Believe it or not, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine! (Junto, 2019) If your brand or business has an online presence, then chances are you’ve heard of the term SEO (search engine optimization).
SEO can seem intimidating at first- difficult to understand, yet so inherently important to your business. However, with a little practice, SEO is actually not a difficult concept to grasp. Search engine optimization is essentially a method of ensuring effective usability of your website while feeding into search engine metrics of valuing top positions for user-searched keywords.
As a part of your brand’s strategy to remain relevant and at the forefront of the digital field, follow these tips to sharpen your SEO strategy.
1. Figure out what your customers are searching for
Ask yourself this question: What would your potential customers Google search? Your search engine optimized keywords should be those terms that your potential customers type into their search consoles. To narrow down the terms to focus on, start by listing the categories that your business belongs to. Under each of those categories, research relevant key terms that are high in interest. Additionally, make sure that you select a combination of short phrases as well as long keywords. It may also be helpful to research competing brands to see which keywords they focus on.
A female-founded skincare and beauty brand wants to research their field and list a series of SEO terms to focus on.
- Narrow down the categories to beauty products, skin care, natural products, female-founded companies
- Short phrases: makeup, skincare
- Long keywords: female-founded skincare brand, natural beauty solutions
2. Use those keywords consistently
As a company just beginning to dip its toes into the SEO world, it may be discouraging to find that rankings will not improve overnight. SEO is not as easy as, let’s say, placing a Google Advertisement. No amount of money or hard work can drastically improve your rankings over a short period of time. To tackle SEO, devise a long term strategy. Try coming up with a content calendar over the next few months that outlines how to incorporate your different SEO keywords or take a stab at revamping your website to become more user-friendly- decide what’s best for your brand.
3. Optimize your headlines
You may be tempted to find quick fixes to SEO and tackle certain formulas or hacks, but SEO is a ‘quality over quantity’ task. Google search has complicated algorithms to filter out poor content, whether they mark it as spam or duplicate material. It’s critical to spend time crafting your material and specifying your headlines to be newsworthy and eye-catching. Ultimately, high-quality content leads to engagement. Engagement is what keeps readers coming back to your site and is the first step to building successful relationships.
4. Use SEO tools to help with content
You’re not in it alone! There are many tools and services that can help you understand SEO and truly utilize it as an art form. To narrow down keywords, Google Keyword Planner is a great introductory step to begin your research. Plug-ins like Yoast are easily integrated into the WordPress platform and help you optimize each post to a specified SEO keyword. This free platform also provides detailed steps on how to improve each post, whether it’s inserting relevant images or linking internal pages.