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What is SEO – Search Engine Optimization ?

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Are you asking yourself, “What is SEO?” and will it help my website gain traffic?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential tool for businesses that want to increase their visibility on the web. It is a process of improving the ranking of a website or page in search engine results so that customers can find it more easily. SEO helps businesses gain more exposure, reach potential customers, increase website traffic, and boost sales. By using SEO strategies such as keyword optimization and link building, companies can create content that will rank higher in search engine results pages, leading to increased visibility and higher conversion rates.

This guide will give you the tools you need to become an expert in SEO. It will teach you how to research and use keywords effectively, build quality links, and optimize your website for search engine visibility. Even if you plan to hire an agency, this guide will help you understand why SEO is so important and how it can benefit your business by increasing web traffic and boosting sales. With this knowledge, you’ll know how to create content that ranks higher in search engine results pages and reach more potential customers. Through this guide, you’ll learn the basics of SEO so your business can take advantage of its many benefits today!

With an effective SEO strategy, businesses can expect increased website traffic and sales. By creating content that ranks higher in search engine results, they will be able to reach more potential customers and gain greater exposure. With the knowledge gained from this guide, businesses can create a successful SEO strategy that will help them stand out amongst the competition and reach their target audience.

Keep reading to learn more about what SEO is and how it works to help you grow your business.

Feel free to start from the top or skip around as you please:

History of SEO

old and obsolete computers ready to recycling depot
old and obsolete computers ready for recycling depot

The history of SEO dates back to the early days of the World Wide Web when webmasters began submitting their sites to directories and search engines to increase traffic.

The first known use of the term “search engine optimization” was in an article published by John Audette in 1997. 

Since then, SEO has evolved into an ever-changing field as search engines refine their algorithms to provide users with the most relevant results possible.

In its earliest incarnation, SEO was all about keywords and link building – activities that are still important today but have been significantly supplemented by newer techniques such as content marketing and social media engagement.

In recent years, mobile optimization, brand building, and local SEO are just a few of the tactics utilized for a successful SEO campaign.

The history of SEO continues to write itself as search algorithms continue to evolve, now at a highly rapid pace. With Chat GPT and breakthroughs in AI, we are faced with a unique advantage to help companies grow visibility faster than ever.

Related Article: The History of SEO.

What Constitutes as a Search Engine?

Young lady searching inspiration from Pinterest application and writing notes
A young lady searching for inspiration from Pinterest application and writing notes

A search engine is a platform that helps you find information online. It works by looking for websites that contain the keywords you specify. For example, Google is a search engine. Surprisingly to some, Pinterest is also a search engine.

Search engines are powerful tools that help us find information on the Internet. We can get a list of websites that match our search by typing in a word or phrase. However, have you ever wondered how these search engines work?

Search engines use algorithms to crawl the web and index online content available to the public.

When you type a query into a search engine, it looks through all of the indexed pages to find those that are most relevant to your question.

The ranking of each page is determined by many factors, including the quality of the content and how often other websites link to it.

While search engine algorithms are complex and constantly changing, they all follow some basic principles. By understanding how these algorithms work, you can take steps to improve your own website’s ranking in search results.

This is why SEO is such a beneficial strategy to add to your marketing efforts. It helps give search engines data to allow your site to show in related search results, and marketing agencies are trained on strategy and reading this data to know how to improve visibility.

How Does SEO Work?

Hands of businesswoman with digital tablet scrolling through search results
Hands of a businesswoman with a digital tablet scrolling through search results

In a technical sense, you may be wondering how SEO works in the first place. SEO is optimizing a website to improve its rank in search engine results. The main aim of SEO is to increase the visibility of a website so that it may attract more visitors from organic or unpaid search results. 

There are various methods employed in SEO, such as on-page and off-page optimization.

On-page optimization refers to the measures taken within the website to improve its ranking, such as using relevant keywords in titles and Meta tags, creating keyword-rich content, and ensuring the site is easy to navigate. On the other hand, off-page optimization involves activities outside the website that can boost its ranking, such as link building and social media engagement

Both on-page and off-page optimization work together to yield a successful SEO campaign.

To ensure higher SERP rankings, businesses usually work with an experienced digital marketing agency specializing in SEO to bring a balanced approach for companies looking to gain online exposure.

How Long Does SEO Take?

The answer to how long SEO takes to show results, you must look at many factors such as industry and budget. An SEO campaign typically takes around four to six months to show results. However, this time frame can vary depending on the nature and extent of the work being done as part of the campaign, as well as other factors such as the competitive landscape and the overall health of your website.

With our services, we usually see results within 2-3 months due to the structure of our packages. We hit the ground running with our clients as soon as they are onboarded to hit various areas of need to see quicker results. 

Having that said, SEO is not a one-time type of service. The strategy will grow with your business and must be tended to in your ongoing marketing efforts to continue growth.

How Do You Learn SEO?

Reading a textbook
Reading a textbook on SEO

One of the easiest ways to learn modern SEO techniques is by reading topical articles and blog posts. However, not all of these articles are created equal. Some are better than others at understandably teaching the concepts. SEO is an ever-evolving concept, so following SEO leaders on LinkedIn and Twitter can also help keep you informed on recent updates to the algorithm.

