SEO has been around since the 1990s, and it has opened the door to a variety of new business and new professional careers. From SEO-compliant copywriters to expert SEO agencies, it is a skill that is difficult to miss. And that’s good because, in the world of the Internet, it’s not a skill that you want to be doing without. You need to understand the basic rules of SEO to appear in the ranking of search engines. However, it seems that the jargon has erased the true function of SEO. Now, at an age where every marketer’s CV displays the acronym SEO as a proof of expertise, it becomes essential to leave the business language out and focus on the common sense behind SEO. Here are some Super Elementary Observations, or SEO if you like, about your online presence.
From understanding the right methods to knowing what useful content means, discover the logical observations that guide search engine optimization.
#1. There Is Such A Thing As Bad SEO
For a start, there is no denying that there can be bad SEO methods and results. You can find a great article about it, Marketing Mines You Don’t Want To Step On, which explains the key faux pas of SEO. Google is the main search engine, with over 93% of users googling instead of binging or yahoo-ing their search terms. Therefore it’s always helpful to keep an eye on the SEO rules set by Google. You can get penalized for keyword stuffing, for example – which is a strategy from the 1990s that consists in inserting your list of keywords all over the web page a bit like a grocery list. Additionally, there is more than just the text that you read on the page in SEO. You can optimize your images by giving them appropriate sizing, captions and alt tag – or alternative tag, which appears in the code and helps the search engines to understand the pictures. Missing these elements can make it more difficult for your page to be read and then ranked appropriately by search engines.
#2. You Need To Do Your Research
SEO is all about keywords. The idea is that the search terms that the users entered in their favorite search engines will match the keywords that you are placing in your content. Unfortunately, this matching phenomenon doesn’t happen by chance. You need to research the preferred search terms for your topic or product. This means that you need to a keyword specific tool that will help you to observe the high ranking keywords related to your content and to monitor your own ranking. It is a little simplistic, but what SEO tools do is dressing a list of relevant search terms for your content – generally after analyzing your web pages or receiving your own keyword list – to help you find the best keyword phrases and synonyms. Indeed, using the same phrasing than digital users is the best way to appear for their searches.
#3. You Need To Think About Your Audience
However, while a keyword research is useful, it doesn’t give you any information about your actual target audience. Let’s be honest, it’s nice to use the most typed search terms in your content, but if you don’t target the content for the appropriate audience group, it is a waste of your time. Knowing your audience means that you understand their demographics, lifestyles, and interests. It is an essential step of targeted SEO strategies, which means reaching the right audience, at the right time and in the right location with the right content. Sounds difficult? It is. But doing your research is key to success. You need to know who you are writing for.
#4. You Need To Generate Content
Does it really need saying? An SEO strategy needs content. Indeed, there’s only so much you can do to optimize your website so that search engines can access and read it easily. But it’s the content that will appear in the search results. Therefore you need to create content. Thankfully there is more than one type of content. Using infographics, for example, if you make a clever use of your alt tag, is a great way of presenting a clutter of information and facts about one topic. If you are an infographic lover, you have probably already rightly considered that this article could also exist in infographics format. Videos are another great example of engaging SEO content – you can post a transcript of the video alongside so that search engines can pick it up easily – that is ready to digest for users and still informative.
#5. What The Heck Is Good Content?
This asks the question of content, and specifically what is good content. Indeed, how you measure the results of your content is defined by what you want to achieve with your SEO content. For instance, are you creating content to attract more visitors to your website? In this case, the SEO ranking matters less than the traffic number and the traffic performance of each piece of content. But what if your purpose for generating content is to increase purchases? In this case, the SEO ranking and the traffic figures are no indicators of performance. You will be interested in the number of sales that you can link to your content – in the world of Google Analytics; it’s the convertibility of your content, or which piece of content leads to a conversion.
#6. The Dilemma Of Useful Content
There is a big emphasis on writing useful content. While it is difficult to measure the usefulness of your content regarding web traffic data – receiving visitors on the website is not an indication of how useful your content is but how high it ranks in search engine, for instance – there are ways to use social media to understand its impacts. The social media reaction to your content will vary in terms of how the content fits in a specific context. Let’s say, for example, that you are sharing a meme. This might create a semi-viral reaction on your social platform, but it will not last. While it is engaging, your content doesn’t have a long lifespan because it doesn’t serve a purpose in the long term. It’s essential to create content that is engaging and relevant in the long term.