Have you ever wondered if there is a point to maintaining and updating a website, despite its undeniably low search engine ranking and generally insignificant level of popularity? Well, the reality is that each and every web page, regardless of its content, has unlimited potential to improve, in a relatively reasonable time-span. The key to that improvement is the consistent application of SEO principles and best practices.
SEO is one of the most commonly used abbreviations of the digital world. It refers to the ranking process of any website’s content, as much as the continuous effort to stengthen it. Subsequently, SEO (Search Engine optimisation) focuses on the effective enhancement of a website’s search engine performance. It requires, in fact, the complete readjustment of that website’s content, in a manner that pushes it to achieve a search engine (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing etc) ranking that is as high as possible.
SEO is an ever-evolving process, whose evolution goes hand in hand with the constant development of artificial intelligence. The smarter search engines become, the more parameters they are capable of identifying. As a result, more tweaks need to be applied on websites, in order for them to meet content quality standards and relativity parameters and, therefore, rank higher.
Let us provide insights to some crucial SEO-related questions, like why SEO’s application is an absolute necessity, what are the individual actions that will compose an efficient SEO strategy and in what way one will benefit from it, prior to indicating several best practices of known value that will turn into valuable assets to your website’s performance optimisation process.
Why every website needs a proper SEO strategy
The undoubted necessity of aligning your website’s structure with the most up-to-date SEO principles is justified by the fact that, nowadays, the vast majority of purchases is happening online. Therefore, it is quite crucial to adapt your website’s content, in a fashion that directs a large portion of the billions of daily search engine results -and, subsequently, the perspective customers- towards your own website. A thoroughly planned website optimisation strategy that is executed according to the parameters that search engines investigate, will provide you with the opportunity to establish your website’s presence on the first pages of search engine results page (SERP), thus drastically increasing the possibilities of new sales.
The world wide web includes an infinite amount of data and countless pieces of information, to the extent that even a remarkably narrowed search query, will not guarantee your website’s presence on the first page of a search engine’s results. The exact same problematique also applies to well-designed, interactive websites that, however, lack content quality. Search engines keep evolving incessantly and, thanks to artificial intelligence, so is their ability to ascertain a website’s quality and to compare it with the competition. As a result, the quest to achieve optimal search engine performance becomes quite complicated and demands for the equivalent SEO expertise. That means having the right knowledge to optimise your website and to overcome the obstacles set by competitive websites.
On Site SEO and Off Site SEO
In order to be able to gain competitive advantage through the implementation of an SEO strategy and to achieve noticeable traffic growth, it is recommended to begin by being able to identify the individual SEO categorisation. SEO is further divided into On Site SEO and Off Site SEO and, while both the former and the latter are definitely in position to help your website independently, their combination is highly encouraged as a pathway towards optimal results.
The term “On Site SEO” refers to all those tweaks that are being applied within a website itself, as part of the overall effort to improve the same website’s search engine ranking. It includes, in particular, the adjustment of the website’s content using the appropriate keywords, alt texts for images, meta data (meta titles, meta descriptions), and so on.
Off Site SEO, on the contrary, is about all those actions that take place in the world wide web excluding one’s own website and, nonetheless, aim at the same results as On Site SEO, which is the optimisation of the aforementioned website’s ranking. It is mostly based on building backlinks that are essentially being hosted by third-party websites so that they can, more or less, pledge to its content’s quality.
How the implementation of an SEO strategy will benefit your business
SEO practically is all about optimising your website’s content so that it will be perceived by Google, Yahoo and the rest of popular search engines, as a website that offers content of remarkable relativity and quality. As mentioned previously, each modern website needs to be examined through the SEO spectrum, in order for its presence to be established in the first page’s results. Let us be more specific regarding the benefits of implementing an SEO strategy for your website itself and, subsequently, the business entity that it represents:
- The increase of your website’s traffic, which is the main goal of an SEO strategy. Based on simple statistics, it is evident that the larger the traffic is, the bigger are the chances that the website’s call to action succeeds. That call to action might indicate purchasing a product or service, being redirected to a different page, watching a video and so on. Consequently, website traffic will increase to a significant extent in the case when a website has been optimised beforehand.
- The establishment of a business’s brand name is deeply important for every company’s growth. Given the higher search engine ranking that an effective SEO strategy shall achieve, it will undoubtedly contribute to the enhancement of brand awareness and the wider recognition of your brand and its accompanying products or services. Simultaneously, a wide audience of internet users will be led into a growing association with your brand, as it will start being able to connect with it through identifying its elements (brand name, logo, slogan and many more). While your brand awareness is being enhanced, your opportunities for new sales will surge – what better chance to create and maintain a consistent and loyal customer base?
