SEO has four main focus areas you’ll need to address to see results.
- Complete thorough keyword research
- Optimize your website pages based on keyword research
- Review and fix your website’s technical issues
- Build quality backlinks
Mastering these four techniques can allow you to build your own SEO strategy and manage it yourself, at least to get started.
We’ll provide more details on each area of SEO you need to focus on and what you need to do to succeed.
1. Complete Thorough Keyword Research
All SEO work begins with keyword research. Whether you’re preparing to write a blog or optimize a webpage, you need to understand how people seek out and find content related to your industry.
Start with the most obvious keyword and look at related keywords to learn more about how people might search for your content. Choose target keywords based on their search volume and competitiveness. You’re looking for low competition keywords with the highest search volume.
Prioritize your keywords based on their relevance, competitiveness and monthly search volume for the best results.
2. Optimize Your Website Pages Based on Keyword Research
Now that you know what keywords you want to target, you’re ready to start optimizing your website based on that research. You might use some keywords as the focus for your webpages, such as your homepage. And others you might save to be informational blog posts or landing pages designed for marketing campaigns.
During this process, you’ll employ on-page SEO tactics. On-page SEO means writing relevant, easy-to-read content that includes your keywords. You’ll use structured code to tell Google more about your content, including a page title, meta description and alt text for images.
Ranking for keywords does not mean using your target keyword as many times as possible. Instead, it’s all about delivering quality content that matches the searcher’s intent. That means, don’t target keywords and phrases that have little to do with what you actually market or sell. Be picky in your keyword selection and only use the keyword on the page where it fits naturally into the language.
Remember, always write with the user in mind. The better you serve that user, the more Google will notice, and the better your website will start ranking in your niche.
If you’re using your keyword more than once every 200 words, that’s definitely too many times. Consider how you would talk about the topic and try to write in that same manner without thinking too much about keywords.
The simpler and easier to read that your content is, the better. Use short sentences, simple paragraphs and common vocabulary. Avoid jargon, even if it’s common in your industry. Wherever it’s practical, integrate bullets and numbered lists to make the content even more reader-friendly.
Link to relevant internal content that tells search engines more about how your various webpages and content relate to one another.
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3. Review and Fix Your Website’s Technical Issues
To identify technical issues, you’ll need to perform a site audit. Use a program that crawls your website and looks for errors. It will then make a list of all pages that need attention. Here are some technical issues you might see after a site audit.
- Pages fail to use HTTPS
- Load speeds are too slow, especially on mobile
- You have duplicate content on pages, page titles, or in meta descriptions
- You’re missing alt text on your images
- You have broken links within your site
Many things can be wrong with the technical side of your website. Take the time to review these issues that show up in a site audit to ensure the best possible search engine results for your site.
4. Build Quality Backlinks
All backlinks are not equal. You need to focus on building quality backlinks that provide value to your website. You can build links in a variety of ways.
- Business listings on websites like Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau, your local chamber of commerce, etc.
- Guest blogs that link back to your website
- Answer questions in online forums like Quora
- Check your competitors’ backlinks and try to get listed there as well
Building an SEO Strategy
While it’s certainly possible to build out an SEO strategy, it’s best to work with a professional who specializes in this area. New Light Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency with rich experience in SEO and building content that resonates with consumers. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can build an SEO strategy for your business that delivers results.