Showing up on the first page of Google means money. It’s no secret that companies pay big bank in Adwords to appear as the number one search result. After all, we’re talking about the worlds largest advertising platform. Which is why the desire to win first page organically is as potent as ever. It’s an investment that keeps growing.
However, figuring out the ins and outs of SEO can be a tedious process – especially when Google algorithms are constantly improving and evolving. But we’ve found that no matter which eBook you download or blog article you read, every piece of quality content on the topic points to these main SEO tips in one way or another. Think of it as a simple cheat sheet for winning at SEO.
Find Your Keywords
The easiest way to find keywords is through Google itself. Their handy Keyword Planner is a free tool that’s like a workshop for building an SEO strategy. You can use Keyword Planner to search for keywords and see how a list of keywords might perform. Keyword Planner can also help you choose competitive bids and budgets to use with your campaigns. Keep in mind that In order to use the Google Keyword Planner, you must have a Google Ads account. If you don’t have an Adwords account already, you can set one up in a few minutes.
Once you have your selected keywords, create copy that is optimized for those keywords but focus on quality information over word redundancy. The best rule of thumb is to write for humans first and search engines second. There was a time keyword density had some validity, but the era of keyword stuffing is long gone. (Keyword stuffing is the act of cluttering keywords onto a page to trick Google algorithms and boost SEO).
Blogging helps boost SEO quality by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers' questions. By creating relevant content with quality and SEO in mind, blogging can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site. You’ll implement these tactics on the back-end of the website, utilizing elements like meta description, page URL, mobile-friendly formatting, and header title or image tags to maximize SEO results.
Backlinks occur when one website mentions another website and links to it. Whenever backlinks occur, it is like receiving a vote for a webpage – which Google views as indications of site authority and will increase a site’s ranking and search visibility. So if your website has lots of quality backlinks, good things will happen to your organic traffic. However, beware that if spam sites or “link farms” are linking your content, you won't see any improvements in link equity and may be penalized by Google.
While social media doesn’t directly contribute to SEO in the same ways that blogging and backlinks do – it can benefit your site in several ways. Links to your content on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social networks help the search engines understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases. Also, traffic directed from social media to a blog post or landing page will help demonstrate the site relevancy. In other words - it helps prove people care about your content.
Google Search Console
There are powerful tools out there to help you narrow in on your SEO strategy and get a behind the scenes look at what’s going on. A must-have tool is the Google Search Console, designed to help you measure your site's Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results. You can even see which queries bring users to your site and analyze your site's impressions, clicks, and position!
Disclaimer: While this article may be a cheat sheet for getting down the basics of SEO, keep in mind you can't cheat Google. Read more about the 3 common misconceptions of SEO.