Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is so commonly used now that is has become nearly a curse word in online marketing. But the truth is that SEO is a beast that you can tame if you approach it with the right mindset, and the tools needed to wrangle the monster.
And as content strategist Lisa Barone explained in this article, your website must convey the entire message of your business, and its place in the industry in which you are competing, and SEO is part of that mission.
SEO is a fancy word for methods and techniques to increase the placement ranking of a website when a user types in a word or phrase.
So if your business sells retro toys, and a user types “vintage toys,” the goal is to rank on the first page of the results, so users will visit your site.
The following three terms are essential to your understanding of how to turn SEO from a four-letter thought, into a three-letter acronym that can do wonders for your bottom line.
You can’t do SEO without understanding the importance of a keyword, which can be a single word or a phrase that relates to your business. However, many site owners make the mistake of using too many keywords, which might sound intuitive, but is actually harmful to your search engine ranking.
Because giant search engines like Google punish sites that they consider to be practicing what is known as “keyword stuffing.”
That’s because overusing often means that the content is absent of any real value.
Content marketing guru Doug Kessler agrees with this sentiment. In this useful piece, he said that SEO should not be the main goal of your content, because it makes your content lifeless.
So an online bicycle site that includes content such as “Billy’s Bike Shop sells bikes and bikes are sold at this bike shop for bike lovers,” is stuffing that will get a site blacklisted.
Something such as “Billy’s Bike Shop offers high-end bicycles for weekend warriors and pros,” would be considered more content-rich and valuable.
Use keywords judiciously and in the context of offering the most information and value to visitors. One trick is to use variations of your keyword, as Google rewards well-used synonyms by giving them higher placement.
2. Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
Search engine results pages (SERP) are the pages that appear after a user has typed in a word or phrase. The two most common types of SERPs are organic results and paid results.
Organic results are â€˜natural’ results that appear based on their value and relevancy to a user’s inquiry.
Paid results are ads that site owners pay for to appear prominently in a search result. They often appear above organic results, and search engines such as Google, often delineate them with a yellow box that reads “Ad.”
Studies have shown that organic results are more likely to be clicked than paid results, because users are aware that paid results are advertisements, which does not automatically confer value to them.
Depending on your budget, a combination of targeted paid results and organic results may be optimal. For example, a paid ad is effective during a time when you are launching a new product or service, or when you have discounts or deals that you want to advertise to prospective clients.
Links are essential to your SEO because they help make your site’s content relevant, which boosts your ranking in a search engine, and they also confer respectability from and to other quality sites.
There are two types of links in SEO: external and internal.
External links are links on your site referring users to another site, or links from another site that refers users to your site.
External links are hugely important, but only if the links are to and from outstanding sites that are respectable and authoritative.
This enables you to perform “link-building,” which can add real value to your site. Link building is the process of getting an external site to link back to your site.
A site that sells protein powder that receives an external link from Muscle & Fitness magazine will have a much bigger effect on a SERP, than an external link from a personal trainer’s website.
Internal links are links within your site that take users from one page to another.
They are also important, because they can help improve your ranking based on select keywords, and search engines such as Google use internal inks to index your pages, which has a direct effect on how high your site ranks.
Seize the Moment
SEO may seem like a complex web of acronyms and tech-speak, but if you harness the power in these three terms, you will be well on your way to branding your business and boosting your ranking on important search engines. Although these aren’t the only terms used to implement an SEO strategy, they are essential terms that you must understand.
If you have any questions about SEO strategies that can enhance your business practices, sign up for your free newsletter today, and get access to content that can help your company meet its goals.
SEO has become the lifeblood of online businesses, but it can seem like a monster that is impossible to tame. However, you don’t have to feel intimidated or confused by SEO, especially if you understand three of the most essential terminology that can help drive your search rankings up. These three terms are not difficult to understand or impossible to achieve. And once you have a working knowledge of what they are, you can design an SEO strategy that matches the unique needs of your business.