With the year being nearly half over, we thought it would be a good idea to share some of our favorite SEO tips for 2018. While you may have heard the long-standing rumor that SEO is dead or dying a slow, painful death, the opposite is true. SEO is alive, well and still relevant to digital marketing in just about every conceivable way.
What Is SEO?
If you’re unfamiliar with digital marketing, you might have heard about search engine optimization but aren’t sure exactly what SEO is. If you ask someone with a cursory understanding of online marketing, the person will probably tell you that search engine optimization is the sum of the activities you engage in to improve where your website lands in search engine results pages.
While that’s one way to explain what SEO is, it’s actually a pretty narrow view of search engine optimization. In reality, the purpose of SEO is more broad-based. The goal of SEO is actually the same as the objective you have for your other digital marketing activities, which is to attract as many qualified leads and customers to visit your website as possible. While ranking well in SERPs can certainly help lead people to your site, it’s not the only thing that SEO encompasses.
Of the seven pillars of digital marketing – website, content, email, online ads, video, social media and reviews and testimonials – there isn’t a single one that SEO doesn’t influence in some way.
Find the Right Keywords
If you’re engaged in any SEO activity and you’re not using at least a few targeted keywords, it’s highly unlikely your efforts will be successful unless you get extremely lucky. Of course, with SEO influencing so much of your overall marketing, you don’t want to rely on luck, do you?
Finding the right keywords requires a little bit of work, but it’s relatively easy to do. Researching keywords is definitely worth the effort it requires because identifying the appropriate keywords is essential for link building, on-page SEO and content marketing.
You can use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find the keywords that are best for your purposes for free. Unless you have a bottomless marketing budget, it’s important for you to find the right balance between competitiveness and demand when you’re looking for keywords. Keywords that are in high demand will be harder to rank for so it’s generally wise to avoid keywords that are too competitive.
It’s also wise for you to consider a user’s intent when you’re researching keywords. Google is going to try to match a user’s intent with the most relevant websites when a search is performed. Using the appropriate keywords can make your site seem more relevant than competing websites.
It’s often advisable to choose keywords that incite action of some sort with phrases like “for sale.” You may want to include your company’s location in at least some of your keywords, too. To attract highly targeted traffic, consider using long-tail keywords that provide more context using four words or more.
Incorporate Your Keywords into Your Content
Of course, finding keywords is only a worthy endeavor if you’re going to use them in your content. Review your existing content and look for opportunities to incorporate your keywords into your material. Naturally, you’ll want to use the relevant keywords in the new content you create in the future, too.
Try not to use a keyword more than two to four times in a single piece of material. While you may use your keywords more often in longer pieces of content, it’s vital for you to avoid keyword stuffing. To avoid this, write in a natural style and use variations of your keywords.
In addition to the body of your content, you should use your keywords in the following:
- Page title
- Meta title and description
- H1 and H2 headlines
Use Crawlable URLs That Are Accessible
As you know, search engines like Google crawl websites and index them all the time. You want these things to happen because it’s how your webpages will appear in search engine results pages. To start, be sure your URLs are crawlable and accessible. From there, make sure everything on your webpages – your written content, images, videos and embeds – can be understood in a text-readable format to ensure search engines can index and rank your pages accurately.
Optimize Your Images
Being in charge of a SEO company, we can tell you that you should do more than optimize your written content for SEO. You should also do the same for your images because Internet users are drawn to visual content more now than ever before. Optimizing your images is easy to do. Simply change the filename and ALT tag for each image on your website and you’re done.
Do Some Link Building
Let’s face it. Link building is a time-consuming, often tedious process. Although that’s the case, it’s still worth doing. Your backlink profile determines your website’s authority, relevance and whether your website is worth ranking in SERPs. The backlinks on your website are also indicative of your site’s trustworthiness, which is important to your SEO and your position in SERPs.
For backlinks to help your website instead of hurting it, they must be from respectable, trustworthy websites. They must also be working. If any of the high-quality backlinks on your website are broken or lost, you can use tools such as Monitor Backlinks or Ahrefs to recover or fix them. If you notice any backlinks on your site that will damage your own website’s credibility and, ultimately, it’s position in SERPs, remove them.
SEO is always changing and evolving. What was vital one week may be obsolete the next. So, one of the biggest keys to having success is to remain adaptable and up-to-date with current SEO trends, tips and tricks. Being unafraid to try something new will also help you enjoy success with your SEO.
Work with SEO Experts
SEO isn’t for the faint of heart. And it isn’t for every business owner or manager who lacks experience with digital marketing. While we’re happy to teach you about SEO and digital marketing if you’re interested, we’re also happy to handle your SEO and online marketing for you.
Learn more about our SEO services now and contact Musselwhite Marketing to schedule a discovery session today.