May 13, 2020
Search Engine Optimization: A Complete Guide to SEO - 2020
“Building a website without SEO is like building a road without direction.” Search engine optimization is a technique that is used for generating traffic to a website. An SEO strategy is considered successful if a website obtains a high-ranking position on the first page of Google search engine or other Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) like Bing, Yahoo etc. Almost every business now has a website. Hence it is evident that the SEO strategy for different brands has to be on point if they want to remain ahead in the competition. Brands may create amazing marketing strategies, carry out influential outreach and have a great network, but without optimizing their website, it will be difficult for brands to appear on the top of search results. For better optimization of the website on the search engine results page, there are two methods which can be followed- on-page SEO and off-page SEO strategies. Meta descriptions, meta tags, content, images, keyword optimization, internal linking etc. which are done on the website fall under the category of on-page SEO. In simple words, on-page SEO involves structuring and developing the website to be search engine friendly. Off-page SEO helps increase the popularity of the website for increased visibility on search engines. These techniques extensively help improve a website’s placement on SERP.
How does SEO help a brand?“Google will only love you when everyone else loves you first” - Wendy Piersall Search engine optimization is an essential part of any successful marketing strategy. It helps a brand earn more clicks and new customers without spending a penny for ad space.
Mentioned below are some of the key benefits of SEO:
1. Improved user experienceThe right SEO techniques can help a brand build a user-friendly website and maximize user experience. SEO includes providing the audience with relevant information, related photos or videos to support the information, easy to navigate web pages and a mobile-friendly website configuration. With the help of these metrics, users will find it easy to navigate a website, which eventually leads to an increase in the click rates, the number of leads, conversion rates and improved brand recall. The actual intention is to always offer users the information they are searching for, easily and quickly. Quality SEO will help provide a positive user experience, improve its ranking on the search engine results page and leverage these benefits to work in favour of the brand.
2. Generate LeadsStrategies which help generate inbound leads are one of the most effective and successful sources among business to business (B2B), business to customer (B2C) and non-profit organizations. SEO increases a website's search ranking if the content consists of business-related keywords that the brand wants to target. When potential customers search for similar or the exact keywords, the brand’s content appears in the search results which may further lead the visitors to follow those links back to the website, thus creating organic traffic.
3. High conversion ratesAccording to a study, the average closure rate achieved from SEO leads is 14.6% when compared to 1.7% closure from outbound leads. Leads generated through SEO have a higher conversion rate than outbound leads because in the former case, potential customers make the actual search of the brand’s product or service that leads to higher conversion. These potential buyers either have a specific requirement and purpose in mind while searching online or are familiar with the brand and its products which increases their possibility of closing the deal with the brand.
4. Promote cost managementGoogle’s organic rankings are completely based on what its algorithm determines to be the best results for any given query. Obviously, this requires thorough research and high-quality content on the webpage. According to Search Engine Journal, inbound leads lower advertising cost by 61% in comparison with outbound ones. When a brand already has a top ranking on SERP, there will be no need for them to implement pay per click ads for advertising their webpage, at least in the initial stage. They will continue to stay on top of the search results as long as visitors click on the search links or the search engine deems worthy of directing their visitors to that webpage.
5. Establish brand awarenessBrand Awareness refers to the extent to which the target audience recognizes a brand and is familiar with its products or services. Search Engine Optimization ensures that a product is easily visible by the search engine sites through regular and organic searches. Once a brand is listed at the top of search engine results, the visibility of the brand increases. This leads to a higher tendency for the web link to be clicked, and increases traffic to the website.
Off-page SEO strategies -Off-page SEO helps to strengthen a brand or a website’s reputation and authority on digital platforms through backlinks and other reputation-validating placements across the web. Therefore these techniques should be incorporated in every brand’s digital strategy.
Below are some of the popular off-page strategies:
1. Guest postingGuest posting is a popular method for link building. In this, another webmaster writes an article as a guest post on a guest blogging site. There are numerous quality blogging sites where authors are allowed to post articles as a guest. The author is supposed to include or insert the links of another article in the guest post. This creates a backlink to the author’s own website. However, posting more than once or twice on the same guest blogging site should be avoided.
2. Image SubmissionVarious brands are seen to share photos on popular or well-known image submission websites. These images should be optimized properly with the correct URL, title tag, description and tags for better understanding of the context to its visitors. Flickr.com, tumblr.com, imgur.com, instagram.com, picasa.google.com and mediafire.com are some of the popular image submission sites. 3. Google My Business Google My Business is a free platform which if optimized properly, can be used successfully for the best local SEO ranking. It helps in the management of online presence across Google which includes the search engine and maps. Some basic things that should be kept in mind while using this technique are:
The character limit for the description should be within 250 characters
There should be only one primary owner for every listing
Keep a thorough watch on reviews and reply promptly
Upload real images in the relevant category
Regularly update galleries, posts, products or offers