Another popular way to learn modern SEO is by taking an online course. This can provide more structure and a step-by-step approach that can be helpful for some people. 

Some popular course options include:

There are also many conferences and meetups that focus on SEO which can be a great way to network with other professionals and learn the latest tips and tricks.

Some popular conferences to attend include: 

But there are many other events. Leverage the power of local search queries to see if any SEO events are coming to your area sometime soon!

What are the benefits of SEO for companies?

SEO can be very beneficial for both companies and their website users, where meaningful connections can take place. SEO can help you rank higher in search engine results pages, leading to more traffic and customers. SEO can also help you improve your click-through rate, leading to more sales and revenue for your business.

But more than the obvious, a proper SEO campaign can bring unforeseen benefits such as:

  • Provide your audience with helpful resources
  • Make the user experience of your website pleasant
  • Make it easier for your audience to contact you/buy from you
  • Keeps your website clean from broken links and other issues
  • Provides expansive growth for your company beyond “local” borders

You may be asking yourself if the investment in SEO is even worth it. Statistically, it most definitely is. Be sure to check out these three articles for the specific benefits based on the type of traffic you need:

Ethical SEO Practices: White & Black Hat SEO

Young digital marketer wearing a white hat
Young digital marketer wearing a white hat

If you are thinking to yourself: “White hat = good” and “black hat = bad”, you’re off to a good start.

In terms of best practices regarding SEO, you must consider white-hat SEO tactics.

There are some key differences between white hat and black hat SEO strategies, and a mixture of the two is often considered “gray hat”. White hat strategies tend to be more long-term and sustainable, while black hat strategies may provide faster results but can ultimately lead to penalties or getting banned from search engines.

White Hat SEO

There isn’t a definitive answer for what constitutes a white hat SEO strategy since strategies can vary depending on the industry, type of website, and goals. However, some common practices typically considered white hat include creating keyword-rich content, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, building backlinks from high-quality websites, and improving site architecture. Following these best practices can help you improve your website’s visibility and organic traffic over time ethically and healthily.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO is any practice that goes against the guidelines or rules set forth by search engines.

One example of a black hat SEO strategy is keyword stuffing or building spammy links, which is the practice of filling a webpage with excessive keywords to manipulate search engine results. Algorithms can detect when an SEO strategy is being forced and unauthentic, and therefore results will suffer in the long run.

What is a Content Marketing Strategy?

A content marketing strategy is a plan for delivering engaging content that meets the needs of your audience. It can attract attention, build relationships, and drive conversions. Content marketing is essential to any SEO strategy, as it helps you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), driving more traffic to your website. When done correctly, a content marketing strategy can help you to achieve your business goals.

Keyword Research

Keyword research letter board
Keyword research letter board

Keyword research is finding and using relevant keywords to improve a website’s search engine ranking.

A successful SEO strategy starts with keyword research services. The goal is to find relevant, high-traffic keywords to bring new visitors to your site.

You’ll need to use tools to help you research industry-related keywords, such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Google Search Console, and Google Trends.

Types of Searches

Closeup of a group of people searching with different intent.
Closeup of a group of people searching with different intent.

The searcher’s intent is determined by the keywords used in the search engine strategy.

When choosing the right keywords for optimal results, consider the different types of keywords and how they relate to search queries.

The types of searches considered are:

  • Web Search: The retrieval of web pages or documents from the internet
  • Image Search: The retrieval of digital images from online sources
  • Video Search: The retrieval of videos from online sources
  • News Search: The retrieval of news articles from online sources 

Each search type has a different purpose or intent behind it. Google classifies query intent into the following categories: 

  • Informational
  • Navigational
  • Commercial
  • Transactional

Informational Web Search Intent

Users seek specific information or details about a particular topic when they have an informational search intent. This query is often seen as more of a question than anything else. The user wants to know something specific and is looking for an answer from a reliable source.

To provide the best possible results for these queries, content creators must create detailed and well-researched articles that cover all aspects of the topic.

This way, users can find the answers they are looking for, and they will be more likely to trust the source material.

Navigational Search Intent

People use navigational search intent to find a specific website or webpage. This type of search is typically characterized by using keywords that are the same as or very similar to the website’s name or URL.

For example, if someone wanted to find the website Facebook, they might enter “Facebook” into a search engine. Or, if they wanted to find the online retailer Amazon, they might enter “amazon.com” into a search engine.

Navigational searches are usually carried out when someone already has a specific destination in mind.

Thus, businesses should be aware of how navigational searches can be used to their advantage – ensuring that their name and URL are keyword-rich and easy to remember! – to drive targeted traffic directly to their site.

Commercial Search Intent

Commercial search intent is the motivating factor behind why someone would search on a particular topic.

When people search for products or services, they typically have commercial intent – meaning they’re looking to make a purchase.

However, not all searches with commercial intent are equal. Some searchers may be ready to buy right away, while others may just be starting their research and comparison shopping.

As a business, it’s essential to understand the difference between these types of searchers so that you can tailor your marketing efforts (including your SEO strategy) accordingly.

Transactional Search Intent

Woman holding credit card, making payment in online store
Woman holding credit card, making payment in online store

Transactional search intent is when a user wants to make a purchase or take action on a specific product or service. This type of query generally includes words like “buy,” “order,” or “purchase.”

