Have you already built your business, but few people notice it? Have you written a lot of articles, but they are nowhere on Google search? A report by Backlinko has found that the number one search result gets more than one-fourth of all clicks, and 99% of searchers only click the results on the first page. To help your website get to the top of search engines, use our SEO guide to your advantage.
Our previous blog article provides many tips for effective content marketing. Now, it’s time to learn something about SEO. This guide begins with a brief introduction to SEO, then it will discuss the key elements of SEO and offer tips for your keywords and website optimisation.
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What is SEO?
SEO refers to search engine optimisation. It is the process or a set of actions of improving your website in order to appear on the top of search engines and get more organic traffic. Put it simply, SEO is all the measures you take to make your website stand out.
Why is SEO Important?
SEO has a significant impact on marketing. Through the optimising process, you can increase your website’s credibility and trustworthiness. By improving your website’s ranking and visibility, you’ll attract more visitors. Plus, you gain a better understanding of your customer and brand.
SEO is not only the foundation of your marketing but is also key to long-term success.
How to Get Started
SEO works because it optimises websites by analysing search engine ranking algorithms and keyword searching. In order for your website to rank well and be well-optimised, it must be relevant to the search and of high quality.
So how do we start search engine optimisation? You need to consider two key elements: keyword and website optimisation.
Keywords and keyphrases are the backbone to this SEO guide and your site’s success. These are the terms in your web content to connect searchers to your website via search engines. Therefore, finding and using the most profitable keywords are the most important part of SEO, but also a tricky one.
Types of Keywords
It is difficult to optimise your website’s ranking if you do not know the right keywords that people are searching for. Keywords can be simply divided into two groups: short-tail and long-tail keywords:
- Short-Tail Keywords
Short-tail keywords are the basic keyword, referring to vast topics. They are usually one or two words. Because of that, they are very general and can attract a significant high search volume.
People tend to use broad terms to search for what they are interested in. Short-tail keywords can bring more people to your website than long-tail ones, but these visitors may not be interested in your product.
On the other hand, using short-tail keywords is very competitive: it is not easy to rank high by using short-tail keywords, because your competitors also want to use them to attract a larger audience.
- Long-Tail Keywords
To get more targeted customers, you need to focus more on long-tail keywords. They are very specific and relevant. Although long-tail keywords bring less traffic than short-tail ones, they help you drive the targeted customers who are ready to take action.
The more specific the keywords are, the less fierce the competition is. The less competitive, the fewer costs.
Tip: Make good use of the “People also ask” section of Google search results. You can find what people want to know about the topic. Additionally, you can turn the question keyword into your keyword to attract more traffic.
How to Find Proper Keywords
Now we know the importance of keywords, but how can we find the right keywords to help us get to the top of search engines? There are several tips we share today:
The first step is to brainstorm: spend some time on your customer needs, questions they ask, and your products, then try to answer these questions with keywords and phrases. During this process, it is very helpful to search on Quora or Reddit. Keep in mind: to think as a potential target audience.
- Check on Your Competitors
Sometimes your competitors can inspire you. Go to their website: read their description and check the phrases they use, but be careful, not all of their keywords are helpful, so it is necessary to use some tools to help you determine the proper keywords.
- Online Tools
Some online tools will help you check whether your keywords are specific or general, such as Google Search Console, Keyword Planner, and SEMrush. By using their analytical tools, you can make sure that the keywords that you find are relevant or not.
The perfect keywords would not help an awful website get to the top. This section will provide some useful suggestions to optimise your website.
A powerful website address should be short and easy to remember. It usually ends with “.com”; “.io” or “.co” is also normal. Avoid using uncommon and complex domains, as people will quickly forget your website. Using keywords on URLs is another useful strategy.
A website structure is important, which guides your audience and shows them what your website displays. Look at our website, you can see an organised menu: programmes, blog, stories, about page, and highlighted “Apply”. A clear website structure will leave a good impression and help the audience easily navigate through your site.
Nowadays, more and more people like using smartphones or tablets, so a mobile-friendly website is a big advantage over other websites. According to Google research, nearly half (51%) of mobile users have found a new company or product by searching on their phones.
Google mobile-friendly test is a good way to test whether your website is mobile-friendly. You will simply get a “pass or fail” grade, but don’t forget these aspects: loading speed, website design, and other technical problems.
A featured snippet is a special box, containing a small piece of information in various forms, such as a table, video, lists, and text. It always appears on the top of Google search results to quickly answer people’s questions. You can find more on the Google Search help centre.
How to optimise featured snippets? Google chooses the properly featured snippet automatically, but you can improve your website and content to increase the chances: focus on the high-volume long-tail keyword question and provide a short but informative answer.
The next thing to consider is content marketing, including writing blogs, featured articles, social media channels and so on. All these will help your website’s ranking. To be a successful content creator, follow these tips:
- The language style you choose should be consistent with your audience.
- Write Q & A and Wikipedia pages based on the questions that your potential customers may ask.
- Use subheadings to summarise each section. It is possible that Google will pick your articles as list-based featured snippets.
Do not forget the graphs in your blogs: these also appear on search engines if you use the right keywords. Good visual content breaks down tons of information and helps readers better understand written texts. What’s more, it is easier for people to share the graph on their social media.
Here are some tips that can lead more people to your website via Google Images:
- Name and description: add or improve image file names and describe the image in detail. Every graph should have a unique alt text.
- Copyright: before uploading the image, you need to make sure that it is used legally.
- Mobile-friendly-size: you already know how important a mobile-friendly website is, so ensure that the image is viewed correctly on mobile devices.
Hyperlinks and Backlinks
Hyperlinks are part of SEO. When inserting links in your post, instead of simply writing “click here” or putting a website address, remember to use keywords. Also, high-quality links will increase your website’s ranking.
A study by Backlinko found that the number of backlinks or link authority is closely tied to the ranking on Google search results. Backlinks are links from other websites to a page on your website. The more trustworthy the backlinks are, the higher your website ranking is.
If you provide services for a specific area, local SEO is more important than general SEO. What is local SEO? It is the strategy that helps you stand out in local search results. According to Google, 76% of people would visit the business after searching for something nearby, and nearly one-third of them end up making a purchase.
Typically, your website will be shown on a “map pack” page, including Google Maps results, business listing information, and organic search results. You can use the Google tool to personalise your business website. The most important thing about local SEO is to keep updating: edit your open hour and telephone number, reply to reviews, add photos and so on.
Final Notes for Your SEO Guide
Just consider search engines’ first page, nearly two-thirds (67.6%) of all clicks are on the first five results and less than 5% of clicks are on the last five results. Thus, it is critical that your website can be displayed in these positions. SEO is such a tool that will assist you to stand out and get to a higher position. However, it also takes time and effort, so be patient and keep optimising.