- The return of investment, which, in this context, is defined as the financial profit that derives from SEO-based sales and adds value to the initial cost of your website’s optimisation process. Following the implementation of a successfully carried out SEO strategy, the website will normally rank higher up on the first pages -if not the first page- of various search engines and it will typically tend to attract a larger traffic. Furthermore, it will be able to practically make content-based profit, not only through its electronic store’s sales, but also thanks to hosting third-party content (e.g. in the form of banner ads, that consist a modern and incredibly efficient way to increase profit as traffic grows larger).
- Avoiding the additional cost of various advertisement efforts. In a few cases, the implementation of a successful SEO strategy is so effective and efficient, that paid advertisements like social media ads or banner ads are not always required. That is mostly valid in cases when a certain business, based on their marketing and brand management strategy, has already met its brand awareness and sales goals, solely through the implementation of an SEO strategy and, for various reasons, thinks of further customer base enlargement as non-essential.
- Last but not least, the overall implementation of an SEO strategy usually includes a vast variety of tweaks. Aside from stating the obvious, which is the website’s enrichment with modern, interesting and appealing content, the need to perform tweaks on various parts of a website is quite common throughout the process of curating an SEO-friendly page. Some of those can focus on the improvement of user interface or the enhancement of navigation capabilities. Among others, those would not only automatically classify the website as user-friendly, they would also create a pleasant user experience that will enhance their perception of the brand and encourage them to visit again.
How to benefit from the usage of keywords
Keywords have been mentioned several times throughout this entry. Though it has been made clear that the existence of certain keywords that are closely related to each topic is able to push a website into a significantly higher search engine ranking, keyword usage is not always plain and easy. On the contrary, identifying the right keywords for your SEO strategy might get complicated, especially when what you are aiming at is achieving a higher conversion rate, meaning getting your audience to follow a pre-determined call to action. It is important to invest some time to analyse keywords and what they really are about, how a holistic approach to them can actively contribute to the optimisation of your website and what are the best practices that will certainly benefit your website.
Let us start by decoding the term “keywords” as words that are being used repeatedly due to their high relativity with each page’s main topic. Keywords are being processed by search engines, so that they classify each website’s content based on its relativity. For that reason, you should always ensure your keywords’ undeniable relativity with the topic and sub-topics of your website. The conduction of a lengthy keyword research process prior to the implementation of your SEO strategy is recommended, in order to avoid unwanted results. Do not hesitate to take a peak at your competition’s SEO strategy and thus identify your sector’s appealing keywords.
Outstanding results will require that each page of your website includes a certain keyword. When a sole keyword is used in more than one pages of the same website, search engines tend to perceive it as spam and, as a consequence, they will diminish your website’s relativity ranking. Not only keywords in the main text are being processed by search engines. On the contrary, keywords are being used in meta descriptions, headers and photos’ alt texts, hence why you should use them delicately, in order to avoid providing your audience with content that is monotonous and exhausting. Try to create original content of actual value that your audience will engage and resonate with, despite the repetitive use of the same keyword.
Building a successful SEO strategy: a step-by-step guide
A successful SEO strategy is capable of adding a brand new perspective to your website, make brand awareness skyrocket, maximise your sales volume and even help you identify new ways of making profit. One may wonder how all that is possible. Let us begin by naming the main steps to a thoroughly executed transmission from your website’s current state to its SEO-friendly era.
- Start by analysing your content’s exact level of accessibility based on SEO’s principles, so as to identify the extent to which search engines classify your website’s relativity and quality. Do not hesitate to compare its ranking to your competition’s.
- Make sure that the content you create is appealing, interesting and, most importantly, able to correspond to your target audience’s queries. The rationale behind the latter is that providing with content of equal relativity and quality will not only gather a few daily visits, it might as well be a leap towards gaining a consistent audience.
- Optimise your content by identifying the keywords that your audience is interested in or the keywords that are popular among a significantly large segment of the world wide web. That will guide search engines into classifying your content as highly relative based on the terms that your audience tends to search for. As a result, your website traffic will experience a noticeable surge.
- Include these same keywords not only in the main text, but also in the remaining parts of the website’s structure, such as its title, URLs, images’ alt texts and meta data, that basically sum up each page’s content. The latter should be highly engaging, and they must include a keyword and possibly a short call for your audience to enter the website. Statistics indicate that following an SEO-friendly approach increases both organic traffic and the amount of time the audience usually spends on each website.
- Do not ignore the importance of user experience by making sure your website’s interface is user-friendly, inclusive for all kinds of devices, responsive and fast.
- Build backlinks that refer to your content and will direct third-party website users towards your own website. Their moderate use signifies website quality and aims at a faster classification and a higher search engine ranking. Its exaggerated use, however, may backfire.
- Analyse the search engine results page (SERP) and make sure that you have chosen the right keywords. In case your SEO strategy is not fruitful, proceed with the conduction of a research on your competition’s use of keywords and readjust your strategy accordingly