Users with transactional intent are usually further along in the buying cycle than those with informational or navigational intent. This means that they’re more likely to convert into paying customers. As such, it’s vital for businesses to focus on ranking for transactional keywords if they want to increase sales and revenue.

There are a few different ways businesses can go about this.

First, they can create informative and keyword-rich product pages that provide potential customers with all the information they need about a product before making a purchase. Second, businesses can invest in paid search ads specifically targeting transactional keywords. And third, businesses can create blog content that covers topics related to their products or services and include links back to their website throughout the article.

Types of Keywords

Typing keywords on a keyboard
Typing keywords on a keyboard

The following types of keywords you use in your SEO strategy can have a significant impact on your success.

You can use a few different keywords to help your website rank, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading to understand the slight differences of the kinds of keywords to use.

Long Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are those key phrases that consist of three or more words. They are specific, highly relevant to the searcher’s intent, and less competitive than shorter, more general keywords.

Long-tail keywords can be a great way to get your website ranking in search engines, as they are usually easier to rank for than more general terms.

Head Tail

Regarding search engine optimization, users most frequently search for head-tail keywords. They are typically shorter and more specific than long-tail keywords, making them easier to target. However, because they are so popular (generic), they can also be very competitive.

Head tail keywords usually contain two or three words and often include high-traffic terms like “how to” or “best.”

For example, a head-tail keyword for a wedding dress shop might be “wedding dresses,” while a head-tail keyword for an SEO company might be “SEO services.”

While head-tail keywords are essential for SEO purposes, it’s important to remember that not all searchers will use them. Many users will search using longer phrases or questions (long tail keywords). For this reason, targeting a mix of long-tail and head-tail keywords in your SEO strategy is crucial.

How to do Keyword Research

Businesswoman doing Research
Businesswoman doing Research

You can optimize your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) by targeting the right keywords. However, keyword research can be a complex and time-consuming process.

Here are some steps to help you do keyword research for SEO:

1. Identify your audience and their needs

Keyword research starts with understanding your target audience and what they are looking for. This will help you identify the right keywords to target in your SEO campaigns. Ask yourself: “What would my audience type in to find my website?”.

2. Use keyword research tools

SEO isn’t magic, it’s a well-refined and defined set of rules marketers can follow. Keywords are researched and should never be selected off the top of their heads.

Several different keyword research tools are available, each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. The most important thing is to find a tool that fits your needs and budget.

There are many benefits to using keyword research tools in your SEO strategy. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it can help you find keywords you can rank for in search engines. If you want to increase traffic to your website, you need to be visible for relevant searches.

Keyword research can also help you understand your competition better – what words and phrases are they targeting? What does their ranking landscape look like? Knowing this information can help you make strategic decisions about which keywords to target and how best to go about doing it.

Another benefit of keyword research is that it can help improve click-through rates (CTRs) from SERPS – if your listing appears for a relevant query but doesn’t include the searcher’s query terms in the title or meta description, they’re less likely to click through (and more likely to bounce back off).

By including relevant keywords throughout your website – not just in titles and meta descriptions but also in content – you stand a much better chance of driving traffic that converts into customers or leads.

Lastly, regular keyword research can give insights into customer behavior: what sort of language do they use when searching for products or services like yours? This insight can be used in developing content, product names, ad copy, etc.

3. Identify relevant keywords

Once you have identified your target audience, it’s time to start generating a list of relevant keywords they may be searching for.

Try to think like your customer or client when brainstorming relevant terms; what would they type into a search engine when looking for information or products related to your offer?

4 Start with broad match key phrases and then narrow down

When starting with keyword research, it’s best to begin with broad-match key phrases and then use negative keywords.

To ensure that your website is being found for the right searches, you can review your keyword rankings through Google Search Console.

Keyword Research Tools to Consider

A woman using a keyword research tool on her tablet.
The smartest tool for a smart entrepreneur

Various keyword research tools are available to help you determine which keywords to target in your content.

Many great tools are available to help with keyword research, including Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, SEMRush, Ubersuggest, and KW Finder. Keep in mind that most SEO tools are pay-to-play.

Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to experiment with them to see which works best for you.

Google Keyword Planner

Google AdWords Keyword Planner is an excellent tool for finding high-traffic keywords that are relevant to your business. However, it can be challenging to use if you’re unfamiliar with the interface.

Wordtracker

Wordtracker is another popular choice among webmasters and SEOs because of its ability to track competitor keywords. However, it can be expensive if you need detailed data on many keywords.

SEMRush

SEMrush is a powerful keyword research tool that offers free and paid plans.

The free plan gives you limited data, but the paid plan provides unlimited data and advanced features, such as competitor analysis and keyword suggestions.

Considering we have been paid subscribers to SEMRush for over 3 years now, I’d say we are big fans of this one. Here is a free trial:

14-Day Semrush Free Trial for Tech Report

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a powerful keyword research tool that can be used to generate targeted and relevant keywords for your website or blog. With Ahrefs, you can quickly and easily find high-traffic keywords that will help improve your traffic and search engine rankings.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-page SEO is all about optimizing a website for Google search to earn higher web traffic levels and improve the site’s visibility.

The benefits of on-page SEO for businesses include increased web traffic, better conversion rates, and more brand awareness.

