Have you wondered what is SEO about and how it affects your business?
What does SEO really mean?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, aims to help users find relevant content on search engines by using keywords and queries.
Search Engine Optimisation is a vital part of any marketing strategy. It helps drive the growth of your business by driving organic traffic to your site whenever someone makes a search query.
The more visible you are online, the greater the chance of attracting new customers to your site. When you are visible online, you are seen as a credible business.
This means that you are perceived as trustworthy and reliable.
In the early days of SEO, there wasn’t much competition. As a result, many people copied online content that worked for others.
This led to spammy tactics such as keyword stuffing, where sites crammed their pages full of keywords to trick the search engine algorithm into thinking they had good content.
Today, SEO is far less about tricks and more about building customer relationships. You want to build trust with users, and one way to do that is to provide useful information. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you optimize your social media presence.
However, SEO can be difficult. It can be downright confusing.
You’ll need to devote a lot of time to it.
If you don’t do the job properly, search engines may ban your website. It can be very frustrating, especially if you’ve spent time developing your website.
The good news is that we have some guides that will be helpful for you along your SEO journey!
SEO is all about knowing what works and what doesn’t.
Search engine rankings are always changing, and Google (the world’s top search engine) is no exception.
You also need to understand that search engine optimization is a process.
As you work through the various steps, you’ll realize that there is no easy way to achieve a perfect score. But with patience and dedication, you’ll find a way to achieve a high score.
Why is SEO Important For Marketing?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fundamental part of online marketing because people conduct trillions upon trillions of searches every year.
According to Statista, there was $1.8 trillion worth of global internet searches in 2018 alone. It’ll be $3.4 trillion by 2021. With these huge numbers, it’d be hard not to understand why SEO is so important for online marketers.
These are often conducted with commercial intent to find specific information about products and services, and search is often the primary source of digital traffic for businesses.
Search is often the primary channel used by consumers to research companies and compares prices among competitors.
Google’s algorithm changes have impacted how people use search engines.
As a result, there has been a shift in the way people interact with search results. Users now spend less time reading the list of search results and more time clicking on the ones that interest them most. This behavior is known as “search fatigue.”
The search results have evolved over the past few years into something more than just a list of web pages ranked based on popularity and relevancy.
Nowadays, users receive more direct answers and information in the form of featured snippets, rich results, Knowledge Panels, and Knowledge Cards.
Understanding What SEO Is Will Help You and Your Audience Gain Clarity About Your Business
To better what SEO is about, let’s go back to some of the “technicalities.
Think of the search engines just like you would a library. The only difference is that this is a HUGE one!
This is just like storing books, but the information is on a webpage instead of a book.
You need to type the keyword you want into the search bar, which will show you the most relevant result.
Two main parts make the search engine work: the search index and search algorithms.
- The search index allows the user to find useful information in seconds
- This algorithm retrieves data from the search index based on the search index result.
In addition to being beneficial, it assists users who run their businesses on websites that feature content to meet search needs.
Besides that, SEO helps content creators rank their searchable content on the webpage.
Using SEO tools, you can analyze keyword difficulty to target keywords to rank for.
Or some just invest in pay-per-click (PPC) or organic search advertisements (Search Engine Marketing – SEM).
That’s how the search engine makes money.
In other words, the more the user clicks on the pay-per-click (PPC) search results, the more revenue they earn
This is why market share matters.
However, there is also the free way – which is to rank your content organically on the SERP.
To rank on the search engine result page (SERP), you must practice SEO by strategically positioning your website to receive more traffic.
To make your content stand up in search engine results, here are some key elements to achieve it.
- On-page SEO and off-page SEO
- Link building
- Technical SEO
Let us break these pillars down further.
The 5 Important “Must Have” Practices for SEO
If you are wondering what keywords are and why they play an important role in the component of SEO, this is for you.
Good keywords are like a base of SEO. You wouldn’t get attention from search engines if someone didn’t find the contents that you have been putting out.
Keyword research is essential for any business looking to increase traffic and rank in search engine results. Businesses can create a successful online presence by identifying the right keywords, keyword ranking, and utilizing effective marketing strategies.
Researching keywords on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing is the key to discovering what your customers search for.
For example, if you are a visitor to Penang (a small beautiful state just north of Malaysia) who is here for a leisure trip because you heard about the amazing food here.
It’s hot and sunny. You remember that Ice Kacang (shaved ice) is famous here, so you search nearby cafes in Penang that sell this cold dessert to quench your thirst.
If you type “Top 5 Air Batu Campur (ABC) cafes in Georgetown” into your search bar, you will probably get some results.
What you will also see on the search box is your search history, and other suggested relevant searches that Google thinks you might be entered in.
You will also see a list of sites ranked based on Google’s ranking algorithm, most of which will be from Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business).
Ok, now back to our story.
Like most users, your first-page click will probably also be influenced by the top business listing because it will show relevant keywords that make sense to you.
Imagine how many potential customers also do that in search of something you offer?
It’s about search visibility in the content in search results.
Are you missing out on the vast majority?
That’s how important the keyword works to ensure that your content for users is what they actually want and according to their search intent.
Therefore, even if you do not pay for advertising, your website will continue to generate revenue if it ranks at the top of search results if you rank on the right intent-based keyword.
