SEO 101: Best Practices from a Search Engine Optimization Agency
Things are always changing in the world of search engine optimization (SEO). One thing that remains constant is the need to publish valuable content on a regular basis.
Search engines drive as many as 70% of all business to business leads. As such, it is important to ensure you optimize your content, and your website, for search engines.
A Little Background on SEO
SEO is ultimately about building a search-friendly website that you optimize for the best possible user experience. Several elements contribute to whether a website ranks well.
For starters, it is important to know the concepts of “on-page” and “off-page” SEO factors. On-page SEO factors are those things which you can control directly. These are factors such as page content (type, length, and quality), meta data, site speed, mobile responsiveness, etc. On-page SEO contributes about 50 percent of your rankings.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, are the factors that your brand does not have direct control over. Off-page SEO factors can include things such as inbound links from other websites, social shares, and the geographic location of the user. These factors contribute to the remaining 50 percent of your rankings.
Our Recommended Five SEO Best Practices
At KEO Marketing, we encourage clients to incorporate a number of SEO best practices every time they create a new page.
By implementing some of these on-page search engine optimization best practices, you can improve lead quality; develop valuable relationships to support link building efforts; better understand your target audience; and, increase your brand exposure.
- Stay Relevant with Ongoing Keyword Research. Google has become much more intelligent when it comes to user intent behind search queries. Take the time to consider the keyword research process, and try to think beyond specific short-tail keyword targets. Instead, focus on relevant topics and themes to develop content around. Start by spending more time getting to know your audience, reviewing current search results to determine Google’s understanding around the topic, and creating content that aligns with your discoveries.
PRO TIP: Use the “Searches related to” section at the bottom of Google SERPs to help you brainstorm.
- Be More Mobile-Friendly. You may believe having a responsive website design is a good starting point for mobile. However, there is a lot more to the process. Remember that users may be on their mobile phones when sifting through your content. As you create and optimize your website content, consider elements including site structure and navigation, font size, page load speed, and more. Studies show that mobile searches are now outperforming desktop searches, and Google is concentrating on mobile as of late.
- Use a Question-Based Approach. To drive relevant users to your website, explore opportunities to produce content that answers “question-based” search queries. Some marketers use Google Keyword Planner as their preferred tool for keyword research, however, when it comes to finding the questions that customers are asking, this approach is not necessarily the best. Consider longer-tail queries that do not have the high search volume upon which Google Keyword Planner bases its suggestions. Several tools available on the market are available to help you determine new keyword opportunities and lead to valuable how-to guides, support-related articles, Q&As, and FAQs. Ultimately, these strategies can give your customers, as well as your potential customers, the information they want.
PRO TIP: Check out answerthepublic.com for help coming up with content ideas.
- Make Content a Cinch to Find. Your users should not have to trudge through pages and pages on your website to locate the information they need. Aim for user-friendly website navigation. Over the past year, KEO has helped many clients implement content “HUBs” and resource sections that help both users and search engines. With the successful implementation of this content marketing method, we have observed organic traffic increase for numerous clients.
PRO TIP: Be sure to update your HTML and XML sitemaps to further assist in helping users and search engines find your content.
- Choose Unique, Quality Content over Quantity, Every Time. It is important to not just focus on doing something “X” number of times but to also concentrate on doing things the right way a sufficient number of times. Do not worry, for example, about pushing out a particular amount of content each day; rather, focus on pushing out good, high-quality unique content every week or every month.
PRO TIP: Use a tool like www.siteliner.com to help you identify duplicate and common content on your site that needs to be addressed.
Finally, keep in mind that social media matters. At a minimum, share and distribute your content via social channels to enhance visibility, support link acquisition, and boost your exposure in search.
The Bottom Line
Everyone wants to share something that delivers genuine value. Great content, when fashioned the right way, can send your website skyrocketing up Google’s search engine results pages. The key is to remain consistent.
About KEO Marketing
KEO Marketing Inc. is a leading business to business (B2B) Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Agency based in Phoenix, Arizona. We develop and implement strategies to help our clients significantly increase leads and sales.
For more information or to request a complimentary consultation, please contact us today.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.