Search engine optimization (SEO) is a constantly evolving practice that seeks to increase traffic to a website by improving its rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). Google is the most frequently used engine, so webmasters concerned with SEO are generally trying to rank higher in Google to gain more organic traffic.
The competition for high search results rankings is fierce, and 75% of users don’t scroll past Google’s first page. Even amongst the first page results, the bottom few results tend to get similar traffic, and the number one result gets the vast majority of clicks.
It may seem like it spells gloom and doom for a new site or one that’s yet to focus on SEO, but this isn’t necessarily true. You can predict how well you’ll do in SERPs by measuring your domain authority (DA), which is a comparative metric. Your DA can be raised by having high-quality backlinks and using better SEO tactics in general, and you only need to outperform your site’s main competitors to rise in the search results. Improving SEO can take a long time and requires consistency and hard work. These are the main points you’ll want on your SEO checklist.
Keywords are the search terms users enter in search engines to find the solutions they’re looking for. You need to know the search terms that will lead users to your site so you can start using them on your site and in the content you produce. However, you must incorporate keywords in ways that sound natural, as user intent is more important than the words themselves these days. In fact, “keyword stuffing” can even be detrimental to your efforts.
For example, if you’re running a bike shop in Raleigh, NC, you’ll naturally want to target keywords regarding bikes, parts, riding, etc. In addition, you can go for long-tail keywords that include your shop’s location, which is especially useful for ranking in mobile searches.
There’s a common saying that “content is king,” which means the higher quality the content is, the more successful you’ll be. Therefore, you will need to produce original content that uses your target keywords and provides relevant information for your audience. Creating blog posts, podcasts, videos, and other content showcasing your products and services is one of the best ways to build your online presence rise in SERPs.
Original content for the Raleigh bike shop could be videos showing the benefits of custom parts or a blog post describing the best bike trails in the area. Content creation is a great opportunity to answer your audience’s questions and show them how to solve problems. The article on the health benefits of cycling shows plenty of pros, and it also takes the opportunity to offer some safety tips along with the benefits of cycling. Relevant and useful content will stick in user’s minds, and they may even share your content on social media.
Link building services have always been one of the most basic tenants of SEO, and an SEO expert would likely say it’s the most challenging part of the job. Building links primarily refers to creating backlinks, also called inbound links. These are where one site provides a hyperlink to another. Your goal with link building is to get your site linked to other sites with high DA, thereby helping increase your DA by association. So naturally, the more high-quality links you have, the better you’ll rank.
You can create backlinks through original content, post your site on aggregate pages, and work with other websites. Since link building does tend to be such a challenging process, you may want to hire an SEO agency to help you with it. Look through an SEO case study to see if these services seem like they could help your business. It’s also worth remembering that SEO companies understand and will stick to established best practices, so you won’t have to worry about unhealthy links or potential Google penalties.
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