When you create better content for users, you will gain higher click-through rates too.
There is more to keywords and the usage of keyword tools to get more insight into popular and trending search phrases, but let’s leave that for another article down the road
Creating content is an SEO technique to also rank in search engines.
This is also known as content marketing
How does one do this?
You can create valuable content through a landing page, blog post (or blog articles), pillar page, or visual or audio content.
But what most people don’t realize is that content and quality are NOT the same things.
So if you’re creating content that has no value and it’s only there to manipulate people, you should reconsider.
This doesn’t work because if you try to game Google and trick them, they’ll find out and penalize you for doing so.
In simple terms, producing valuable content will make more money and gain more traffic. This means content quality will eventually drive more sales, so you will make more money and gain more traffic.
A good practice for content marketing when creating content for SEO is to work on proven topics that will help with
- Business potentials
- Ranking potentials
- Traffic potentials
The lower the keyword difficulty, the easier your content get ranked in search result.
Thanks to the boom of visual platforms like Instagram and TikTok, people are more attracted to visual elements attached to content.
Your content will be more interesting if illustrated or explained with short videos as supporting elements.
Studies have shown that average human attention spans have shrunk from 12 seconds to 8 seconds – so they are always scrolling for awesome content that captures their attention.
Some call this the “thumb-stopping” effect, where people stop their scrolling because something caught their attention within those seconds.
Most people won’t stick to one page with too many words; remember to keep it simple so your audience can easily understand.
The magic happens when user intent matches search terms when someone does an organic search.
Also, it’s best practice to check the spelling and grammar before you finish your content.
Updating your content is important.
Remember, your content might be outdated from time to time, so keep it relevant. You don’t want to have outdated stuff as it would affect your bounce rate and, indirectly – your domain authority too.
Therefore, as a business, you are responsible for constantly releasing new content to Google so that both searchers and search engines are attracted to your offer.
On-page SEO and Off-page SEO
Using on-page SEO, or on-site SEO, you can rank higher on search engines and earn organic traffic to your website.
An effective on-page SEO strategy can improve your page’s ranking. Also, it makes your page more interactive for searchers.
However, using too many repeating words will harm your ranking.
In order to maintain high-quality content and publish relevant content, your headlines, HTML tags (including title, heading, and Meta description), and images should be optimized.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is the external action that impacts your site ranking with inbound links from other websites to your sites.
- Social media
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
- E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).
By responding to your followers’ questions on your social media page, you will keep them interested in your brand or service from your website.
They would also be checking out and giving out reviews or recommendations – so take note of that too.
Link Building, a.k.a Backlinks
Link Building strategy or backlink is the practice of linking another website to your own website.
The hyperlinks are one-way.
When users click on the link, they will be redirected to an external link, internal link, or whichever site you have targeted the link.
The aim of building backlinks is to draw attention and traffic to a particular page – and get some yummy link juice out of it.
The more links you have around the internet that draw people to your site, the more traffic you’re likely to receive.
Doing so will help improve your ranking and increase your website’s search engine traffic on Google.
If you decide to use link building as an SEO strategy, it is important to ensure that your page is relevant and trustworthy.
So how does one successful link build?
Here are some methods of building backlinks
- Adding = Manually adding the link in the blog, press release, or guest post on other sites. You can also add internal links to link helpful content that people might also be interested in on your site.
- Asking = Reaching out to web owners to permit you to add a link with a compelling reason. Most people will offer guest posting for others on relevant content and topics in exchange for leaving a link.
- Buying = Exchange money for links. However, do be wary of this as it can backfire. You may get penalized for this, and will affect your rankings.
- Earning = Get organic links from others who have linked to your site without permission. Best of all, it’s FREE! This happens when you share valuable content that others want to quote you or reference your content on your website.
Technical SEO involves optimizing your website to meet the technical requirements so that your page can be found on search results pages and organically ranked.
Technical optimization elements include crawling, indexing, rendering, and website structure.
It’s also about optimizing it for user experience too.
Is technical SEO complicated?
Well, it depends.
Some elements to check if your technicals are correct are
- Usability – If your website structure and navigation are well designed
- Page speed – Good performance in page loading time
- Is mobile-friendly – Most people browse from their mobile now
- SSL – Secured by HTTPS implementation
- Duplicate Content – Make sure to fix duplicate content issues
- Sitemap – Is it submitted to Google?
- Correcting broken links
- Internal link structure
These are just the top of the iceberg there are many more. However, with these in check, your website might rank at the top of the search engine rankings.
But remember that websites are made for humans, and if you can create a positive user experience, you will earn more conversion, revenue, and climb organic rankings.
Another good way to monitor the technicalities of your website is to use Google Search Console. It is a free tool to monitor and troubleshoot your website performance in the search result on Google.
Want to learn more about SEO?
To sum up, SEO plays an important role in gaining your page ranking and visibility on major search engines.
Whether you have a business website or provide services, with proper usage of SEO, you gain the trust of your potential target audience – just by showing up when they search for solutions to their problems.
Still unsure of how to do that or what is SEO about?
Hi, I’m Mike Cheong.
As a certified HRDC trainer, social media marketing trainer, and SEO content creator, I understand the importance of catching the attention of potential customers through SEO marketing strategies.
Come connect with us to learn how we can boost your organic search traffic and visibility.