What Is This Internet Wizardry? (An Explanation of SEO)

For any online business looking to drive traffic to its website, hitting all the right notes for Google’s algorithms can be challenging. Before you sacrifice your firstborn child or favorite pet in order to gain favor from the Google gods, let us briefly explain how you can drive traffic to your website through search engine optimization or SEO.

SEO Wizardry Training

When you Google for something online, have you ever noticed that there are specific sites that catch your eye before any other listing?

 

Whether it’s for a roofing contractor near you, a restaurant that sells the best pho, or grooming tips for hairless cats, each of those subjects will have specific keywords that cause certain sites to rank higher than others as you’re scrolling through the curated list that the Google gods provide. The sites that top the list for particular keywords or phrases are using SEO to get free organic traffic by positioning their content so that they receive the top listing on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). With the right content strategy, Google will recognize your site as an authority on the specific keyword(s) search and list you accordingly.

On-Page/Off-Page SEO

Before we jump into the rabbit hole, let’s start by explaining the two vital parts of SEO and how they come together to create a powerful force for driving traffic to your website:

On-page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimizing back-end website elements. Factors include:

  • Keyword Research - Ranking based on volume, competition, & relevancy
  • Title Tags - Search engines display the first 50-60 characters of the title tag
  • Meta Descriptions - Brief description of the page’s content
  • Uniform Resource Locator (URL) - How a webpage can be understood by a location
  • Headers & Subheaders - Enables search engines to understand content
  • Internal Links - Helps users navigate through websites and ensure link equity

 

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO has to do with any action taken outside the website to improve SERP rankings, and helps search engines understand what others think about your product, services, or website. Some examples of this strategy include:

  • Link building
  • Forums
  • Influencer Outreach
  • Content Marketing

 

For example, if you write blogs about your services but aren’t ranking high on SERPs, some reasons why this is the case are:

 

  • Better content on your competitors’ websites
  • Weaker keywords than your competitors
  • Poor link-building practices
  • Slow load time of the webpage(s)
  • Lack of good user experience on your website (otherwise known as UI/UX, or User Interface/User eXperience)

 

Adopting different SEO techniques is crucial to improving your website’s ranking, so it is essential to examine how your website measures up to your competitors’ websites. Here are five ways to improve your site’s SEO rankings:

Publish Relevant, Authoritative Content

Creating high-quality authoritative content, utilizing and placing keywords and phrases correctly, and publishing content on your website using best practices are all important for ranking.

Update Content Regularly

Bill Gates was quoted in 1996, stating that “content is king” in association with online marketing and its centralization to the success of a website. Regularly updating content, maintaining its relevancy, and setting schedules for content (i.e., blogs) help search engines identify a website for higher ranking.

Metadata

Each page contains a space between the <head> tags where information about your website is included. The title and description in this category are critical for having specific keyword phrases associated with your website. 

Have a Link-worthy Site

Adding relevant links within your text (like the links you’ve encountered throughout this blog) increases the “Google value” of your page(s).

Alt-Tags

When using images and video in your content, it’s essential to use “alt tags” or alternative text descriptions. Search engines will use these to locate your page, which is vital for text browsers or screen readers.

Spy vs. Spy - Black Hat/White Hat SEO

With all this in mind, one must be mindful of two types of SEO practices when creating content using keyword phrases. The difference between the two is the difference between being an authority on a subject matter (white hat) or a search engine spammer (black hat).

 

  • White Hat SEO - Tactics in this practice agree with search engine terms and conditions without the risk of penalty. Creating original content, building websites that are mobile-friendly, and using clear, keyword-rich meta tags are some White Hat techniques.
  • Black Hat SEO - This SEO practice violates the terms of service for a search engine. This practice may increase page ranking, creating increased success in traffic for some time. However, this can lead to a website being banned from search engines. This practice often uses tactics such as keyword stuffing, link manipulation, and duplicated articles on landing/website pages.



Connecting the dots for a successful SEO strategy can be tricky, as Google continuously changes its algorithms, making the search engine terms for crawling and categorizing ever-changing. It’s important to acknowledge these changes and switch strategies regularly. Keeping your content fresh and improving or maintaining your website rankings is what we at The DofM do best. Let us help you optimize your presence and lead you to online marketing success by getting in touch with us.





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