SEO is an ever-changing tactic that every website and business owners all around the world use in order for Google to rank them, especially since, in 2019, Google alone accounted for more than 75% of all search traffic. Not only is that impressive, but also somewhat terrifying for new business owners wanting to get ahead of their competition and be easily found by customers.
Many business owners end up relying on digital marketing professionals who specialize in helping clients improve SEO rankings, but it’s not always affordable for new business owners who have a tight budget. This is why it’s important to understand what SEO is, how to improve each of your tactics and learn new methods you never even knew existed.
And trust us, there’s a lot you’ve probably never heard of before! But that’s why we’ve compiled an extensive list of SEO solutions that are bound to bring more relevant traffic to your website. After taking the time to read through this article, we guarantee you’ll be able to improve your SEO with ease.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization is the process in which you improve your search engine ranking so when people are typing a product or service into the Google search bar, your ranked website will be the first one they click on.
Your ranking is important on other search engines like Yahoo and Bing, but Google is the most popular search engine in the world. In fact, out of the 75% of Google searches last year, over 67% of those searchers clicked the top five websites that appeared. 95% of searchers will not go to the next page. That’s a pretty high percentage and clearly represents why it’s so important to start ranking your website.
Many customers who turn to digital marketing and SEO experts ask how quickly they can get their website ranking on search engines, and we’re always completely honest with them. Search engine optimization can take nearly six to eight months before you’re able to notice Google ranking your website, so it’s definitely a long-term investment you have to commit too. It won’t happen immediately.
Remember, your competition has their own website they’re trying to rank too, and keyword terms will change regularly. This is why it’s a good idea to start learning other SEO techniques, like optimizing your social media, link building, writing regular blog posts, etc. But we’ll get to that later!The world of SEO can often be complex, so understanding even the basics can make all the difference.
Trying to jump into learning everything about it right away isn’t going to improve your SEO rank. You need to take your time, read about each point below, and from there, begin practicing how to utilize these techniques on your own website until you become the SEO expert everyone will be turning too!
How Does Google Rank Websites?
Most people don’t know that Google has over 200 ranking factors. Yep. You read that number right. 200. We’re not going to list them all here, but don’t feel hopeless! There are plenty of ways we’re going to help you improve your SEO.
The top ten Google ranking factors are:
These factors have been proven to legitimately give websites a ranking boost. Out of the entire list of 200 factors, there are others that have been considered “controversial”, but it may still be worth reading about all of them. Here are ten other random ranking factors Google considers:
Why SEO Is Important For Your Business
Does absolutely every business need SEO? Well, we think so. Any business can benefit from an effective SEO program, including businesses you may not have thought of like dentists, car repair shops, and even that little local cafe you visit regularly that’s around the corner from where you live.
If that local cafe didn’t build a website or try and incorporate specific keywords in their domain, homepage, or Google My Business posts, how would they be found by customers that didn’t know they existed? If someone is new to the area, how would they be able to find out about that dentist’s office that has a lot of Google reviews and is currently accepting new patients?
There are a lot of reasons why SEO is important for any business. Any digital marketing company will tell you that Google is the most popular search engine platform in the world and a lot of the reason people end up on your website is because of an organic search (unpaid search, aka, not an ad). SEO can also drastically improve your website’s credibility, user experience, and just like you were hoping for, your traffic and conversion rates.
So, if you haven’t already started an SEO program, start. Because as we mentioned before, it also takes a while before you start noticing a difference in your rank. It’s a long-term investment that should be started as soon as you build a new website.
What Is Organic SEO?
A lot of new business owners don’t know there are different kinds of SEO.It’s important to understand the differences so you can incorporate the appropriate measures into your SEO campaign.
Organic SEO is mainly just focused on helping your website rank. While your location can play a huge factor as well, organic traffic can increase because of keyword research, link building efforts, high-quality and relevant content with keywords, and other methods that are used without paying for them. Meaning, you’ll rank organically instead of having the “ad” mark next to your website on Google search results.
So, even though people are paying for a Google ad campaign hoping to get more costs-per-click, you’re still driving just as much traffic to your website because Google finds your website just as trustworthy, relevant, and beneficial.
When it comes to organic keyword research, you’ll mainly be focusing on keywords that are high in search volume and begin incorporating it into your content. This could be through a blog post, header tags, image optimization, etc. Because of these keywords that are now in your content, searchers will find it much easier to find your website for your products and services above others since you’re ranking for the specific term they’re searching for.
