SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a term that has exploded in the digital world over the last decade. It started as a term used primarily by people like web developers and highly skilled digital marketers, but now it’s something that every business, brand, and industry should be familiar with. As Moz defines it, “SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”
In short, SEO is at the core of your online brand awareness, discoverability, and engagement. In order for your business to grow and be competitive in today’s rapidly changing digital world, SEO needs to be considered strategically. Have a qualified SEO specialist or team do a review of your website to discuss your strengths and areas for improvement, but in the meantime, here are a few easy tips you can do on your own to improve your online rankings.
Make Your Website SEO Friendly
Many factors play into whether your website is SEO-friendly or not. These include keywords, load-time, blogs, speed, and so on. Use SEO plugins on the back-end of your website such as Yoast SEO (for WordPress users) so the plugin can run through basic SEO diagnostics of your site. The plugin will flag pages of your site that are not SEO-friendly and you can edit accordingly.
Having a blog on your website is essential for SEO. Blogs bring a wealth of content on your niche or area of focus that lives on your site and can be shared across other platforms. Content is currency in the SEO world, and non-existent or infrequently updated content translates to low SEO rankings. Not having a blog hurts your status because blogs bring traffic to your site through the use of sharing on social media, back-linking, in-bound links, and guest posting. Not all blogs are created equal, however. SEO algorithms favor detailed and in-depth content related to your niche or industry.
Backlinking & In-bound Links
A backlink is a link one website receives from another website. For example, if a food blogger was reviewing a restaurant, she would use link(s) from the restaurant website to use in her post. Companies and industries of all kinds use backlinks as an integral SEO booster. Having valued content that well-trafficked websites are using for links will boost your website SEO because their links are bringing traffic back to you and your website. In-bound links are links that you use in your own content from older posts on your website. If you have a topic that is related to a few other blog posts you have written, be sure to link them within your new post. Most users will click to read more content on a particular subject through the links provided in the text.
A majority of people still think Pinterest is a social media platform, but it is actually considered a search engine – making it a key element of SEO. Pinterest has been under-utilized for businesses, but savvy marketers now use it to boost traffic and build mailing lists in record time. Posting your content on Pinterest provides back-linking and directs users searching for your niche or subject matter directly back to your website, thus improving your SEO rankings. With Pinterest’s visual orientation, you can use videos, photography, or other design elements to promote content or valued information from your website.
Educate yourself on the basics of SEO through research to make sure you and your business remain competitive in the face of rapidly changing digital trends. Neil Patel is a digital marketing specialist with a wealth of content on all things SEO with great tools and resources. MOZ and SEMRush are both SEO websites that also provide free content to familiarize you with SEO and the elements of improving your rankings. Start small with a few of these easy tips to get started, then get an SEO consultation or review of your website and work with a professional to reach your goals.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
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