Search Engine Optimization – When you want to be discovered online

Search Engine Optimization – When you want to be discovered online

So the last time when we talked about Website Content Writing, the conversation was peppered with the mention of three letters that may seem random but put together form the crux of Digital Marketing. After all, how often you’re talked or searched about is what SEO is. The more people search about you, the more you get your product/service talked about- isn’t it what all business vie for?

We are living in a world which believes in aggressive promotions after all, the Facebook pages, the tweets etc. the world has gone to the “what is visible sells” as businesses are extensively targeting the consumer and competition is growing every second – what better way to increase your business than by ensuring it reaches the correct audience?

Let’s jump into it.

SEO: MORE THAN JUST 3 RANDOMLY PLACED LETTERS

Through all those diligent marketing classes you have slept, goofed around during the digital sessions and now you’re wishing “if only I had paid some attention to what Sir Bore-a-lot was talking about, I wouldn’t be in a fix”. But don’t worry, we’re here to de-mystify the elusive SEO and talk about what it can do for…..YOU.

The world of SEO has gone beyond the textbooks- it has gone through a sea of changes. It’s not just about the keywords, although they form the bulk of the optimization; it is also about how you can utilize the search engine to bring more people to your site/page.

SEO refers to Search Engine Optimization or the process of optimizing a website so that people can easily find it via search engines like Google or Bing.

It is the key to getting visibility. Imagine this scenario- you are new to Delhi and you’d like to try the best biryani out here. You ask around and the answer is unanimous- KARIM’S. So you go to Chandni Chowk, clueless as to how would you find KARIM’S and you ask any rickshawala, shopkeeper or even tourists and they show you the way. See how great KARIM’S marketing is? They are synonymous for “best” “biryani” “in” “Delhi”.

This is the mighty power of publicity.

Now, suppose instead of all these people, you only had the internet and wanted to look for KARIMS, the keywords that you would probably use are “Best Biryani Delhi”. It’s through these words, typed in the search box, that leads to KARIM’S. So the main objective here is ensure that whenever the targeted key phrases are searched upon, you’re website is in the first results the research engine brings up.

But there was a time when SEO was just a niche category starting out, traditional media had a stronghold- let’s see what changed from then.

THE GREAT SHIFT: FROM TRADITIONAL TO SEO

As you might have noticed- traditional media is facing stiff competition from digital media. Newspapers are going online; you can stream radio through podcasts and online channels such as hotstar to live stream your fav sporting events. So it is obvious to point that whole world is going online. Although traditional is still holding the fort strong, digital is infiltrating in large ranks and here’s why-

  • Cheap– Traditional media is costly. There’s no doubt about it. A broadcast in television or print takes a lot of money due to the equipment used and the time taken. One can cut the price by a huge amount by building an online campaign, instead. It’s practically free and not much equipment is needed.
  • Widespread– The reach of digital is much wider and faster. One may debate that majority of the mass has no access to computers, but with the advent of smart-phones, this logic has laid to rest. Spreading a campaign through digital platform takes a few minutes while the cumbersome practices preferred by traditional media let a lot of time being unnecessarily spent.
  • Effective– Organic searches are the key here. It is said that organic searches are more likely to generate leads than from traditional media. Also, leads from organic searches come to action by a large number than those from traditional media. To simply put it across, your target audience would be more likely receptive to digital campaigns as compared to what you’ll spread through traditional medium.
  • INTENSIVE TARGETING– The targeting is more specific and well researched here than that of traditional medium. While an ad campaign of, say a bike, is planned for perhaps the whole family due to the fact that making tailor made television ads and launching them at specific timings is a lot of money gone. But the digital platform is much cheaper, making custom made campaigns are not much of toil here.
  • ROI IS HIGH– With lower amount spent on planning and implementing and higher amount of people viewing and availing your service/product, i.e. higher conversion, you’ll make larger profits with less investment. So, your return of investment would be higher than that of any traditional medium, which, even after handsome amount of money being spent on it, gives no guarantee that there would be any profit or not.

