If you’re working on an online marketing strategy, you probably already know what SEO stands for – it’s Search Engine Optimization. But did you know the fundamentals of SEO basics begins with your content?
SEO means you are applying best practices and strategies that encourage ranking improvement within the search engines to show up on page one for keywords your ideal clients are searching when looking for what you have to offer. It begins by structuring your online content in such a way as to bump your content as high as possible in search engine rankings. Let’s begin with the basics…
First an example. You’re a thingamabobble manufacturer. You go through your content to make sure the terms “best thingamabobbles” appear enough times. Major search engines detect that, and your site (or other online content created by you) pops up whenever someone searches for “best thingamabobbles.” You are on your way to being search engine optimized, my friend!
Get Seen with SEO Basics Best Practices
SEO is all about making sure that search engines (with Google obviously being numero uno) recognize that your customers or potential customers are looking for YOU.
You want to find the keywords that best describe your business – and the ones searchers are most likely to use – and incorporate them in your content.
Yet you want to take care to avoid creating spammy content. Most readers (and search engines too) can recognize when keywords have been haphazardly injected. Instead, you want to create content where the keywords fit perfectly.
It’s a tough balance to strike, and it takes practice.
Simple URL Text Driven URL’s Matter
In addition to incorporating keywords and phrases frequently and naturally, you want to ensure your URL is simple and contains keywords. Searchers tend to avoid very long URLs. And keywords within your URL give your site a much better chance of being found and viewed.
I realize that short, simple site names normally cost money, but trust me – it is worth it. Having a URL that is simple, searchable, and memorable makes the biggest difference in the world when it comes to getting found.
After all, which would you be more likely to visit – Gillsolutions.com or gillsolutionsx3fsdh456ui87sfjfde.net? One of these just feels a lot more professional than the other, doesn’t it?
However, consider your 2nd or even 3rd level URL as equally important. So for example, this post we’ve used the URL gillsolutions.com/seo-basics carrying the keywords into the second level of the domain.
Focus on Message – The Search Engines are Watching
A few years ago, keywords were much bigger drivers of SEO. Today, search engines are much more perceptive. If people aren’t finding what they’re looking for on your site, you won’t make it to the top of the results list.
The thing you really need to be concerned with is post-click activity. What are searchers doing after they reach your website? Are they finding what they came for, or do they go back to their search engine results and try to find another site that better serves their needs? And believe me, the search engines are watching!
This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to think about keywords. They still do influence search results. However, you need to be equally – if not more – concerned about how well the content of your website does what it intends to do. Packing your text with references to “best thingamabobble” isn’t worth much if you don’t demonstrate why your thingamabobbles are the best.
Invest Time and Effort in Creating Substantial Content
As a general rule, longer content pieces – blogs, articles, reviews, etc. – do better in search engine ranking than shorter ones. Ideally, you want to hit at least 1200 words. 1500 words or more is even better.
However, the number of words needed to give searchers a satisfying and useful experience varies greatly according to an industry. The key is to provide enough substantive content to cover the topic in detail.
But, as I pointed out earlier, you shouldn’t resort to fluff. The number of words alone isn’t the determining factor in SEO ranking. Rather, pieces with more words tend to rank higher because their authors invested the time to fully cover the topic at hand.
Maximize Effectiveness of Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are 160-word snippets that summarize the contents of a particular page. Keywords play an important part in the way that a meta description impacts a site’s search engine ranking.
But, just as in overall content creation, it is at least as important to pay attention to what your meta description offers the reader. Your meta description should capture the essence of the page and tell the searcher what makes your site different from others.
Mobile is Different
More than ever, people are viewing online content on mobile devices. You need to make sure that you have mobile-friendly content, and you need to check the SEO of your mobile site or app separately.
In particular, there are differences between desktop and mobile searches for brick-and-mortar businesses. For the latter, “visit in-person queries” make up a sizeable portion of searches. You want to make sure your mobile content is structured in such a way as to address the needs and questions of someone who is out-and-about, looking for the goods or services you provide.
Keep in mind that sponsored listings limit the visibility of non-sponsored sites and apps. Therefore, if you aren’t willing or able to pay to get your content to the top, you have to devote extra attention to the value and utility of your mobile content.
If you have an app, you can also investigate App Store Optimization (ASO). ASO encompasses the techniques to drive users to see your app, and ultimately download it.
To optimize your app for the app store, you want to make sure that it has a descriptive name, screenshots or a video preview, and a succinct, impactful description. Your app should also deliver on its promises and be easy to use. Ratings play a huge role in users’ decisions to install an app. Come back soon for more tips on App optimization.
Many businesses believe they should be on page one for direct keywords related to their business. However, few understand it is not a rite of passage. It requires consistent strategies and refinement which all begins with SEO basics of quality content.
So now it’s your turn, do you think optimization when creating content for your website? Let me know in the comments below.