Search engine optimization or SEO can be very difficult to understand and most businesses owners have had to struggle with understanding what SEO is and how it works.
65% of customers who have tried using SEO has failed because they lack the proper understanding and framework to make their SEO works.
But when they do, the result can be phenomenal. When done right, SEO can help a business to grow year over year, remain profitable.
So having a great understanding and framework for implementing SEO is important and that is what this article is all about.
What is SEO?
SEO is defined as the process of getting free or organic web traffic from search engines e.g Google, Bing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the channels of attracting visitors to your website. In our training school, we believe that the current concept of SEO is a myopic one. Rather the concept of SEO as website optimization is a better concept.
While SEO focuses on fixing some aspect of a website to make it readable by search engines, website optimization believes that the audience comes first while the search engines are second.
SEO is a medium of getting already interested visitors in a particular product or service to see your website first and if your website is viable enough they, in turn, will buy whatever products or services you are selling.
SEO is an interesting concept. When done right SEO has the potential to help your business build trust with new audiences and increases the credibility you have with people who are familiar with your brand.
The concept of SEO becomes more pronounced as people turn to search engines to answer questions or problems they are facing.
Google alone has over 3billion searches every day and with high penetration of internet availability; new people are going to keep turning to them. When was the last time you couldn’t figure something out? Where did you turn to first?
SEO holds a lot of promise for businesses. SEO can help you:
- Gain brand visibility
- Attract new customers
- Build credibility with older ones
- Become an authority in your field.
This is because people trust results on search engines. Do you know that:
- 60 of clicks goes to the first three positions on Google.
- Website occupying the first position gets 50 of the clicks.
- Conversion from organic traffic is higher than other sources.
- You get “free” traffic year after year.
This is why SEO is a very important means of growing your business. In fact, hubspot listed SEO as one of the first steps in their inbound marketing methodology.
Now that you know what SEO is and why it is important, let’s take a look at how it works.
How SEO Works
The SEO process is fairly a straightforward process. When implementing SEO, you actually are looking for traffic from organic sources and this is where people get it mixed up.
Optimizing your website means you want to attract website traffic from Google usually referred to as organic source.
Here is an oversimplified process:
- Create a web page or pages as the case when optimizing a website.
- Optimize it for search engines.
- Work on it until it ranks on the first page.
We will look at each of the processes in details.
A. Find out what people want
Your website exists for only one reason. Letting people know you exist so they can patronize you.
This is where audience research comes in. You need to know firsthand who your website is designed to attract.
- Who is your target market?
- What do they want?
- What should they know about your service?
- How can you help them?
Ps– Every process and step in the SEO process are a continuous one.
The second phase of the audience research is the keyword research phase. Keyword research is at the heart of all we do online.
Keywords let you know how your audience wants to interact with you. With a solid keyword research, you can find out what people are actually looking for and solve this problem.
You can do that by simply writing articles that show how this problem can be solved or you can create services or products e.g tools to help them solve their problem.
There are different ways to conduct keyword research. But here is one simple way to get started.
Steps to keyword research:
- Write down two words that describes your services.
- Type each of these into Google respectively.
- As you begin to search, note the suggested words, Google instant shows you. Write them down.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page. Write down the words in the suggested related column.
- Remove words that are not relevant to you.
- Take the remaining words and plug them into the Google keyword planner tool. (usually, 3-5 phrases is just enough) anything more and your result might be confusing.
- Depending on the purpose of your research, you want to pick words that have – high volume, commerciality, relevant to your business and the competition must be low.
Repeat this for every blog post or service page you want to drive traffic for. Keyword research should be an on-going process. Don’t ever set and forget.
Now that you have found your sweet spot, you want to make that page discoverable in Google. What you need to do is optimize it.
B. Optimize it.
Google is a machine. Google has been taught to think and act in a certain way. And the first step to getting a chance to appear anywhere on the search engine is to optimize the page by making this page search engine friendly.
An optimized page has lot characteristics but the basic ones are:
- It must be search engine friendly.
- It must be user-friendly
For a web page to be search optimized, your keyword must appear in the
- Image alt
- Body content
- Image name
- Meta description
For your web page to be optimized for the user, it must:
- Adapted to all devices- a web page must be responsive. People consume content through different devices. You want to create the same experience not minding if our audience is browsing on mobile, tablet or desktop.
- Load on time- Speed matters. Your web pages must load on time.
- Satisfy the user intent- Each page must do what it was created to do.
The last phase of the SEO process is to make your web page appear on the first page of Google.
But how do you rank a website?
C. Rank the page.
Now you know your audience. You have succeeded in picking the right keyword. You have optimized a web page for the right keyword.
The next thing to do is make sure that that page ranks correctly at the right position- which usually is position 1.
Not all your web pages need to rank on first page of Google but your most important pages must.
Google ranks web pages using different criteria but one factor that most people seems to agree on to get the desired ranking position is the quality and quantity of backlinks pointing to your website.
There are various ways you can build links to a website. One of the ways is to start blogging. Having a blog gives you an opportunity to acquire links you naturally otherwise won’t get.
SEO is really very straight forward so it is important that you understand what your SEO agency is doing. Getting it right is crucial to succeeding with SEO.
VTNS Solutions are a team of specialists who love search, SEO and creating content marketing that communicates ideas and builds brands.
To learn more about how we can help you, take a look at our SEO Services we offer.