Making sure customers find your site | A guide to SEO

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What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) describes the process through which you can make your site more visible in a search engine’s results. Basically, there are millions of results whenever someone searches for something on Google or a comparable search engine. So a problem arises: how do we determine what is the most relevant result for the search? There are many different practices, standard and advanced, that have been developed to tackle this issue.

Making sure customers find your site | The basics

So if you’re just starting out with SEO, there are a few basic things you know. While basic, you’d be surprised how incredibly helpful these practices can be in making sure customers find your site.

Choosing the right keyword

Whenever you’re writing content, you’ve got to choose a keyword to base that content on. This word can be anything that will draw your readers to your content. In short, it should be unique, relevant to your message, and something that you can imagine your target audience searching for. You need to make sure that this keyword is frequently used throughout the copy of your content. This keyword will also be used in important SEO attributes, such as your content’s URL, title, meta description, and more.

Follow the basic SEO checklist

So, when you’re first starting your SEO, you’re going to want to follow a basic SEO checklist. This refers to the items I just mentioned above: a page’s title, headers, meta description, and URL. You want to make sure that your keyword is used in all of these, and more. It’s useful to include your keyword in the alt-text of any images you include on the page. Incorporating all of this will help your page gain relevance in search results.

Internal backlinks

Backlinks are super important for establishing a page’s credibility. Basically, a backlink refers to linking other pages to your page. You can usually do this by simply hyperlinking another page to allow the reader to quickly reference it. Internal backlinks are links to pages within your own website. So, if I’m writing about topic A and a certain topic B becomes relevant to topic A, I can then link the page to another article I’ve written about topic B. This enables the reader to explore more of my pages, and thus spend more time on my site. Search engines use this information in their ranking considerations.

Making sure customers find your site | The not so basic

Now it’s time for the more advanced practices in SEO. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can really take your site’s relevance to the next level with these tips and tricks, helping in making sure your customers find your site.

Mobile-first indexing

Okay, so this term is really just a fancy way of saying that in terms of SEO, Google looks at your site from a mobile standpoint before desktop. However, this does not mean you necessarily need a mobile version of your site to rank, so no worries. Basically, how your site operates on mobile can affect its relevance.

Things like how fast your site loads on mobile are taken into consideration. In a world where more customers are using their phones to shop and view content than ever, this is especially important. Of course, if the desktop and mobile versions of your site are pretty much the same, then you won’t likely have to do anything different for mobile-first indexing.

Earning external backlinks

As mentioned above, creating backlinks is super important for SEO. However, external backlinks are a little different, and more difficult to create. This is because these kinds of links must be earned. In short, the only real way to increase your external backlinks is to make remarkable content. The more your page links to other companies’ pages, the more credibility it establishes in search rankings. This is because other people and professionals are liking your content and using it as a reference for their customers.

SERPs: prepare for Google snippets

You know when you search for something on Google and you get a fancy block as the first result? It usually features a link to an article, quickly followed by a bullet list or summarized description that may more directly answer your query. This is a Search Engine Result Page (SERP), and it’s where the money’s at when it comes to SEO.

Basically, once your content achieves a high ranking, Google considers it even further if it can quickly extract information from your content and display it in a SERP. So how do we help ensure this? You need to organize your content in an easily consumable way. This means organizing it in shorter paragraphs, lists, tables, and videos.

Of course, no matter the strength of your SEO, you should always make sure to keep an accurate and consistent measure of how your SEO is performing.

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