The ABC of SEO- Search Engine Optimization!
The ABC of SEO- Search Engine Optimization!
Let’s think of a scenario. You’re a business owner, and a great one as well. All through your business life, you have tried to do the best for your business. You make sure that your employees are happy, your customers are satisfied and business is running smoothly. However, despite all of this, your business is not exactly a brand. Except for you and your existing customers, no one really knows about your business. Not many people have heard of it, and in spite of having a website, you really do not see any traction on it. Why is that?
On the other hand, your friend started a business about a year ago. But everyone knows his products, everyone knows his company story and most people are aware of his existence even though he has not really spent much time in the industry. How can people know about his business in such a short span of time?
I have just one word for you, actually, it’s 3 words – SEO – Search Engine Optimization. It sounds really complicated. But what if I can tell you that by the end of this blog, you will not only have an understanding of this topic but may also be able to implement it in your business. More importantly, this is the right time for you to start SEO because the pandemic has made everything digital and remote. Having a great SEO campaign during this time is the equivalent of having a shop on the main road where everyone can see it as opposed to having a shop in a small bylane that is hard to find.
Note that by all means, this is not a comprehensive guide for SEO but is just an introduction to the concept of Keywords and a great place to start. Let’s dive into it!
What is SEO and how does it help my business? – There are various complex definitions to describe what SEO is. But at its core, it is a way to improve the ranking of a particular website on a search engine. This process increases visibility to a website, also known as traffic, so as to appear at a higher ranking on the SERP – Search Engine Result Page. Think of it as when you search something on google, the results that appear first are the ones that have a better SEO than the ones that appear after. Don’t believe me? Neil Patel, Digital Marketing Expert and SEO Guru says that the first 5 results on the SERP get 67% of the clicks.
Having a higher SERP ranking means that people are more likely to click your website, therefore, giving your brand exposure. If you know what people are searching online and the specific words they are using, you would be able to draw them to your website, simply because you have content on what they are searching for. This makes them much more likely to be acquainted with your products/solutions and can ultimately convert them into customers.
Keywords- Keywords are essentially the words that a user or a ‘searcher’ enters in a search engine. Keywords are the queries that people search for and it can be anything right from ‘Pancake Recipes’ to ‘How to fix my shelf’. Now remember, there are two types of Keywords, Short tail and long tail. ‘Pancake Recipes’ would be a short tail and ‘‘Pancake Recipes without eggs’ is an example of a long tail keyword.
The difference between the two is that while more people search for short tail keywords, there is more intent behind the searches of long tail keywords. With a long tail keyword, google knows exactly what you want and can immediately show you selected relevant pages. However, when you type ‘Pancake Recipes’ google shows you all kinds of stuff because they are unaware of your intent. What is important is the intent and relevance of the keyword rather than its search volume.
How do I know what keywords I should use for my business? – This is by far the most important process. Let’s say that you sell Organic Nut Butter online, like Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, etc. There are a set of questions that you must have answers to so that you know your customers well.
1) What types of organic butter are people searching for?
2) What is the demographic of the people searching?
3) What exact words do they use while searching?
4) From which geography are the most searches coming from?
5) Are people looking for recipes to use these butters in?
6) Are people searching health conscious?
Now that you know enough about your customers, it’s time to know what keyword you should add to your SEO Campaign. A great way to start is by going to Google and using its Google Suggest tool and finding keywords that your business stands for. Eg- Organic Nut Butter in India, Organic Peanut Butter Benefits, Nutrition, etc. The next step is to now use any Keyword Research tool to check the search volume of the ones that you have selected. This not only helps you to understand what people are searching for but it also helps you keep track of the most popular searches. Using a keyword research tool will also help you see if you have missed out on other relevant keywords. A quick tip, do not ignore keywords with lower search volume. On the contrary, you should consider using them because they’re far less competitive as compared to others.
