[Headline Optimized Perfectly for SEO in 2022]
This is the first in a series of articles about Search Engine Optimization, its importance, and how to build and implement an ongoing SEO strategy.
Alright, let’s get the stuffy, dictionary-like definition out of the way: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website for search engines with the goal of earning higher web traffic levels and improving the visibility of the site. The main goal of SEO is to improve the ranking of individual webpages and the website as a whole on Google and other search engines’ SERP (search engine results page).
SEO helps your customers find your website and your content more easily.
But, basically: SEO is the effort you and your company make to improve your overall website experience for all users by adding robust content, screen-reader-friendly features, search engine-friendly code, and more. When your organization prioritizes SEO, higher rankings on search engines will naturally follow.
Even more simply: SEO helps your customers find your website and your content more easily!
OK, but how does SEO work?
When it comes to SEO, you have to think like search engines think; and, when it comes to search engines, Google is far and away the global leader. Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” You can share that exact same mission by making all of your website content organized and easily accessible to both search engines and all of the web’s users. SEO can help you accomplish that mission.
Google and other search engines use a highly secretive algorithm to read and evaluate your website and its content. First, “Googlebots” and other website “spiders” crawl your website to capture all the information they can about every single page that they have access to on your site. Next, search engines save that information by “indexing” it. Then, their AI and algorithms determine what they believe the primary focus of your website is, and match it up to users’ searches. If they feel your website, webpage, blog, or other content aligns with what users are searching for, then they will display your content in their SERP. The more relevant your website is to the users’ search query, the higher up in the results you will appear.
A direct line to your target audiences
Every good marketer knows that really understanding your audience is key to success. Ensuring that you are well-versed in what your target audiences are interested in and the way in which they refer to those interests is pivotal for developing content that will connect with them.
Great content will also prove to Google that you are a leading expert on those specific topics, and that you deserve to be at the top of the heap.
For example, let’s say you sell healthcare medical supplies and your main product is IVs and IV accessories. You could certainly write great content and information about IVs, how they work, and why users should buy IVs from you. However, you also know that your target audience includes nurses and doctors who are very familiar with the different types of IVs, and they know that they will need a peripheral IV in some situations, and other situations require a central line IV. When their organization is ready to buy more IV products, the nurse isn’t simply searching on Google: buy IVs; they are searching: where can I buy peripheral IVs in bulk.
That’s where SEO comes in. Let’s say you have your peripheral IV product page optimized to the tee: good metadata, structured data, clear headers, keyword-rich content, etc. Now, when a nurse searches for something along the lines of peripheral IVs in bulk, all that SEO work you’ve done helps your site appear as near to the top of the SERP as it can be, making you a top choice for that nurse to buy from you.
Having a deep knowledge of your target audiences and the way they think, talk, and search will allow you to develop better content for searchers. Great content will also prove to Google that you are a leading expert on those specific topics, and that you deserve to be at the top of the heap.
What does SEO look like in action?
SEO comes to life on a website in countless ways. Some are very obvious, like an article title , which is called an H1 header in SEO-speak. Usually, blog or webpage titles on the web are not only written to be witty and catch your attention, but to catch the attention of search engines as well. A less-obvious SEO tactic is something called schema markup. This is a behind-the-scenes code written about each individual page in a special “markup” language that is specially designed for search engines.
SEO should no longer be considered optional … it has to be viewed as an essential strategy.
But it takes more than that to get you onto page 1 of Google. Good SEO takes a more holistic and ongoing approach that includes implementing dozens of different strategies across a website. Some examples include:
- Keyword research and adding more rich content to a blog or service page will make your content more appealing to more users.
- Metadata (descriptions of the page’s title, content, images, and more) will clearly communicate the page’s purpose to search engines and users alike.
- Accessibility features like alt text and aria labels allow blind or visually impaired users to read and engage with your content.
- Adding links to and from internal pages and other external websites helps prove that your content is legitimate and useful, allowing search engines to put more trust in the validity of your website, therefore granting you more domain authority.
- More than 60% of daily searches on a search engine are from a mobile device, which means mobile-friendly websites are more important than ever.
All of these strategies (and more) work together to improve your website’s overall experience. When you consistently work to improve your website, search engines see that, and will often reward you with higher rankings.
How will all this SEO work benefit my company?
No matter what kind of company you are, SEO can elevate your marketing efforts:
- If you’re primarily an e-commerce company, and all your business is done online, traffic to your website is essential.
- If you’re a corporate website and you are hiring for new positions, traffic to your website is essential.
- If you’re an educational and/or informational website with a goal of reaching new readers, traffic to your website is essential.
- If you’re a blogger who puts out content and makes money off the ads on your website, traffic to your website is essential.
- If you’re a small, local business and you want to be the first result when people search florists near me, then traffic to your website is essential.
The list of examples goes on … and a comprehensive SEO strategy can help drive all of that essential website traffic.
I’m ready to get started with SEO!
In 2022, SEO needs to be part of your overall brand digital marketing strategy because it can help drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, connect you with your target audiences, and more. SEO should no longer be considered an optional or add-on tactic to your website; with Google ruling the world of search, SEO has to be viewed as an essential strategy. It’s one of the most effective ways to improve the user experience of a website and make it easier for users to engage with your content, products, and brand. Implementing a comprehensive SEO strategy can help you to achieve all of these goals, and more. If your organization is ready to create and implement your SEO strategy, contact us today.