
Let’s maximize your chances to keep visitors on your website with our first SEO tips. Check what elements are slowing down your website, it is frustrating and can feel untrustworthy in the mind of a potential buyer. You should also know that Google has incorporated site speed in its algorithm, which means that google will lower your website’s ranking if visitors leave your page because it is not considered user-friendly. To learn more about your page speed and how you can improve it, you can find free speed test tools online.
Keep your target audience in mind when writing on your website, you want to create high-quality content that will make them engage with your website. Do not base your content only on keywords and google ranking, you must put up helpful content. If you do so, you will soon be rewarded by Google as it will create a recurring audience and build trust.
Another very helpful SEO tip which can make a difference: encourage social shares. SEO is about creating high-quality, engaging content, you have to spend time and efforts into it to be successful. Your ultimate goal is to create the urge in people to share your content on their social media, but make it easy too with a call-to-action. To facilitate this step as much as possible you might even want to add a “share button”.
From now on, you can optimize your website for a better referencing and ranking on search engines. Remember that your content must always be relevant and useful to your target audience. At last, you will not see the results directly, it is a process that takes time but it is definitely worth it.