Google will also consider how fast your page is loading (since more than 50% of visitors will leave your site if it doesn’t load in three seconds), if there’s multimedia content, and how strong your internal linking is.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO works in the same way, only you’re focusing on your geographical location. Instead of ranking for generic keyword search terms, your keyword research will mainly focus on what people are searching for in your particular area and you’ll need to create a Google My Business profile.
For example, if you own a restaurant, you’ll want to list your location (including your address and phone number), your hours, a link to your website, customer reviews, and a Google My Business post briefly explaining what you have to offer while incorporating relevant keywords. Without creating a profile or letting people know where your restaurant is or what you serve, your competitors are going to continue ranking above you.
Local SEO is an ever-changing investment and it can take a while to get it right. But as long as you stay up to date on your citations, regularly updating your Google My Business posts, receiving great customer reviews, and using high-quality relevant backlinks, your chances of succeeding are very high!
What SEO Strategies Work In 2020?
If you want to improve your SEO in 2020, it may seem like a difficult task with so much competition out there, but there are plenty of proven ways you can continue to succeed and increase your chances of ranking first on Google.
Typical on-page optimization techniques involve optimizing titles, content, internal links and your URL. Some people will tell you that SEO is dead, but this isn’t an accurate statement. If you typed in something on Google, guarantee all the top sites that appear will have similar keywords in their title. So, if you didn’t include that keyword in your title or throughout the rest of your content, where would your website be?
H1 tags are one of the most important aspects of getting Google to rank your website since it will let people know what your website is about or what you offer. This is why it’s also important to include backlinks on your pages that link to relevant websites with a higher authority as this can drastically improve your credibility and the chances someone will purchase your products or services.
A meta description can help improve your on-page SEO efforts. A meta description is a brief description that appears in search engines under the headline. The text should always be relevant to the title and further explain what the user will find on your website. They can be anywhere from 50-160 words, so even though they’re brief, they have to be precise and catchy and also include a couple of specific keywords. For mobile devices, meta descriptions should be approximately 120 words.
In some cases, less is better. You want to keep it short and catchy so the reader will remain curious and want to click on your website for further information. If someone is just searching for a quick answer, they’ll quickly lose interest in your long meta description and scroll to the next website.
Some people assume subheaders aren’t as important as the main title. Just think – if there were no subheaders to break up a long article or to explain what the next section is about only to leave you feeling confused, would you continue reading it?
Subheadings help guide a reader and give them a brief description in just a few words on what they should expect to read in the next section. And yes, they play a role in improving your search engine ranking too. Google is trying to figure out what your content is about too and, therefore, going to rank it if it’s clear, concise, and broken down with relevant keywords in your subheaders.
Subheaders are referred to as your h2 and h3’s. For example:
Just as you can optimize your content, you can optimize your images so they appear in Google Image searches. This is particularly beneficial for e-commerce sites and restaurants. Other aspects that are important to consider when optimizing your photos are:
Alt text refers to “alternative attributions” or “alternative descriptions”. With these descriptions, search engines can crawl and display an image properly. They’re not necessarily stuffed with keywords, but rather descriptive words explaining the product like the size, colour, etc. These descriptions are especially useful for those who can’t see the product and need to use a screen reader. It will read out what you’ve described, for example:
<alt=“SEO statistics for 2020”>
Keyword stuffing is not recommended as it can often confuse both the reader, and Google. For example:
<alt=“SEO what is SEO SEO statistics SEO for website content marketing search engine optimization SEO broken links”>
You want to be as specific as possible while still using keywords, but not in a stuffy manner. You also don’t need to include descriptive words like “image of”. They already know it’s an image so get straight to the point.
Internal & External Linking
Linking can often be a confusing topic which is why we’re going to break it down for you.
Internal linking means you’re navigating a reader/user to another section of your website, whether it be to encourage them to purchase something or to help you further explain something. They’re often used as a call-to-action since it might encourage the user to purchase something, book an appointment or get them to contact you to learn more about your service packages. The anchor text you’re linking through must be relevant to the rest of the content and include the keyword you want to rank for while describing what it is they’ll be referred too. For example:
A lot of people use the “click here” method and while it may still work, putting the anchor text right in a sentence can gain the customer’s trust since they won’t feel like you’re trying to sell them something (even though you are!). Google will also favour the second option and help your search engine rankings compared to just telling people to click here.
External linking means you’re linking to another reputable and similar website throughout your content. Backlinks can improve your credibility, especially if another website is linking to you. Customers are pretty much being told the company they already trust is referring your products and services since they’re just as good, and now, you have the potential of gaining a new customer. The more backlinks you have, the higher chance you have of improving your ranking on search engines since they’ll crawl your content and find it trustworthy. But remember to use anchor text wisely!