It can be divided into two main components:

  1. The content on your website, including the words used on your web pages, meta tags, image tags, and other elements;
  2. The structure of your website, including its URL architecture and navigation menu.

The following sections will cover the vital on-page factors you can integrate into your website to help with SEO and get higher positions on Google.

Interested in hiring an agency to help your with your architecture website?

Our team has got you covered.

DISCOVER

Title Tags

Title tags are the main text that describes an online document. It is critical for SEO because it is one of the first places that search engines look for keywords to determine what a page is about.

SERP
Title tag is the title in purple – “Bizop Media: Results-Driven Content Marketing Agency”

Meta Description

A meta description is a summary of a web page’s content. It is typically made up of one or two sentences and appears under the title on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Meta descriptions are important because they give users an idea of what a particular page is about before they click on it. They also play a role in helping search engines understand what a page is about, which can influence whether or not it shows up in SERPs.

SERP
Meta Description is the text below the title tag (we are your trusted…)

Internal Links

Unrecognizable woman works on laptop computer.
Unrecognizable woman works on laptop computer.

Internal linking is the process of hyperlinking from one page on a website to another page on the same website.

This technique is used to help readers navigate between related pages on a site and can also boost a website’s search engine optimization by helping search engines understand the structure of your website and the relationship between pages.

By linking to other pages on your site, you can help search engines index your site more thoroughly and efficiently. Internal links can also help improve your website’s click-through rate (CTR) by making it easier for users to find the information they’re looking for.

They can be found in the body of a webpage or blog, in the footer, or in the navigation menu.

Heading Tags

These tags define the headings of sections in an HTML document.

There are six different headings levels, denoted by the numbers one through six. The most important heading is level one, followed by level two, and so on. 

Header tags help improve SEO because they give structure to a page and make it easy for search engines to understand the hierarchy of the information on the page.

In addition, using header tags can help improve click-through rates from search engine results pages.

URL Structure

A URL structure is the format of a website’s address.

It can be symbolic, like “example.com/about-us“, or it can use numbers to represent page hierarchy, like “example.com/p=1234“.

URL structure is essential for SEO because it helps search engines understand the organization of your website and properly index your content.

When setting up the URL structure for your website, you should therefore keep these two factors in mind. The most important thing is ensuring that your URLs are easy to read and understand. For example, using hyphens instead of underscores will make reading them much easier.

Regarding keyword usage in URLs, it’s recommended to include relevant/target keywords.

A well-organized website with clear, concise URLs will typically rank higher in search results than a site with messy or confusing URLs.

Semantic Search

Concentrated brunette woman searches information using internet
Concentrated brunette woman searches information using internet

Search engines have come a long way in recent years, with much more focused on understanding the user’s intent and providing them with the most relevant results. This has created a new era of SEO known as semantic search.

So what is semantic search? In short, it is a method of searching that takes into account the context of the search query rather than just matching keywords. This helps to provide more accurate and relevant results for the user.

There are numerous benefits of using semantic search for SEO purposes. Perhaps most importantly, it enables you to focus on delivering quality content that meets the needs of your target audience. By understanding their intent and providing them with helpful information, you’re much more likely to earn their trust – and, ultimately, their business.

Moreover, because semantic search looks at the broader context surrounding a query, it also allows you to target long-tail keywords, which can be hugely beneficial for driving targeted traffic to your website.

Scannability

Scannability is a critical factor in any marketing strategy. Making your content easy to scan and digest will keep readers engaged and coming back for more.

Here are some tips to make your content more scannable:

  • Use clear, concise headers and subheaders (Heading Tags).
  • Use short paragraphs.
  • Break up your text with bullet points or numbered lists.
  • Highlight keywords or phrases using bold or italics.
  • Include images, infographics, or videos to break up the text and add visual interest.

Images

Adding images to your website can improve your on-page SEO in several ways. 

First, using relevant keywords in the file name and alt text can help search engines index your images properly and understand what they’re about. This is especially important for image-heavy websites like e-commerce stores. 

Secondly, well-optimized images can help reduce page load times, a major factor in search engine ranking algorithms. 

Lastly, images also make your content more visually appealing, keeping visitors engaged and encouraging them to share it on social media — another signal that Google takes into account when ranking pages.

What is Alt Text?

Alt text appears in place of an image if the image cannot be displayed for some reason.

This text provides a brief description of what the image shows.

Alt text can benefit users with visual impairments who may use screen readers to consume web content. Without alternative text assigned to images, screen reader users would otherwise have difficulty understanding what information the images contain.

Furthermore, since search engine crawlers cannot “see” images like humans can, they also heavily rely on alternative texts to index and rank web pages in search results.

Off-Page SEO

Businessman blocks linked with business attributes connections.
Businessman blocks linked with business attributes connections.

Off-page SEO is optimizing a website for better search engine rankings by improving the quality and quantity of external links pointing to the site. It involves different strategies like:

  • Building links
  • Creating social media profiles
  • and making sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Doing these things increases your chances of showing up in the top search results when someone types in a relevant query.

The more high-quality links you point to your site, the higher your site will rank in Google and other major search engines.

Many different techniques can be used to improve off-page SEO. Let’s understand them.

