SEO is by far one of the most discussed topics when it comes to running a digital business. It is a broad topic that is constantly evolving and has such a powerful impact on an organization.
Brands are in a constant state of working to improve the SEO of their site, and with search engines like Google regularly updating their requirements, this won’t be changing any time soon.
4 Essential Components That Make a Top-Performing SEO Strategy
There is also a lot of confusion around the topic, and due to its broad scope, business owners struggle to tackle all of the aspects of SEO.
So, we thought we would help out and break down some of the top components of SEO and what you can focus on before seeking out professional help.
Knowing Your Customer
Before tackling the intricacies of SEO, you will need to implement an SEO strategy. In order to do this, you will need to have enough insight into your customer to be able to plan a strategy around them.
Not only can customer mapping help you with the basic demographics of your customer and who you are targeting for your brand and content, but it will also help you understand their interests and behaviors too.
With this data in hand, you can start formulating the right content and experience to reach out to your customer.
Let’s look at an example, a haircare brand that is launching an online site. It needs to map out who their customer base is, what they would be interested in, who they follow, and how they would behave on a site. This will help them create a user experience on the site.
Many new start-ups and brand-new sites that are launched forgo the user experience exercise, which is a huge mistake. When Google scrapes your site, they will reward you based on the information you provide and the ease of use of your site.
Join Our Small Business Community
Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.
So, check how your pages are cataloged and the flow of content. Go through your sales funnel and ensure that your UX is optimized to its full extent.
High-Performing Keywords and Content
Now that you have a bit more information about your customer, you can start creating content around what is actually going to appeal to them.
The rule of thumb for content is that it needs to be:
When you start giving your customers information that they actually need and can do something with, they will start trusting your brand and become loyal customers.
Your content works in two ways for your site. Firstly, it will help you reach and draw in traffic and customers to your site, and secondly, it will help your site get ranked on search engines.
Content is one of the most prominent aspects of SEO due to the fact that Google regularly scrapes your site to ascertain where to place you in search. It will pick up relevant keywords and categorize your site correctly. Based on the quality of the keywords and content, it will also know where to rank your site.
Higher authority sites have keyword-rich content and have undergone link-building exercises to link their content to other authority sites. So, to get higher rankings, these sites are permanently doing keyword research, finding out what their competitors are using, and updating their pages to keep up with the latest trends.
Blogs are key here, as you can regularly post relevant, informative blog posts that customers actually want to read. Think of topics that people are regularly searching for and will pop up high on search results, increasing the reach of your traffic.
Just remember to place CTAs strategically in the post and link back to your product pages to increase conversions.
Optimized Landing Pages
The next thing to look at is a checklist of what your page needs to be fully SEO-ready.
The first thing you need to ensure is that search engines can see your site and that your pages are indexed correctly. If you are using WordPress, there is a checkbox under settings where you can do so.
The only time you shouldn’t index a page is if you are testing it out, in A/B testing, for example. If Google picks up duplicate pages, you will be penalized. So, make sure there is no duplicate content that can drag your rankings down.
Next, look at the basics of the pages. Each of these will need to be keyword and SEO-optimized. This can be done on platforms like WordPress which has Yoast plugins integrated.
- Title Tag
- H1 Tag
- H2 Tag
- URL or slugs
- Meta Descriptions
These will all pop up in the search results and if you have ensured that these are all simple and keyword-rich, your rankings should be heightened. Each page should contain informative and relevant content, with keywords that are relevant and included after keyword research exercises.
It is important not to stuff your content though. Like with duplicate pages, Google will pick up the duplication and will penalize you.
Lastly, make sure you have external links on each page. Google will determine the authority of the sites that you are linking to and categorize and rank you accordingly.
So, make sure you have some authority sites linked to your site.
Regular SEO Audits
Conducting regular audits on your site is key to simply check the health of your site. Once you have all of the keywords and meta descriptions and tags in place, these audits will crawl your site and pick up if anything has gone wrong.
404 pages are a good example. Sometimes pages do break, or sometimes links take you to broken pages. This will severely impact your SEO rankings and you will be penalized for this. These audits are vital for checking what pages your site redirects to, what is broken, and what is having a huge impact on your site.
You can also check the size of your images and see whether any of them need to be compressed to increase page load speed. This might be impacting your bounce rate, which will also need to be analyzed on each page.
Keep in mind though, bounce rate might be high on one page not only due to image size, but also factors such as your shipping fees, or lengthy forms could be a reason for your bounce or abandoned cart rate.
Lastly, these audits are great to do checks on your keywords and if you are still ranking for the right terms. You can freshen up your pages with the latest ranking keywords and find out what your competitors are using to heighten your rankings.
SEO can be somewhat resource-intensive to get right on your site, but once you start getting the hang of it, it does get easier. There are a number of online tools and platforms that you can use to help you with the process.
Keep monitoring things like your traffic and bounce rate on Google Analytics, and conduct regular audits to ascertain what is happening on your site and where improvements can be made.
In most cases, there are simple elements that need to be fixed, especially if you have gotten the process right from the start.
Some other articles you might find of interest:
Would you like to better understand how to drive and increase traffic to your startup website?
Do you have what it takes to start and run an online business?