SEO Best Practices – Are You in On the Secret?

By Tatiana Pasichnyk and Celine West   

The secret to quality SEO strategy is building it up regularly over time. It is a form of technology that requires consistent care and attention with many parts which could sometimes seem unnerving. But we believe in breaking it down into clear, manageable parts to create a smooth, well-oiled system.

Why should you care about search engine optimization in the first place? Because search engine optimization is not only about achieving higher ranking with Google, it is also about optimizing your website content, building quality backlinks (other websites that have a reference to your pages), filtering your traffic, and matching your business with the right audience.

Engage Your Audience with Compelling Content

Putting first things first, we might begin with conducting keyword research in addition to some light market research, and of course, follow this with compelling, quality content. In our experience, it is important to have a good understanding of both your target audience and your competition since this is what determines appropriate SEO strategies and proper positioning among your competitors. This way, you can be sure to take off pointed in the right direction.

Now it’s time to dig in to the heart of SEO, content marketing, because when it comes to optimizing your website, content is always king. Effective content marketing is primarily about creating compelling, relevant articles that reach and engage your target audience on a regular basis. In the long run, it will serve you best if you are regarded as an expert in your field. That is why we recommend that you spend enough time learning your subject matter in order to create catchy quality content that your audience finds useful and meaningful enough to spend time engaging with, digesting, and sharing with others. This is one of the most important ways to begin building backlinks to your website – an essential cultivation practice that generates traffic to your pages. If you’d like to learn more, here is a free webinar about Link Building in 2018.

Time digesting and sharing the content you put online in addition to creating high quality links to your website are the primary catalysts for building your SERP ranking in the eyes of Google. The keywords and phrases that you choose to strategically place in your copy as well as into your website in the form of meta tags matter in addition to registering your site and content. But this will not compare to the fact that Google will favor your website among the many others vying for attention in the online space. It pays to produce proper and useful content created for well-defined audiences since quality content that is meaningful and engaging enough to be shared is favored and rewarded. In turn, technical tricks applied to direct traffic to a website for simple personal gain is often penalized.

As you prepare to take the high road in terms of being recognized and found in search engines, take heart in the fact that it is also great for business to become an expert on your subject and may be motivation to take marketing your business to the next level. Create content for others, for example, by guest blogging or creating articles that you can link to your own pages. Share your knowledge regularly with your network to build your business and sharpen your expertise. This will generate quality backlinks to your website and increase your online visibility. Building a solid SEO foundation with consistency will improve over time as you actively grow your business, and is also a nice win-win.

Choose Your Words Wisely

Once you have a foundation, it’s still important to apply the technicalities. Let’s say, your AdWords campaign drives a lot of traffic to your website, but you also notice that your key performance indicators (KPIs) don’t do any better. Sometimes, even when you think you are gaining potential customers, your site itself is not providing visitors what they are looking for and, consequentially, your bounce rate only increases.

In this case, you’ll have to ask yourself: what is your business about? Does your website content describe clearly and in a comprehensive manner your services or activities? What are the keywords your business needs to incorporate into your copywriting in order to be found, stay competitive, and have sales, conversions, and engagements?

Let me give you an example of why you need to be more concerned about your conversion and retention rate than your ranking. You have to understand that your goal is to be in search of the right keywords, then your page will go up much smoother and faster. But before we go further, let’s take a moment to review some basics. In a nutshell, what is SEO?

Prior to pursuing website search optimization, we’d like to recommend you do a few simple, but necessary tasks. First, define your main business objective, then your goals, then your strategies and tactics. You should clearly understand how you would measure your company success before you start to improve your website and SEO, and especially to run Google AdWords campaigns.

Once you have your SEO strategy in place, you might appreciate a search engine marketing tool like SEMrush, which gives you a full picture of where you are now. Using this tool, you can research your organic competitors, look up your real competitors, backlinks, best keywords for your ads campaign, and much more! It stores an array of data which helps you to improve your search ranking every day and perform the most effective ad campaigns.

