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SEO: The Foundation of Online Marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the foundation of your Internet marketing strategy. Businesses tend to gain the most value from an effective SEO strategy. In fact, studies have shows that most people ignore paid search engine ads in favor of organic results. Returns are slow to appear with SEO, but powerful when you finally rank your site. Around 33% of all search traffic goes to the top three organic results. So, those top three positions are highly competitive because they deliver results. Failing to implement an SEO strategy is like leaving money on the table. If consumers can’t find your business in Google, you are missing out. So, today we are looking at the basics of SEO, and why it’s necessary. Your online marketing strategy must at least include some basic SEO.

SEO is a strategy used to increase your site’s rankings with popular search engines. There are a number of ways we can achieve this end. A sound SEO strategy will include many different tactics. We make use of both off-page work and on-page changes to improve your ranking. There are quite a few tactics to implement when attempting to boost your page rank. Some of these are keyword density, titles, META tags, and H1/H2 optimization. Keyword density is often considered to be one of the more common strategies.

Keyword Density: An Easy Way To Improve Ranking Today

It’s a great place to start for the webmaster with little technical background. Essentially, this involves using relevant keywords in your content at a certain percentage. Too many instances of a particular keyword and it appears like you are trying to game the system. Too few mentions, and your content looks less relevant to the particular word or phrase. You can use a simple WordPress plugin like Yoast or the All-In-One SEO Pack to automatically check keyword density. These plugins will alert you if your content needs changes. Density is very important for your site, because search engines will reward websites with good keyword densities. Google, Bing, and other search engines want to serve up the most appropriate content on each search. Therefore, they are looking for relevant keywords to determine which sites rank for a particular term. Optimizing keyword density is some low-hanging fruit for business owners looking to grow sales online! Spend some time getting your keywords right, and watch your site go up in rank a few weeks later.

Prominence

Keyword prominence is another big thing for your to consider. I classify this as low-hanging fruit as well. Prominence is basically how close the keywords are to the beginning. The frequent mistake we see is when people assume that the first opportunity to add a keyword is in the first line of text in the form of an H1 header. This is simply not true.

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Google crawls the code. It’s not reading lines of text like you or I would. So, we have  many opportunities to incorporate our words well before we get to written content on your site. This includes the SEO title and SEO description. You can also begin image optimization by saving your pictures as a keyword instead of something like “img_01-02-03.jpg”. Once you save your pictures on your computer with the proper keyword, upload them to WordPress. Be sure to use your keyword in the image’s alt description. Businesses that understand the potential of adding keywords into site code have an advantage over competitors whose keywords only begin to appear when the search engine crawls written content. Be prominent. Let Google see your keywords sooner for a competitive edge.

Earning Google’s Respect

Another big thing in SEO is inbound links to your site. These are simply links from other sites that direct people to your homepage or a post residing on your site. Think of it like a referral to gain credibility. If you are looking for a dentist and three of your friends recommend a particular provider, you are more likely to schedule an appointment with them. That dentist has credibility based on referrals from trusted sources.

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So, if three or four good websites recommend yours, Google considers your site to have more authority. If 300 to 400 sites link to yours, you have even more domain authority. However, it is important to remember that you want QUALITY referrals. If a complete stranger that also happens to look like a career criminal with bad teeth recommends the dentist, you might actually have less trust in that dentist’s ability to fill a cavity. The same applies to a bad referral on the Internet. Referrals from bad sources can actually hurt your site’s reputation with the search engines. So, focus on finding quality links. Don’t buy links from shady websites and avoid getting links from spammy sites. If you have doubts about your links, we can actually run a diagnostic to find toxic links directing traffic to your site. Check with your SEO provider to get a good link building strategy for your site.

You Need Organic Ranking in Google

So, those are a few techniques we can use to optimize your site. All of these that we discussed can be implemented to some degree without technical knowledge. What you need to know next is, why SEO is important. Why is online marketing almost pointless without at least some SEO work? It all gets back to traffic. Almost all interactions on the web begin in a search engine.

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People trust Google to only display quality sites at the top of the organic search results. So, websites which rank high basically get free advertising! If you don’t rank, you’re sending business to your competition. Why would you spend money on a pay-per click campaign before you even try to rank your site without sending money to Google each month? That’s like buying a full-page ad in the paper without even bothering to contact someone about doing a featured story on your business first. I’m not saying to neglect other opportunities to promote your business online. I’m just saying to start with SEO first. So, write great content on your site. Spend money on pay-per-click, or devote time to social marketing. Do all of those things, but start with SEO first. It makes all that other stuff more effective. Instead of posting text to social media, you should be sharing relevant articles you wrote on your site. Your pay-per-click campaigns work best when you write great landing pages that speak to the specific client you are trying to reach. Take advantage of the opportunity that’s in front of you today. Add SEO into your online marketing strategy. It’s the foundation of a successful online marketing effort.

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