Why Should You Care About SEO?
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When was the last time you Googled something? Probably in the last hour, right? Your audience is doing the same thing, which is why SEO is crucial to your marketing strategy.
Search Engine Optimization supports your marketing goals by improving how your website appears in search results. High-quality content written for your audience and dispersed throughout industry websites will help your online presence, while keyword stuffing and cloaking will get your website blacklisted.
Here’s how to ensure a thriving website.
SEO Reaches Your Audience Where They Are: Search
AdWeek reports that 81% of consumers conduct an Internet search before purchasing a product or service. SEO provides the opportunity to reach your audience where they are, without investing in Pay Per Click advertising.
Crafting an SEO strategy focused on your audience requires research.
- What type of content is popular with your demographic? (video, podcasts, blogs, etc.)
- What questions are they using as search terms?
- What type of content is ranking for your chosen keywords and topics?
This research guides your content strategy so you create what your audience wants. By disseminating it online through social media, guest blog posts, and backlinks, you will begin to improve your search results.
Pro tip: Some keywords are more competitive than others, so you’ll want to weigh the time needed to rank on a popular keyword compared to a niche keyword that will still provide results.
High-Quality SEO Provides Impressive Long-Term Results
When done correctly, SEO is a long-term effort that can provide remarkable results. Considered white hat SEO, these methods include:
- Gaining relevant backlinks
- Using tangential content
- Writing for user intent
Backlinks create incoming traffic from outside websites, and these connections help improve your website’s ranking.
A backlink could be guest posting on an industry blog, a press release, or a local directory like Yelp. Relevant backlinks like industry websites and local directories provide the most value.
Tangential content uses an organizational structure often called a hub and spoke.
This model of content creation features one pillar piece of content, then its corresponding content links to the pillar. This helps those posts rise together while building internal links.
Writing for user intent says “farewell” to keyword stuffing and “hello” to content designed for people. User intent focuses on the user’s goal rather than matching the specific keyword. This SEO strategy can produce significant results, especially now that algorithms can detect variations in search terms.
By combining these three SEO tactics, you’ll begin to see improvement in your goal search terms. It’s not going to happen quickly, but patience will pay off.
The Black Hat SEO Tactics to Avoid
Backlinks are good. One hundred poor quality backlinks in one month is not. All SEO is not created equal, and black hat SEO tactics can get your website blacklisted and bring your progress crumbling down.
These are the top black hat SEO strategies to watch out for:
- Excessive backlinks
- Keyword stuffing
Excessive backlinks are an alarm for search engines whose focus is on providing highly relevant content.
When a search engine ranks a website as low-quality, the backlinks on your site are also considered low quality. Even with great content this will impact your search rankings.
Keyword stuffing is also a bad way to advance your SEO, even though at one time it was the best way to succeed.
Now that algorithms have improved, keyword stuffing your website produces a negative visitor experience and will also result in penalties. Instead, integrate user intent to create content your visitors will enjoy reading.
Cloaking your content is a guaranteed trip to Google jail.
By showing one piece of content to website visitors and another to search engines, websites can improve their rankings for irrelevant terms. While tailoring content based on different types of users is still allowed, make sure you’re not attempting to deceive visitors.
An SEO strategy for your website requires crafting the ideal mix of backlinks, content, and keyword research. When done right, this long-term strategy can improve your rankings, offering visitors the content they need when they want it. Just ensure you avoid black hat methods and your website will remain a visible revenue-generating resource.
Are you looking for an SEO-focused marketing agency to support your growth? Let’s see if we’re the right fit.
By Marc Apple
Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.
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