How to Add Keywords to Your Website – Now, the last step is to incorporate all these Keywords and Keyphrases into your website. This is called On Page Optimization. Think of it like putting salt into your dish. You have to sprinkle the right amount evenly. Put too much of it, you will ruin the dish. Put just enough and it’s perfect. Each page of your website should have your Keywords placed in them. It is highly recommended that you have blogs on your website as well. Blogs serve as an excellent place to add keywords and key phrases. It is also a great place to talk about what your customers are searching for like if you see a lot of searches for recipes using nut butter, write a blog about that so google can recommend your page to the user and think of you as a thought leader.
There are various places on the website that you could add your keywords, but for starters, let us look at these.
Meta Tags – Meta Tags are a summary of what your website is all about. It is essentially used to summarize your content in small bits and pieces so that it is easier to digest for google, thus ranking you higher on the SERP. A really important part to note is that meta tags do not appear anywhere on your website but are hidden in the code of the website and are used by google to paste on the SERP. Meta Tags are broken into different parts.
- Page Title – This is the topmost line of bold text which appears in a particular search result. Think of this as a heading for your website page or the heading of your blog which tells you what the page is about. Putting your keyword in the page title is one of the best ways to catch the attention of Google and rank you higher in the SERP. But be careful to make it short and sweet as google will only paste 60 characters of the Page Title on the SERP.
- Meta Description – The Meta description is the black lines that you see under the page title. While this is something that does not affect your position on Google, it definitely influences the searcher to click on your link. Therefore, having your Keywords there is very advisable. If it’s a page of the website like ‘About’, add USPs of your business and if it’s a blog, add a summary of the topic or pointers. Anything that makes it easier for the user to understand and makes them click.
Body or Content – This is the main information that is on the website and constitutes most of the space on your website. Unlike Meta Tags, the body is not seen on the SERP but is undoubtedly another huge factor in creating a solid SEO Campaign. Adding Keywords to your body can be a tricky process. Remember our dish above with too much salt? Just because there is a lot of space to add keywords, doesn’t mean we stuff it all around. The strategy is that you want to use your main keyword in the first part of your body eg- in the first few sentences but definitely in the first paragraph. After that, use variations of your main keyword in the other parts of the content along with other keywords that you have chosen.
Header Tags – Headers are recognized as the most important part of the website. In the code, they are called H1, H2 and H3. H1 or the main Header is usually the largest, topmost font on the website. Having your exact Keyword or Key Phrase in your H1 is vital. How to check if you have correctly put the right thing as your H1 tag? Go to your title or the largest font of your website page and click the right key and select inspect. The code should have both ‘h1’ as well as your main keyword.
Now the H2, H3 and so on Header Tags are of lesser importance. Think of H1 like the Title of a Book while H2 is the Chapters of the book with H3 and H4 being the subheadings within those chapters. The main function of header tags H2 to H6 is to break the information into bits and pieces so that it is to read and consume for google as well as the user.
URLs and Anchor Texts – Believe it or not, your URLs also play a very important role in your SEO campaign. Instead of having your URLs look like a child has pressed multiple numbers and characters on your keyboard, you can make them better using your keywords. Adding your keywords into your URL makes it easier for google as well as the user to read. Although, make sure that you are not making it too long.
Another way of increasing your reach is through Anchor Texts. Anchor Texts are clickable texts which are in hyperlink format. We often see it as blue or underlined texts usually in the middle of a blog. Doing this helps link and interlink and google and users can find other site content. For eg- While reading your blog on the health and nutritional benefits of your Organic Peanut Butter, you can link a blog to healthy recipes using peanut butter.
I hope this blog has given you some level of confidence that you can do SEO yourself and that it isn’t as complicated as it seems. Businesses that start doing SEO see a 14.6% conversion rate which is much better than the 1.7% that you get from traditional forms of advertising. It is proven that a company with an investment in SEO ranks 5 times better than one without and gets 2 times more revenue. Therefore, if you want to seriously consider investing in SEO and do not want to do it yourself, you can outsource it to experts like Savage & Palmer, and we will help you get ahead of the competition! Check out our digital marketing services to know more.
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