It’s important to remember SEO it is not something that you do once – create backlinks, optimize your content, and then forget about it. This is an ongoing, constant project with everyday monitoring of your competitors’ campaigns, researching keywords, analyzing and writing content, and a lot more. But everything should start with optimized content and your website analysis and audit.

Using SEMrush will help you to understand customer intent easily (frankly, you can see a lot of useful information in Google Analytics, as well, if you embed the tracking code into every page of your website and do an appropriate set up for your business in your analytics).

What’s next? You will need to find out how search engines index your website. And here again, SEMrush will show you which keywords are bringing traffic to your website.

Are they the exact keywords that you were targeting? To check this, you would need to research your organic competitors. Meaning: with whom you compete to be on top by content, meta descriptions, and keywords. This will show you with whom you compete to be on top and is one of the most important indicators that you are on the right path. If you sell apples and your organic competitor is Apple store, you are losing business, even if you like to be closer in search to a giant and most favorable brand. The conclusion is that if you sell apples your organic competition is supposed to sell apples as well, or at least pears (not computers).

Go for Maximum Impact with SEO/SEM Tools

As soon as you’ve defined goals and KPIs for your business, check your website URLs. It’s highly important how you name each menu section on your website. They are supposed to be short, descriptive and right to the point. Don’t forget to create a site map and submit it with Google. If you have images on your website, please describe them properly and add tags. Don’t forget that content is king!

Finally, let’s discuss how to minimize your AdWords budget and bring more traffic to your website, even if you are in a highly competitive industry. Think in terms of long-tail keywords! Instead of using “apple”, use “buy fresh red apples in Los Angeles”, of course if it’s what you sell. Do not be surprised if your expenses go down and your traffic goes up!

And here are our favorite SEO/SEM tools to get the most from your search engine marketing:

  1.  WooRank – will give you a general comparison analysis, meta tags that Google understands (descriptions added to a section of your HTML page, the backend of your website), backlinks, website technologies (you would be able to look up what technologies your competitor uses). What we really like about WooRank is it will show you, in a very simple way, main keywords that you and your competitors are targeting.
  2. Google Chrome Developers tools – we love their real-time performance feature, which shows you how your website pages are loading by the second. Also, it’s good if you need to show your client how slow or fast his/her website is. Chrome will allow you to save the whole loading process as a movie.
  3. SEMrush is our favorite, already mentioned several times, and here is why:
  • Comprehensive analysis of all ads campaigns
  • Deep drilldown to all keywords associated with the website
  • Full report of backlinks (you will be able to compare text links vs. image links, location, and much more)
  • Organic search vs. paid search
  • Organic position distribution

We especially love the last one – the chart of organic position distribution – and won’t be surprised if you do too! No need to use PageRank checker separately because everything is in one place. And this is something that you can use to show your clients what you’ve done for them! Saving data every month will help you to decide how to improve your ranking. I recommend using at least a 6-month period for the graph.

SEMrush has so much comprehensive data for web search optimization, that for a novice it would probably require some training. But the good news is they already have it in place with any short videos which tells you exactly where to go to find necessary data and even some search engine optimization tips. There is so much more we’d love to share with you about this tool which we’ll be doing soon in a future post – so stay tuned!

Please let us know your thoughts, interests, and questions in the comments section so we can continue the conversation about our favorite tools and how to use them.

Keep in mind there is no such thing as cheap SEO if you are looking for long-term stable results. SEO requires constant work on your pages, which requires experts with experience in digital marketing, online advertising, strategic copywriting, and access to the best search engine optimization tools. At 3Ps Innocence Marketing you will find all of the above at affordable rates. Our experts will develop and cultivate your website, account, and campaign, giving constant attention to every detail with every real time change on the market, delivering unparalleled SEO services to you. We do what cannot be done by any software by keeping our nose to the wind, making constant improvements to your website, and hundreds of changes to your campaign monthly.