Search engine optimization is the process of making your website more visible to internet users. You can have the most amazing blog, the greatest e-commerce store, or the best ever app, but it will all go down the drain if users (some of which will turn into your customers) can’t find you on the internet.
The better your website’s SEO, the higher it’s going to appear in SERPs like Google searches. And the higher your website appears on a SERP, the higher the chance that a user will click on it. While a more detailed understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) can be obtained by taking a marketing course — such as this digital marketing course with Monarch — here are a few basic tips to get you started.
1. Content is king, but not just any content.
You might’ve heard the digital marketing adage that content is king. Well, it’s not entirely true. That’s because Google’s new focus has been on user and search intent — Google understands that people mainly turn to it for finding answers to their questions, and it is these answers that now hold prime importance in Google’s eyes.
This means that content that’s useful to people and answers their questions is now king. So it might be time to move slightly away from traditional, “technical” SEO practices like writing meta-descriptions and optimizing URL structures and focus more on curating content that is actually useful to your readers.
This also means that you need to research the form of content users searching for a particular question are consuming. Is it a podcast? A video? Or a plain old blog post? Once you get your answer, create helpful content in the form users are more likely to consume.
2. Improve your website’s speed by compressing images.
Users today not only want answers to their questions, but they want them fast. So if you’ve got a slow website, there’s a very high chance that most users will simply bounce back off it and go looking for their answers elsewhere.
Since images make around 50% of a webpage’s weight, compressing them to reduce their size is an easy and effective way of improving your website’s speed. But before you proceed with the compression, make sure you’ve chosen the right format for your images. If your images are too colorful, choose JPEG because PNG has a larger file size. PNG is usually recommended for black and white images.
If you’ve got a WordPress website, you can save yourself many hours trying to figure out Photoshop by using plugins like ShortPixel and Optimole!
3. Optimize content for voice search by targeting long-tail keywords.
With technology getting smarter and people getting lazier, voice search is on the rise. So it’s important that you optimize your content for text and voice search both. The difference between the two is that people tend to ask longer questions when using voice search.
For example, someone searching for “table tennis rackets” using text search would probably say, “What are the best table tennis rackets right now?”. Not only is the latter longer, but it’s also more likely to be framed as a question.
So to optimize your content for long-tail keywords (keywords with three or more words), determine your primary keyword (preferably in a question form) and then create a detailed blog post to answer that question.
Make sure to sprinkle LSI keywords here and there. LSI keywords are semantically related to your primary keyword and help Google understand what your post is really about and how it’s fulfilling user intent.
And to beat other websites that are targeting the same keyword, aim for premium quality content. If you can’t write well, make sure you hire writers that are knowledgeable in your industry so in addition to providing you with accurate content, they can find unique content angles that are useful and entertaining for your readers.
4. Instead of keyword research, start with competitor research.
One shortcut of finding things (like keywords, content structure, and page outline) that are already working for people is to simply analyze your competitor’s best-performing pages.
Use a tool like SEMrush to get a breakdown of your competitor’s website. You’ll be able to view a list of their web pages according to the amount of traffic each page has. Your job will then be to analyze the top-performing pages and determine any content or keyword gaps that your website might have.
Use this analysis to inform your SEO strategy and improve your existing content and hopefully, your SEO will be in a better place than it was before!