Many people who run websites have limited understanding of SEO, and this is one of the main reasons why they might struggle to receive traffic. SEO is and will always be one of the most important things you do to build strong traffic for your website. Its goal is to help potential customers find your site and pages and to rank your pages’ relevance compared to your competitors.
Step 1: Customers
Initial keyword nomination; is a list of targeted search terms that are related to your customer base and its market segment. In order to optimize your site, you have to know what your customers are searching for. Before you do anything else, write a list of potential searches. Also, use keyword analysis; which is a list of keywords and phrases targeting your business and your trade. Sometimes it’s easier to ask your customers how they stumbled upon your site or the words they used to find it. For example, is you own a hotel in Florida, then your customers would be searching for things like:
‘hotels in Florida’
‘places to stay in Florida’
‘best-rated hotels in Florida
What Are Customers Searching For?
Most of the time, it’s likely that your customers will be searching for your business by using the words and phrases that you have written down. First, find the most common way people are searching for you (for example: Google, Bing. Yahoo, etc.), and then search words and phrases on your list. It’s likely that you will find some of the phrases in the search result titles. Page titles; are based on keywords that help build a page’s theme and direction. This is important because websites optimize their title tags for SEO. Your page title should be simple, so it is easy to find.
Step 2: Keywords
Understanding the basic concepts and metrics of keyword research is very important to the success of your site because it will help your site gain more organic traffic. Two metrics you should pay attention to is search volume and keyword difficulty; an average of monthly searches and an estimate of how easy or hard it is to appear on the first page of search results. Instead of only looking at the search volume, you should figure out how much traffic is being created per word. Prioritize keywords and phrases, plurals, singulars, and misspellings. There are a lot of commonly misspelled words and keywords that can be utilized in your SEO.
Certain web pages can get traffic from hundreds of long-tail (unpopular) and related keywords. When some people research, they can search for the same keywords or phrases in different ways. Even though it’s easier, not everyone puts ‘hotels in Florida’ in the search bar. You should look for similar phrases that pop up repeatedly. Some may say;
‘hotels in Miami, Florida’
‘Florida hotels close to Universal’
‘4-star hotels in Florida’
Step 3: Content Optimization
Besides keyword research, you also need to structure your pages so that it can satisfy the people who are contributing to your ranking. This starts with your site being optimized so your visitors have an enjoyable user experience. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with pop-ups, opt-in boxes, etc.
a) Use short, descriptive URLs
Your web address is like a short description and it’s important you get it correct the first time because you should avoid having to change it. Descriptive URLs often have some of your target keywords or phrases. It tells the search engine what the topic of your page is. They should be as simple and natural-looking as possible so people can understand what they are looking at.
- Don’t create URLs like this:
- Create URLs like this:
b) Create meta titles and descriptions
Meta tags; are a line of HTML coding that contains metadata about a web page. Meta descriptions can also affect the click-through rate (affects how much traffic you get from search engines). It sets the name of the browser tag which Google and other search engines use in the page results. Since Google doesn’t use keyword tags anymore, meta description tags help influence your customers to click on your site even though they aren’t directly used for rankings.
c) Optimize your images
The search engine isn’t going to see your images. You will have to tag them to describe and explain them. Images are great for humans, but search engines can struggle to make sense of them.
Step 4: Testing and Measuring
Maintenance; means that the addition and modification of your SEO throughout your business career is necessary to improve your search engine rankings. Testing and measuring; means that you should analyze the search engine rankings and website traffic to determine how effective the work you’re putting in is. I’m hammering the thought in your head because optimizing your website once isn’t going to show you great results. If you do not track and measure its effectiveness, then you can’t determine if it is succeeding. So, track your performance and measure how your content is ranking in Google over time! Baseline ranking assessment; is a record of your rankings. Create an excel spreadsheet when you first start your SEO journey to assess those rankings. Check weekly at first and then monthly. Also don’t forget to look at the metrics that show you organic traffic and the average ranking position for each keyword you are using and targeting, making sure you include them in your assessment. You will likely see increased traffic on your site, which means there is progress in your keywords.
Measuring Organic Traffic
Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels > Organic Search
Optimization will take time and regular maintenance in order for the site to succeed and continue to succeed. But, if it’s done well, there should be an increase in your search engine ranking, which results in more traffic for your site and an increase in sales. SEO might seem complicated, but it is quite simple after you learn the basics. Start slow and simple, and then it will be easier as you go. You are going to have to drill down and commit to SEO if you want that customer traffic. Now that you have some pointers, get to work.
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