Do you run a website or do you plan to have one? Whether it is e-commerce, blog, or informational website, your primary goal is to attract as many targeted visitors as possible. Organic search is one of the main sources of traffic and it is comparatively free.
Unfortunately, if the search engines (including Google, Yahoo, and Bing) don’t consider your website authoritative or relevant enough, you won’t get a chance to be seen on the search engine results page and consequently don’t get any search engine traffic. This “SEO for dummies” article covers the most useful and easy-to-implement things you should know about search engine optimization.
A search engine is essentially a type of computer software that functions by scanning web pages and organizing them into a database based on their content. It's like speed reading for a topic, where you quickly scan through materials to find words that catch your attention. Search engines perform this digital speed reading task constantly evolving to enhance their capabilities. However, search engines don't work alone, they enlist the help of spiders that crawl the web and gather information. Those spiders then consolidate their findings and present it to the search engine to rank and summarize your site, pages, and information — alongside all of the other applicable or relevant sites.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a methodology of obtaining a better placement on the search engine results page (SERP). The first 4 results after the search query are ads.
The next placements after the ads are the best; according to a study conducted by Moz, the top 5 results account for 67.60% of all the clicks for the given search query. So, speaking the human language, SEO is a set of rules that helps your website appear on the first page of search results.
Let’s say you have a pizza delivery business in Brooklyn. If you google “pizza delivery Brooklyn” you will get more than 11 mln. results.
No matter how delicious your pizza is and how fast your delivery is - if your website doesn’t appear on the first page of search results, you won’t get almost any organic search traffic to your website. Competition is fierce, but you know what piece of the pie you are fighting for.
Keyword/keyphrase - a word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine. For example, “pizza delivery Brooklyn”. A keyword is one of the fundamental elements of search engine marketing.
Long-tail keywords - long and very specific search queries. For example, “the best movie to watch on your first date”.
META tags - a 160-character snippet that summarizes a web page’s content. It is very important to have a good META title and description tags because they are the first thing the users see on SERP when they decide whether they want to visit your website.
Page rank (PR) - a value between 0 and 10 that shows the page’s authority and importance on the given keywords. This calculation is a part of the algorithm Google uses to determine how high your website appears on the search page.
Anchor text - the visible text of a link. Anchor texts show search engines the relevance of the link to the content of the page referring to it.
These are the two integral but completely distinct parts of any successful SEO strategy. On-page SEO is all about tweaking your website pages (hence the name) and includes various manipulations with title tags, headings, URL structure, alt text for images, internal links, meta descriptions, and various aspects of responsive design and site speed optimization.
Off-page SEO is all about increasing the authority of your website on the Internet. The logic is quite simple: the more resources refer to your website (quote it via links), the more trustworthy it is.
There three main search engine optimization tools and they all - wouldn’t you know it - come from Google:
Google Analytics - a free service that tracks and reports website traffic
Google Search Console - free service that helps you optimize the visibility of your website
Keyword Planner - a tool to research keywords
Before your team can fully embrace the future of SEO it is essential to choose the application that will drive your new approach. While there are AI powered tools for SEO purposes, only a select few specialize in content.
These particular applications have the capability to evaluate the SEO aspects of content topics and existing pages. They offer recommendations backed by data when it comes to keyword targeting optimizing for search engines and much more. Additionally, they can utilize features to predict how well new or re optimized content will perform. Regardless of which AI application you ultimately decide on, it is crucial to invest time into researching your options and understanding the cost associated with AI powered software solutions.
When selecting a platform for your needs it's important to choose one that has a proven track record of reliability and effectiveness. If you simply opt for the application you come across you run the risk of receiving recommendations that could push your content down to the second page of search results.
Once you have identified an AI application that suits your requirements you can begin utilizing AI for SEO purposes. Typically this involves using AI for creating content or optimizing existing content.
If you're interested in generating content, start by conducting research on topics or keywords. Focus on subjects that are directly related to your industry, business, products or services. For instance, if your business offers cooking classes it wouldn't be appropriate to write about the lawn care tips.
Keep in mind that each AI application operates differently when it comes to submitting keywords or topics. Most applications will provide step-by-step guidance or instructions on how to use their software. Depending on the provider they may even handle the submission process and deliver the results directly to your team.
The information provided by your AI platform may very well be. For example, platforms can provide the following details:
Suggested word count
Summary of analysis
Afterwards, it's important to review the SEO data generated by the AI. The marketing and SEO team responsible for your efforts should carefully examine the report. This allows them to identify any errors, address any questions or express concerns.
They can then share the recommendations with the content writers according to your business approach.
If your team of writers includes members from different departments, it's an idea to go over the report with them. You can provide some information about SEO, such as keywords and keyword usage for instance. This proactive approach ensures that your new content not aligns with your brand guidelines, but also meets SEO standards. If you collaborate with a third party writing service, make sure they adhere to the recommendations in the report.
Collaborating with an agency that offers both SEO and content services can simplify this process, reducing any potential hassle. They will fully understand all aspects of your report, including keyword suggestions and semantic analysis.
Once your writing team is on board your business can begin creating AI powered SEO content. Regardless of the type of content produced by your team or agency it's important to ensure that it adheres to brand standards, incorporates targeted keywords and references recommendations from the report.
Your company should always proofread its content. While it may be tempting to write and publish quickly without proofreading, doing so runs the risk of sharing content, with typos or grammatical errors. It's best to resist this temptation and take the time to carefully review and edit all types of content—be it sales copy or blog posts.
It's not surprising that many company websites have pages that receive little traffic considering that over 55% of businesses are employing content marketing strategies. Furthermore, out of the organizations that invest in content marketing approximately half of them produce content on a basis.
That means companies have content that's not generating traffic, awareness, leads or revenue.
The good news is that your business can utilize AI for SEO purposes to optimize existing content. By using your AI application you can identify opportunities such as keywords and title tags that could potentially improve the ranking of your content in search results. If you wish to enhance content with SEO techniques simply follow the steps mentioned earlier. However when it comes to conducting content research, create a list of pages that're underperforming. You can identify these performing pages by utilizing SEO software and tools with a subscription. Additionally, Google Analytics can assist you in identifying pages that have experienced a decrease in traffic and conversions, over time or those that never gained traction at all.
SEO is a complicated process that is based on understanding Google’s ranking algorithms. However, it is hardly possible to follow all the rules set by Google. Our “search engine optimization for beginners” checklist offers the most important and easy to implement tips.
Your goal is to understand which keywords are already working for you, which ones are strong enough to put your website on the first page of SERP, and which keywords will potentially increase your SERP ranking. The above-mentioned Google tools will help you with that.
When you have a list of keywords, you need to optimize your pages for these keywords. Here are a few things to do:
Use the keyword in the title of the page
Use friendly URLs that show the structure of your website and include primary keywords, for example, https://www.bitrix24.com/tools/crm/
Use not only the keyword but also its variations throughout the text
Use the keyword in the meta tags, especially the meta description
Use the keyword as the anchor text
The chosen keywords should become the centerpieces of your content
Title tags should be 65 characters or less. Longer titles will be cut off on the search results page
Titles should be consistent with the content
Meta Description tags should be 160 characters or less
Use H1 headings
Your website should be mobile-friendly
It should work on multiple browsers
Use social plugins, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+
Your content should be unique, written by humans for humans
The length of the content should be over 500 words, ideally around 1,000 words
SEO is too complicated to hack so don’t even try to outsmart Google. But if you create customer-centric content, your website is mobile friendly and secure, you are on the right track. Good luck!