Link Building

Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own. This is done in order to improve your website’s search engine rankings.

The more links you have pointing to your site, the higher it will rank in the results pages of major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

There are many different ways to go about building backlinks, such as through guest blogging or social media outreach.

The goal of link building is to increase the visibility and authority of your website.

Backlinks

Backlinks are incoming links to a website. Also called “inbound links,” they are created when one website links to another.

They are important because they are a measure of the popularity or importance of a website. In general, the more backlinks (related to your business) a site has, the higher it will rank in search engine results pages.

The quality of backlinks is also important. A backlink from a high-quality site is more valuable than one from a low-quality site. This is because high-quality sites tend to be popular and have more authority, both of which lead to higher rankings in SERP.

Dofollow and Nofollow Links

There are two types of links that can be used when building an SEO strategy:

  1. dofollow
  2. nofollow

Dofollow links are the standard type of link, and they tell search engines to follow and index the linked page. Nofollow links, on the other hand, tell search engines not to follow or index the linked page.

Dofollow links are important for SEO because they help search engines understand which pages on your site are most important. They also help to increase the PageRank of your website, which is a measure of how valuable Google thinks your site is. Nofollow links can also be valuable, however, because they can help to increase traffic to your site even if they don’t directly impact your PageRank.

Overall, dofollow links will help you improve your ranking in search results, while nofollow links will help you generate more traffic from other websites.

Off-Page SEO Techniques

Seo business concept cloud chart print document.
Seo business concept cloud chart print document.

Many different off-page SEO techniques can be used to improve the visibility and ranking of your website. Some of the most popular include social media marketing, directory submissions, article marketing, and blog commenting. Combining these techniques can significantly increase your website’s traffic and visibility in search engines.

A few creative off-page SEO techniques include link bait articles, writing guest posts, and broken link-building opportunities.

Read on to discover more about these 3 impactful off-page SEO strategies.

Link Bait

Link bait is a term used to describe web content that is created with the specific goal of attracting links from other websites. Although link bait can take many forms, some common examples include infographics, lists, and quizzes. 

Link bait is often used to improve a website’s search engine optimization. Since links from other websites are one of the key ranking factors for SEO, creating content others want to link to can positively impact a website’s position in search engine results pages. 

However, it’s important to note that not all linkbait is created equal. For link bait to be effective, it must be high-quality and relevant to the target audience. If you create low-quality or irrelevant link bait, you could end up harming your SEO efforts instead of helping them.

Guest Posts

Guest posting is often seen as a gray hat SEO tactic, but when done correctly, it can be a powerful tool to help improve your website’s search engine optimization. By writing guest posts on high-quality websites relevant to your industry, you can earn valuable backlinks that will help boost your website’s authority and improve its ranking in search engines. 

Additionally, by crafting well-written and informative guest posts, you can attract new readers to your website who may have yet to find it. When done correctly, guest posting can be a highly effective way to improve your website’s SEO and reach new audiences.

Broken Link Building

Broken links occur consistently as websites change and URLs are updated or deleted. Taking the opportunity to seek out broken links to replace them with your website is a great win-win strategy for everyone. 

Broken link building is a process whereby a user seeks out and then fixes broken links on other websites.

This activity can help improve the rank of their website in search engines and improve the overall user experience for everyone involved.

Technical SEO

Technical and performance analysis
Technical and performance analysis

Technical SEO can be described as the implementation of various technical aspects to improve the ranking of a website in Google. The main aim of technical SEO is to ensure that a website is accessible and easy to crawl for search engine bots, which index websites to provide relevant search results. 

It can also help improve the speed and performance of a website, which are both critical ranking factors.

Many technical aspects need to be considered to optimize a website for search engines properly, but some of the most important ones include site structure, file naming conventions, redirects, sitemaps, canonical tags, user experience, and page speed.

Sitemap

A sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your website. This file makes it easier for search engines to find and index your site.

Creating and submitting a sitemap can help improve your site’s SEO by ensuring all of your important pages are found and indexed by search engines.

Sitemap
Sitemap.xml

Robots.txt

Robots.txt is a plain text file that contains directives for web robots (generally search engine spiders) to crawl pages on your website. 

The benefit of using robots.txt is that it can help improve your website’s SEO strategy by controlling which pages the search engines can index and crawl. 

For example, you can use robots.txt to tell the search engines not to index any pages on your website that are under construction or that contain sensitive information like customer records or financial data. 

Additionally, by controlling the rate at which the search engines crawl your website, you can help reduce server load and bandwidth usage, both of which can positively impact your website’s performance in the search results.

Robots.txt
Robots.txt

User Experience and SEO

UX Designer Checking Layouts
UX Designer Checking Layouts

User experience enhances the user’s interaction with and perception of a product or service. In the context of search results, UX can play a significant role in improving the visibility and click-through rate of a website.

There are various UX strategies that can be employed to improve search results, such as creating an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, optimizing webpages for mobile devices, and providing relevant and targeted content.

By considering the user’s needs and preferences, businesses can create a more positive experience that ultimately leads to better search results.

Page Speed

Page speed measures how quickly a web page can be loaded and displayed by a web browser.

A slow page load can cause frustration to users and lead to higher bounce rates. Google aims to improve the user experience by ranking faster pages higher in search results. 