Before going deeper into the SEO strategy, let’s understand a little bit about the search engine.

HOW DOES A SEARCH ENGINE FUNCTION?

All this while we’ve been talking about SEO, his most important collaborator, his father, the search engine, nudges in “It’s very good that you’re talking about my son, but you should include a little about his old man too-I’m sure they’d like to know!” So here’s giving search engine his fair share.

Search engine is something that helps in keeping track and compiling all the pages that are there in the World Wide Web. You enter the specific keywords and the result you desire, comes up. Here’s how it works:

CRAWLING: Crawling basically means going through all the pages to look for the keywords given in the relevant pages.

INDEXING: When the results come out, they are arranged and stored along with relevant keywords for further references.

There! It is as simple as ABC.

Going further from the search engine, we can discuss about SEO tools.

THE SEO MACHINE: TOOLS THAT IT TAKES TO BE BUILT

SEO tools are the integral part of the whole SEO buildup- the building blocks to a fantastic monument. To map the various workings of SEO tools are used. They can range from checking back-links to finding out the most effective keywords used. They are a bunch of programs found on the internet to help SEO work. Most are found free, with some integral tools for which you need to pay a price- you can search in any engine to get a plethora of SEO tools according to your needs.

SEO tools are generally divided into two categories- on-page and off-page.

On-page SEO

On page SEO is something that is there on your website that can be utilized for search. It consists of content, html and architecture. Without dawdling further, we’ll get to these 3:

1.         Content: Believe us when we say “CONTENT IS THE KING”. The fact that there are at least a 1000 new write ups/websites/blogs/articles being loaded in the web every second with 900 being of the same category and similar keywords is a daunting proof enough that competition is tough. So your content needs to have an edge over the rest. When someone searches the internet for a certain thing, search engines will ensure that the best content comes on top.

The key to mastering the SEO lies in great content. Great content depends upon a few factors-

  • Quality-there should be no compromise with quality as a well written piece leads to increase in traffic.
  • Keyword Research– the moment you decide on what to write, doing a quick, yet thorough keyword research would be benefitting for your website.
  • Use of keywords– The era of keyword stuffing is gone. It’s up to you to make wise use of keywords.
  • Originality or freshness– Posting fresh content every time ensures the ratings remain high as fresh content ensures indexing happens time to time and the user engagement would be high on new topics.
  • Direct voice- Phrases should be simple and tonality should be clear-cut for everyone to understand as nothing is a bigger put off than ambiguously crafted sentences.

2.        Html: The next portion that needs to be taken care of is the HTML. You don’t need to be an HTML wiz or a hot-shot coder, but basic knowledge brings you closer to a great website.

The few components of HTML that you have to keep in mind are:

  • Title tags- They are what the browser tab shows. Clarity in title tags is helpful for a more precise search.
  • Meta descriptions- Meta descriptions are the concise description of the content on the search page. Keep the audience/searcher in mind while working on Meta descriptions.
  • Schema- Schema is the result of a collaboration of several search engines- a subset of HTML tags that helps in improving how your webpage is displayed in the results.
  • Subheads-Keeping a track of your subheads is beneficial as subheads also can be used to optimize the search and make it effective.

3.        Architecture: A good architecture leads to the website being readily available, easy to browse through, gives better result. The sure experience is something that you have to keep in mind while working on your on page content.

The few factors enabling good architecture are:

  • Easy to crawl- Web page should be easy to crawl through with thicker web links between the pages of your site for more understanding of your site.
  • Mobile-friendliness- Your page should be easily browsable through the mobile; as majority of the web users are accessing it from their smart phones, easily loadable pages are always at an advantage.
  • Page speed- Slow pages put people off, so your page should be breezy to go through without lagging.
  • Keywords in URLs- Don’t forget to mention keywords in your URLs- these are added benefits for SEO.
  • HTTPS and SSLs- Security is a ranking signal i.e. the more secure the page, the greater is its ranking. Make sure that you purchase either HTTP OR SSL, for ensuring greater traffic.

