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SEO Marketing Basics

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SEO Marketing Basics | A Stack Of Blocks With Words

With daily internet searches amounting to trillions, digital marketing is booming. SEO (whether in-house or through white label SEO services) plays a foundational part in that.

Users make these searches often with the intention of finding information about certain products or services. Websites owe a lot of their digital traffic to search. Search is not only the primary source of traffic but also partners well with other mediums of marketing. Having better visibility and ranking higher in search results than other sites that offer similar services, products, or information can have a tangible impact on the success of your business.

Over the years, though, search results have undergone some notable developments. Now, search results provide users with more direct answers. These results give users information that make it more likely for them to stay on these results pages than they are to click a link to a website.

Your visibility benefits from rich results and Knowledge Panels. These also give searchers additional information about your company right there with the results.

It Starts with Driving Traffic

Driving Traffic | A Highway All Around The GlobeYou must understand the basics of optimizing for search. This will help you to develop a strategy that works so you can drive organic traffic to your website. There are several key factors that work together to help your site get more visitors from organic searches. You need to work all these factors in tandem from well-optimized HTML titles and fast load times to solid content and relevant backlinks. All these positive factors combined can give your pages a better chance at ranking, and negative factors can bring your odds down.

Below we have an outline for you of the things to keep in mind if your goal is to increase your website’s organic visibility and rankings.

On-page SEO

When it comes to on-page search ranking factors, you pretty much call all the shots. However, keep in mind that you not only have to think about how best to serve your audience, but also create pages that are search engine friendly.

Every decision like what to title your article or page, how thorough your research is, what keywords you use, etc. should consider your particular audience. HTML headings, anchor text, etc. should indicate to both users and search engines how relevant your content is. The architecture of your site should be built in such a way that search engine crawlers can easily navigate your site and users can find information without trouble.

Off-page SEO

While you are in control of on-page ranking factors, off-page is a different story. These external ranking factors are evaluated by search engines. They include the reputation of your site, the quality of your site’s backlinks, where in the world the user made the search from, and other aspects that you wouldn’t typically have influence on. Search engines take all of this into account to deliver the most relevant results.

You can, however, work with a white label local SEO service to get your local listing fully optimized for a reputation boost and better responses from searchers.

[bctt tweet=”Search is not only the primary source of traffic but also partners well with other mediums of marketing.” username=”ThatCompanycom”]

Site Architecture

Site Architecture | A Desktop With A Web Design VectorSite architecture refers to the way your site is built or structured. It factors into the effectiveness of your SEO. The answers to the following questions determine how solid the architecture of your site is.

  • Is your website easy to find?
  • Is your website easy to use?
  • Can search engines crawl your site’s pages easily?
  • Can search engines access mobile-friendly versions of your pages without finding any duplicates?
  • Does your site have quick loading times?
  • Do your pages provide security for visitors?
  • How strategic is the placement of keywords in your URLs?

Web Crawlers

Search engines use software to “crawl” or read your site’s pages. They compile copies to build a searchable index of all available content on the web. Every time a searcher enters a query into a search engine, it scans the index and filters and ranks the relevant pages to display. If the search engine can’t crawl your site, then your page will not be included in the index or in the results given to searchers.

If any of the following are true for your pages, then they may not be surfacing in the search results.

  • you do not implement correct internal linking
  • pages load too slowly
  • site returns URL errors
  • site displays user access prompts
  • you are blocking search engines with the noindex value (except where robots.txt is needed to hide pages with certain URL parameters)
  • you are showing web crawlers something different from what you are showing users
  • you have poor information architecture and/or navigation system
  • site has broken links
  • HTML and XML sitemaps are not clean / up-to-date

Note that Google is now able to crawl JavaScript links, but using plain HTML as much as possible is still better for crawlability. This applies most importantly to the most important website code, such as navigation. This ensures that you make it as easy as possible for web crawlers to discover all your site’s pages.

Mobile Versions

Mobile-friendly means optimizing your site not only so it can be viewed on mobile devices, but also making sure your website is adaptable to those devices. This means mobile users are not getting a watered-down version of your website.Mobile Versions | A Hand Holding A Mobile Phone

Because most searches come from mobile devices, search engines have altered how they index in response to this. Since March 2018, Google has been indexing mobile site version before desktop versions.

Audit your mobile site to make sure that it’s fast, has working redirects, good font sizes and spacing across the board, etc.

Duplicate Content

When you have multiple versions of one page, search engines may have a hard time determining what page to return as a result to a search query. Google’s search algorithms will group duplicates together because this helps users avoid having to sort through various versions. But you should be intentional about using canonicals tags, redirects, and other structural organization strategies to better influence a positive user experience.

Site Speed

Site speed is a ranking factor on Google, meaning faster sites can have the upper-hand in regards to SEO. This is connected to user experience. A fast site can retain visitors, keep them engaged, and even boost conversions. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a great tool you can use to help you pinpoint where your site can perform better.

Strategic URLs

This is not a major ranking factor, but it’s good practice to optimize your URLs. Describe the content in the page URL so readers know what to expect when they see the link on a search engine results page. This also helps search engines to understand what they’re indexing. Include keywords within your URL separated by hyphens, but don’t stuff them with keywords. Organize individual pages under categories and don’t date evergreen content.

Final Thoughts

SEO forms the basics of a comprehensive marketing strategy. To make it work for you, you must understand what your audience wants and provide that to them. Implementing this across all your campaigns, websites, and other platforms, can get you much improved rankings that lead to increased sales.

SEO, when implemented well, is advantageous not only to websites but also to the search engines themselves. Because of SEO, search engines have improved in their ability to deliver better search results to users. Just remember that you can suffer heavy penalties if you are caught trying to gain an unfair advantage over the competition by using shady SEO techniques like spam to manipulate ranking signals. Your pages can not only get ranking penalties but can even get permanently banned from search results. If you’re in need of assistance, we offer the white label digital solutions to handle all your digital marketing needs.

Written By, Julia

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