Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a scary-sounding phrase that involves maximizing the number of visitors to your webpage. It’s one of the main marketing tools that agencies, mine included, use to get people to visit websites. However, any company could benefit from quality SEO. The field can change often, so having a complete strategy, with different avenues to explore, is a great way to move forward. Below, I have included some tips for crafting a well-rounded strategy.
Topics, The Building Blocks
Start with giving your website a list of topics that you want to cover. Now start to compile a list of major keywords you want associated with your site. Research these! I would advise using Google Trends, as it’s a great tool for beginners to figure out what short tail keywords (keywords that are one or two words in length) are popular.
Build Around Key Topics
Now we can build around short tail keywords, creating long tail keywords. These are keyword phrases that are usually three to five words, which are more targeted so they have less competition. For example, if you search “hiking trails” it will yield twice as many results, as opposed to searching “hiking trails within 25 miles of San Francisco” where you’ll find more specialized results from topic-specific sites.
Keep Content Useful and Current
You should update your site with relevant content on a weekly
basis — just make sure you’re not throwing up content for content’s sake. Remember, you’re trying to create articles that fall under your topics, and they need to be unique and
useful to targeted consumers. If you have a post that’s performing well, update it often to reflect current information. For example, if you run a hiking website, keep your information up to
date with recent trail conditions. This tactic results in relevance that will rank high on searches.
Backlinks, Backlinks, Backlinks
One of the most overlooked tools in SEO is backlinking. Moz.com houses my favorite definition of backlinking: “Backlinks, also called ‘inbound links’ or ‘incoming links,’ are created when one website links to another. The link to an external website is called a backlink.” With the right backlinks, you will ultimately rank higher in search results. If enough credible (i.e., high authority) websites link back to you, you’ll rank higher, since search engines take this into account when prioritizing results.
You need to keep track of every SEO strategy that is part of your plan. This ascertains what’s working and what isn’t. If you’re a beginner, I’d advise creating an excel spreadsheet so you can separate by tactic and track accordingly. I would also become familiar with Google Analytics, since it’s a great free tool for seeing the health of your website, plus Google offers a full online course on how to use it.
Creating an SEO strategy can be a daunting task, but with these tips and a little trial and error, you, too, can get yourself to the top of searches.