Also, a little about duplication of post- make sure to duplicate your own post in such a way that it does not seem repetitive or the one tracked.

Off- page SEO

Off-page SEO simply deals with the activities you do beyond your page-Facebook promotions, guest blogging, comments ,tags etc. that can be tied up to promote your website. The 4 pillars of guest blogging are-

1.         Trust- Building credibility ensures that search engine will promote your website as a top order. Looking like a big brand helps.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Authority- The overall authority of your page depends on how well known your domain name is (domain authority) and how authoritative the content of a single page is (page authority).
  • Bounce rate- Bounce rate talks about how many people view a single page before leaving the website. Decrease in bounce rate is beneficial as it shows that your viewers keep lingering on, which makes the chances of conversion higher.
  • Domain age- the longer your website has remained in the web, the better credibility comes.
  • Identity- Having a brand identity helps search engines to immediately recall the brand and keep it on the top of the results.

2.        Links- Connecting to similar websites and asking them to share your link is a daunting task. Especially the back links.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while  ascertaining to get back links:

  • Quality of links- Reaching out to the right sources ensures that there is a tone developed
  • Anchor text- It is the type text used when other sites link to you. A natural sounding link text helps in seamless incorporation of the link.
  • Number of links- Greater the number of links you have, the better it is from the SEO point of view.

3.        Personal factors- Personal factors also play an important role here. These are beyond our means of communication, but country and region targeting can help getting the word across. Also, be careful with the words you use as they have different meanings in different countries and can easily be misinterpreted.

4.        Social- Enlisting the help by social media is another way to ensure increase in traffic. The quality of share i.e. who shares what and the number of shares are two parameters that need to be kept in mind to ensure the best out of these platforms.

Of late there has been an up-rise of Local SEO so let’s clarify what exactly it is.

NOW, WHAT IN THE WORLD IS LOCAL SEO?

Local SEO is one of the reasons why companies are growing by leaps and bounds. It has become the main component any business looks at while thinking of making their work pro-internet; especially when one wants to harness most of the smart phone. Smart move, we say. The world has finally come into the palm of a hand and for more visibility; your business has to go pro-mobile.

In text book terms: “Local SEO is focused on providing results that are relevant to a searcher based on his/her current location.”

This enables optimizing the phone to give a snappier, more enhanced result. The nearby location based option will be visible first.

Optimizing the info category alongside selecting the right keywords and category, plus creating list for each location and promotion of customer review helps in making local SEO an indomitable force to reckon with.

SEO does plenty of things for the business but its main purpose is discussed in the next topic.

SEO CAN SAVE YOUR MONEY TOO!

You have a new startup with limited capital and want great return on investment. But promotion through advertising is not an option due to limited funds. Well, don’t fret about it because SEO is there to help. Digital Marketing is a medium which needs slight efforts to give maximum results. And SEO is the correct platform to help you.

  • You can post your ad in online bulletin boards.
  • You can post relevant topics of discussion alluding to your website topic in different forums.
  • You can also write articles related to your websites at common article sources.
  • Social networking is your friend. You can create web pages and groups to spread your message across.
  • You can use pay-per-clicks and Google adwords to promote your business.
  • Optimizing keywords is cheaper than printing an ad. Very little of budget is needed for word optimization.
  • Direct email is also helpful.
  • Before moving on, a little insight on what divides content from copy-

SEO JARGON CONUNDRUM

There was a time when SEO Content Writing was all one had to contend with. All we had to do was write content for relevant articles, peppered with SEO friendly keywords and scannable texts and our day was made.

Keyword stuffing was the main ingredient. Stuffing and keyword density ensured that the optimization of the search engine was taken care of. Long tedious articles crammed with keywords were viewed with admiration and envy. Short crisp copy-like writing was unheard of.

And the whole ballgame changed, thanks to SEO copy.

Content is much more article based with 2000+ words per article while copy is the snappier version, with fewer words and more SEO friendly cues.