To measure page speed, Google uses several factors, including time to first byte (TTFB) and first contentful paint (FCP).

TTFB measures how long it takes for the server to send the first byte of data, while FCP measures how long it takes for the browser to render the first bit of content. Both metrics are important for determining how fast a page is loading.

Google also considers other factors when ranking pages, such as whether the content is relevant to the user’s query and whether all resources on the page are loading correctly.

However, page speed is getting more critical for SERP as it relates to User Experience and E-EAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness).

The Core Web Vitals

The Core Web Vitals are three metrics that measure the real-world performance of a website.

  • Largest Contentful Paint – It measures how long it takes for the largest element on a page to load.
  • First Input Delay – It measures how long it takes for a user to be able to interact with a page after they visit it.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift – It measures how much content moves around while the page is loading.

While all of these factors are important, CLS is particularly noteworthy because it captures how much unexpected layout shift occurs during page loading.

A high CLS score can indicate that users are likely to experience janky or unstable pages, which can lead to frustration and, ultimately, abandonment.

You can improve CLS score by using font-display: optional in your CSS, which tells the browser not to render text until it’s ready. This prevents FOIT (flash of invisible text) and FOUT (flash of unstyled text), which can cause layout shifts.

You can also use async or defer on your scripts, which allows them to load without blocking rendering.

And finally, you can use preload or prefetch resource hints to tell the browser what resources you’ll need ahead of time so it can start loading them while the current page is still being rendered.

Google Mobile First Index

Mobile-first indexing is a way of indexing websites whereby the Googlebot crawls and indexes the mobile version of a website before it indexes the desktop version. This has major benefits for SEO since it means that any content not present on the mobile version of a website will not be indexed. 

In addition, any content that is present on both the mobile and desktop versions of a website will be given more weight if it is optimized for mobile devices. As such, mobile-first indexing is a major factor in achieving better rankings in search engine results pages.

Responsive Design

UX UI designer planning responsive design.
UX UI designer planning responsive design.

When it comes to responsive design, there is a lot to consider in order to make sure your website is optimized for both users and search engines. A mobile-friendly site is no longer an option but a necessity in today’s digital landscape. Not only do you need to consider the different screen sizes and devices that people use, but also how search engines crawl and index websites.

It’s important for SEO because it helps search engines understand what content is on a website and how it should be ranked.

Responsive design is also good for users because it provides a better experience, which can lead to more conversions and higher rankings.

It can help improve your click-through rate as more searchers will be able to see your site correctly on their devices. It can also reduce your bounce rate, as users are less likely to leave if they can view your content properly. Responsive design can help improve your ranking on mobile searches as Google gives preference to sites that are optimized for mobile devices. Last but not least, by having a responsive website, you’re giving yourself the best chance of success in today’s online world.

AMPs

AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Page, is an open-source project that aims to make the web faster for everyone. AMP pages are designed to be lightweight and load quickly on mobile devices. They are also cached by Google so that they can be served up even faster when someone clicks on them in search results.

AMP pages are a great way to improve your SEO because they can help your pages load faster in mobile devices and be more engaging for users. So if you’re looking to improve your SEO, creating AMPs for your content could be a good strategy.

Semantic HTML 5

The is a markup language used for structure and meaning on web pages. It breaks down a page into small independent parts so search engines can understand it better and give more relevant results to searchers.

When used correctly, semantic HTML 5 can improve your site’s SEO by making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your content.

HTTPS and SSL

HTTPS and SSL are two important aspects of search engine optimization.

HTTPS is a protocol that helps to ensure that communication between a website and a visitor’s browser is secure. This can help to prevent someone from interception data being sent between the two, which could potentially lead to sensitive information being leaked.

SSL is a security protocol that helps to encrypt data being sent between a website and a visitor’s browser. This can help to protect people’s personal and financial information from being intercepted by third parties.

Duplicate Content

There is a lot of debate in the SEO world about duplicate content. Some people believe that it is harmful to your website’s ranking, while others believe that it can be helpful. So, what is the truth?

Duplicate content occurs when you have two or more pieces of content on your website that are identical or very similar. This can happen if you have multiple pages with the same product description, for example. Or if you have republished an article from another site without adding any new information or changing it in any way.

Google and other search engines don’t like duplicate content because it makes their job harder. When there are multiple pieces of identical or very similar content on the internet, search engines don’t know which one to show in their results pages. As a result, they may choose to show none of them at all. 

That said, there are some situations where having duplicate content on your site can actually be beneficial for SEO purposes. For example, suppose you have an e-Commerce site with products that are also sold on other sites (like Amazon). In that case, having some duplicated product descriptions can help improve your visibility in search results (because Google will see those descriptions as being relevant to your products).  In general, though, try to avoid duplicate content as much as possible – it’s usually not worth the risk!

Local SEO

Local seo concept on wooden cubes against aqua blue background.
Local seo concept on wooden cubes against aqua blue background.

Local SEO is the process of optimizing a business’s online presence to attract more customers from relevant local searches. This means ensuring that the business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are visible on its website and in online directories and that its website is optimized for local search keywords. 

Local SEO is important for any business that wants to be found online by potential customers in its local area. It can be especially beneficial for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, such as restaurants, shops, and service providers. That’s because potential customers who search for businesses like these online are often looking for a nearby place to patronize. 