Both are for the same purpose- content is for articles and copy is for smaller write-ups

Now, a little something on SEO content-

ALL ABOUT SEO CONTENT

You need content to support SEO. SEO is nothing without content. You need content to be woven with keywords to fulfill the requirements of SEO. It’s an interdependent relationship. Through the content, the SEO can either be a success or it can fall flat on its face. The search engines always demand fresh content and in SEO, fresh content gets regularly slotted and re-slotted. For a bunch of keywords, you need text to bring out the best in them. Content sends feelers to the web, talking about your site and what it can do for them. Plus content also helps in building recognition and engaging the visitor’s attention.

So how is content marketing related to SEO strategies?

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CONTENT MARKETING AND SEO STRATEGIES

SEO is a very important part of Content Marketing. Your content keeps the website in recon with most traffic coming on the basis of the keywords used. It is a symbiotic relationship, i.e., both are dependent on each other. The sign of an active domain is strategically placed keywords/phrases. But excess of keywords should be avoided to keep the person (who is searching) away from confusion.

Content marketing fills the SEO gaps. Moreover, the more useful your content is, the more popular your site will become.

And now, more on making the best content strategy-

IT’S ALIVE: TO CREATE THE BEST CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY FOR SEO

You may come across various articles talking about how to create the best strategy for the SEO. While majority may make it seem like a tough job to build up a strategy nut, our simple tips will help you sail smoothly on the SEO boat-

  • KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
  • CREATE MISSION AND VISION STATEMENTS FOR PEOPLE TO RELATE TO
  • RESEARCH THOROUGHLY
  • LINE UP IDEAS-THE MORE THE MERRIER
  • SINGLE OUT THE BEST IDEAS OUT OF THE LIST
  • AN EDITORIAL CALENDER IS A MUST-ASSIGN TASK FOR YOUR TEAM
  • PUBLISH AND PUSH FORWARD YOUR POSTS

One is always confused between quantity and quality, so, let’s put our own worth in that.

THE GREAT WAR: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

This debate has been going on for ages, the quantity over quality debate. And in the present era, a fine balance over both has to be maintained, especially in terms of content. A steady quantity of articles without compromising with quality is desirable. The mind of the consumer is fickle, so to remain on their recall, a good amount of content with the right words can do wonders.

TECHNIQUES FOR ROCKING SEO CONTENT

There is no blueprint for writing great SEO CONTENT- some blunder about, while some have flair. But here are a few general tips that might help you get there:

  • Write for the consumers
  • Keep all your material under the same roof; it helps people find the necessary content easily.
  • Use sentences that are rich in keywords
  • Make your headlines talk
  • A structured post is a good post.
  • Pepper your write ups with imagery
  • Write extensions of the articles in Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Monitor the going about of the blog.
  • Promote natural link building
  • Promote yourself in other blogs through Google authorship.

COPY THAT: COPYWRTING GONE TO THE SEO

Copywriting was initially restricted to traditional media. But like the rest, it has shifted its base slowly to the digital media and is doing wonders for it.

SEO Copywriting helps you target your customers and solve their specific problems with well-crafted content.”

SEO content is a longer process. SEO copy is more precise. It is about creating useful content that targets specific keywords and can be easily promoted on Facebook, Twitter etc. It is about wring snappy copies.

FRIENDS, ARE WE? HOW TO MAKE YOUR COPY SEO FRIENDLY.

Here’s how to optimize the most of your copy

  • Use an active voice.
  • Powerful headlines are a must
  • Be concise
  • Make it skimmable
  • Short words bring the most out of the copy.
  • Don’t indulge in keyword stuffing
  • Use positive language
  • Images for impact
  • Create a sense to act NOW
  • Craft a compelling call to act

TYING IT ALL UP: CONCLUSION

So, there you have it. SEO is the friend you need for progress. With the current optimization and a lil bit of know-how, you can make your business discoverable and more visible.

And for killer content to bring traffic in hoards and also for proper SEO techniques and help, contact Italics- we’ll love to discuss this.

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