If your business doesn’t appear in relevant local search results, you miss out on valuable leads and customer traffic. Optimizing your site for local SEO can improve your chances of being found by these potential customers when they’re ready to buy what you’re selling.

Benefits of Local SEO

There are many benefits to utilizing a local SEO strategy for business visibility. Optimizing your website for local search can improve your chances of being found by potential customers in your area. Local SEO can also help you build trust and credibility with potential customers and improve click-through and conversion rates. In addition, investing in a local SEO strategy can help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), leading to increased traffic and brand awareness.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a tool provided by Google that helps businesses manage their online presence across Google products, including Search and Maps. Verifying and updating your business information can help customers find you, contact you, and learn more about your business.

Local SEO Ranking Factors

Local SEO ranking factors are the elements that search engines consider when determining how to rank local businesses in their results. These factors include the business’s physical address, online presence, and reviews from other customers. Understanding these factors can help businesses improve their chances of appearing prominently in search results and drive more traffic and sales.

International vs Local SEO

Though international and local SEO strategies aim to improve a website’s visibility in search results, there are some critical differences between the two. 

International SEO campaigns tend to be more complex, as they must consider multiple languages, cultures, and target markets. They also require a greater understanding of global search engine algorithms and ranking factors. 

Local SEO campaigns, on the other hand, focus on optimizing a website for specific geographic regions or cities. This usually involves targeting particular keywords relevant to the location in question. 

So which is better? The answer depends on your particular situation and goals.

You probably need an international SEO campaign if you’re targeting a global audience with your website. But if you’re only interested in attracting visitors from one specific region or city, then Local SEO will be more effective.

SEO and Social Media

Social media platforms can be a great way to promote your website and content to a wider audience.

By sharing your content on social media, you can reach new potential customers or followers who may not be familiar with your site otherwise. Additionally, engaging in social media can help improve your SEO by generating high-quality backlinks to your website.

TikTok

There’s no doubt that TikTok is one of the hottest social media platforms around right now. But you may not know that TikTok can also be a powerful tool for helping improve your SEO results.

Here’s how: 

TikTok allows you to share short-form videos with various creative content. This includes everything from funny clips and amusing stunts to educational and informative videos. And because TikTok is so popular, there’s a good chance your target audience is using the platform regularly. 

If you can create engaging content that resonates with your target audience, you can get them to follow you on TikTok. Once they follow you, they’ll see your new videos every time you post them – giving your brand increased exposure. 

Not only that, but if people like and share your videos, it will help improve your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). So if you’re looking for a way to boost your SEO efforts, consider using Tik Tok as part of your strategy.

Instagram

Instagram can be used to improve your SEO results in several ways. For example, using relevant hashtags can help you reach a wider audience and get more likes, comments, and shares on your posts. Additionally, posting content regularly and using popular hashtags can help you attract more followers which could lead to increased traffic to your website.

Linkedin

Linkedin is a business-oriented social networking service that enables users to connect with colleagues, business partners, and potential employers. The site can be used to help improve your SEO results in several ways. For example, using relevant hashtags can help you reach a wider audience and get more likes, comments, and shares on your posts. Additionally, posting content regularly and using popular hashtags can help you attract more followers, which could lead to increased traffic to your website.

Youtube

By now, most businesses are well aware of YouTube’s potential for promoting their products or services. But many don’t realize that YouTube can also be a powerful tool for helping to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). Here are some ways you can use YouTube to give your SEO a boost: 

1. Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions

When you upload a video to YouTube, include relevant keywords in the title and description fields. This will help potential customers find your videos when they search on Google or another search engine. 

2) Create transcripts of your videos

Another way to help improve your video SEO is by creating transcripts of the audio content and then including those transcripts on your website along with the videos. This gives search engines more text to index, leading to better rankings for your site overall. 

3) Take advantage of annotations and cards

YouTube provides several tools that you can use to add additional information about your videos, including annotations and cards. These can be used to provide more information about what viewers will see in the video and link back to link back to other parts of your website. Be sure to take full advantage of these features when uploading new content to maximize its impact on both viewers and search engines alike.

4) Utilize YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts can help with SEO in multiple ways. By creating engaging short videos, you can attract more viewers to your channel, leading to more subscribers. This increased engagement will signal to YouTube that your content is popular and worth recommending to others, helping your videos appear higher in search results. In addition, adding keywords and tags to your videos will make them easier for people to search for specific topics to find.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a popular image-sharing site with a loyal following of users who love to share and repin images. The platform has become increasingly important for businesses, especially small businesses, to reach new customers and promote their products or services. While some small businesses may be hesitant to invest time and resources into creating a presence on Pinterest, the benefits of doing so are clear. For one thing, Pinterest is now the second largest source of referral traffic for brands after Facebook. In addition, users on Pinterest are more likely than those on other social media sites to make purchases based on what they see (i.e., they are highly “actionable”).

This platform can be an extremely valuable tool for businesses looking to improve their SEO with Pinterest. First and foremost, by pinning content from your website onto Pinterest, you can increase the number of inbound links pointing back to your site – which is excellent for boosting your search engine ranking. In addition, each time someone pins one of your images, that image becomes associated with keywords that describe it – giving you another chance to show up in relevant searches. Finally, as mentioned above, since users on Pinterest are highly engaged and frequently take action based on what they see, providing compelling visuals through this platform can result in increased traffic and conversions for your business

Amazon SEO

With proper SEO techniques, businesses can increase their sales on Amazon significantly. 

Some essential elements to consider when SEO optimizing for Amazon include keyword research, product title optimization, product description optimization, back-end keywords, and creating compelling product listings. By utilizing these elements, businesses can improve their ranking in Amazon’s search results, which will increase visibility and result in more sales.

SEO Measurement

There are many ways to measure SEO. The most common method is through web analytics software that can track various metrics, including pageviews, unique visitors, bounce rate, and time on site.

However, there are other ways to measure SEO success, such as through rank tracking or SERP analysis.

1. Website Traffic

This measures how much traffic a website receives from users who click on links from search engine results pages (SERPs). Traffic can be organic (from unpaid search results) or paid (from paid advertisements).

2. Rankings

This measures where a website appears on SERPs for certain keywords and phrases. A higher ranking indicates better visibility and, therefore, more potential traffic.

3. Click-through rate (CTR)

This measures the percentage of users who click on a particular link out of all who saw it. A high CTR means that users find the link relevant and are more likely to visit the associated site.

AI SEO

AI has a growing impact on SEO as more businesses realize the potential of using these technologies to improve their search engine rankings. While there is no one silver bullet for achieving better SEO results, incorporating AI can help you gain insights into your customers’ behavior and optimize your site accordingly.

Here are five ways you can use AI to improve your SEO:

  1. Use AI to perform detailed keyword research.
  2. Use AI to help create and optimize content for your website.
  3. Use AI to identify key influencers in your industry.
  4. Use AI-powered tools to automate link-building tasks. 
  5. Use machine learning algorithms to analyze your website’s SEO performance and make recommendations for improvements

Download our Media Kit for SEO Packages and Pricing

In conclusion, SEO optimizes a website to rank higher in search engine results. It is a complex and ever-evolving process, but there are some basics that any good SEO campaign should include. If you need help with your SEO, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for help.

We have helped many businesses scale over the years utilizing the powers of SEO. For packages and pricing, request our media kit or learn more here.

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Alexandria is a Bizop co-founder and marketing director who specializes in marketing consultation, creative strategy, and project direction.

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How Artificial Intelligence Will be Used in Interior Design

Author / Alexandria Swanson

/ Industry / Press
As a digital marketing agency with an extensive portfolio of interior designers, we can’t help but put together a fun article about […]

Creating a Content Calendar for Your Small Business

Author / Jaq Johnson

/ Marketing
If you’re like most small business owners, you probably don’t have a lot of time to spare. You’re wearing multiple hats and […]

The Power of Blogging: 7 Ways a Blog Can Benefit Your Small Business

Author / Jaq Johnson

/ Marketing
In today’s digital age, having a blog is essential for any business that wants to succeed. Not only does a blog help […]

3 Digital Marketing Tasks a Small Business Owner Can Manage

Author / Alexandria Swanson

/ Marketing
Are you a roll-up-your-sleeves and get-to-work marketing your-business type of entrepreneur? If so, this article was written for you. Here are 3 […]

How to Set your Business’s Digital Marketing Budget

Author / Alexandria Swanson

/ Marketing
Managing any type of budget takes self-discipline and commitment, and a small business’s digital marketing budget is no exception. This is because […]

Building Brand: Essential Brand Tips for Modern Companies

Author / Dorothy Carter

/ Branding
Companies didn’t have to worry much about marketing or branding for most of history. A basic logo and a decent website were […]

Why Quality Content Matters Most for SEO

Author / John Milliken

/ Marketing
Everyone wants to rank at the top in search results. If you’ve seen the data, you know why: according to research by […]

6 Content Tools to Level Up Your Writing Skill

Author / Cheryl Barr

/ Marketing
Every agency eventually reaches a point where a project needs written copy, whether it’s for marketing or internal communications. Copy is the […]

How AI Is Making Construction Safer

Author / Dorothy Carter

/ Industry / Press
It doesn’t take an retired construction manager to know construction sites are dangerous places. There are plenty of risks for the workers, […]

The Ultimate Guide to an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Author / John Milliken

/ Marketing
Content marketing has become the dominant form of marketing in the digital age. According to Hubspot’s State of Marketing Report There’s a […]

Technical SEO Checklist to Boost Website Traffic and Results

Author / John Milliken

/ Marketing
You probably don’t need any convincing that digital marketing and SEO are crucial for your business. The internet is where most people […]

Top Technology Innovations Influencing the AEC Industry Today

Author / Cheryl Barr

/ Industry / Press
We live in the era of the machine. The 21st century has brought about a life where we rarely leave our homes […]

Clever Marketing Strategies to Get Your Design Work Noticed

Author / Dorothy Carter

/ Marketing
One could argue that there lies truth in the famous phrase about a tree falling in the forest with nobody around. One’s […]

Bizop Media’s Year in Review: 2021

Author / Cheryl Barr

/ Marketing
At Bizop Media, this year has taught us an important lesson in treating setbacks as opportunities. While many companies were struggling with […]