Fixing Broken Links
It’s very important to remember that the more links you have, the more you have to check them. The internet isn’t perfect. Sometimes websites crash or websites shut down and if a customer clicks on a link you’ve provided them only to be taken to a page telling them there’s an error, your credibility can be damaged. There are plenty of ways to check for broken links to get rid of them or repair them before someone has a chance to click on one. In fact, you can find free broken link checkers online or sign up for a service that will automatically check for you.
Updating Your Blog
You’re probably wondering if blogging can improve your SEO even when you take the time to do all these other methods, but yes, posting blog posts regularly with quality content can make a huge difference. It helps keep your content relevant, keeps people on your site longer and entice their curiosity, and will obviously help your rankings for certain keywords. It’s also a great way to incorporate more internal or external links. The only problem is – you may not have the time to do this.
Since you’re spending your time running your business and improving other aspects to your website, it may be time to hire a content writer, even if it’s just a freelancer wanting to gain experience. If you have the funds to hire someone full-time, even better! Otherwise, there are plenty of content writers wanting experience who won’t mind doing blog posts for you on a regular basis. They may also be willing to help you update your social media profiles – posting regularly on different platforms can increase your credibility and online presence even more.
Tools Caseo Recommends
We’re a professional SEO company that has been helping businesses in various industries rank on Google since 2011. We started out as a small business with just a few clients but quickly grew into a content marketing team that expanded their horizons to all of North America and the UK. As you can tell, we’re passionate about everything SEO-related. We’ve evolved our tactics along with the ever-changing SEO scene and know what it takes to get any website ranking on search engines. But while we constantly incorporate new techniques into our campaigns, we stand behind traditional SEO methods.
If you’re just getting started in the world of business and don’t even know where to start to build a website, we always recommend WordPress. Right off the bat, Google will favour your website over others for SEO. WordPress is incredibly SEO-friendly and allows you to customize pretty much anything after installing a plugin.
And, there’s about 50,000 different plugins to choose from, including search engine optimization plugins that will improve your search engine ranking even more. Yoast is a great place to start. It completely helps you optimize your content with keyword incorporations, competitor research, local keyword research, and more. Most important functions are free, but you do have the option to upgrade to Premium to unlock even more helpful features.
If you already have your website up and running with internal and external links, we recommend using a platform like Ahrefs to check if there are any broken links. There is a free version, but upgrading to Premium will unlock more features for you. Broken links can happen at any time and it’s important to repair them as soon as possible. The longer they’re left on your website, the more your user experience and credibility will diminish, as well as your top spot on Google.
Utilize Google Analytics
Google Analytics will become your best friend. Seriously. It will. Utilize it as much as you can, for everything. It pretty much collects all in-depth information and user data from your website. After all the hard work you’ve put into learning about search engine optimization, doing your keyword research and incorporating it all into your website to improve your SEO ranking … you need to keep track of your progress! You need to know what’s working and what’s not.
More importantly, if you’re going to create ad campaigns, you need to learn more about the habits of your users so you can target them more efficiently. Not to mention, Google analytics is completely free, so why not rely on it to help you?
It will help your business grow by collecting information on where your users are coming from, what platform they’re using, how long they spend on your website, and which pages have a high bounce rate.
Start To Improve Your SEO Today
Search engine optimization is important for every website and while it may take a while to actually see the results you desire, it’s certainly worth the long-term investment. Will it take you a while to learn all the different aspects SEO has to offer? Yes, but we promise, it will be worth it. It’s fun too! Nothing is more satisfying than watching your position on Google slowly start to rise all because you’ve incorporated certain keywords into your content.
But remember, it’s not just keyword research and on-page optimization that will bring you success. After all, there are over 200 ranking factors Google uses to determine who deserves the top spots, including:
If you have a local business, organic SEO is still important, but so is creating a Google My Business profile and utilizing citations to make it easier for customers to find you. Google My Business profiles will include your address, postal code, phone number, a link to your website, customer reviews, and a Google My Business post.
These posts are brief descriptions (anywhere from 100 to 500 words) explaining what you offer and why they should check out your business. You can add keywords in the post to improve your ranking even more, but it shouldn’t be really long or stuffy. Same with meta descriptions or alt text – get straight to the point so you don’t lose a reader’s interest.
Caseo: Specializing In SEO Since 2011
We know there’s a lot to learn about SEO and while it can be fun to learn yourself, there may come a time when you need professional help. After all, as you start growing, you won’t have all that time to focus on SEO anymore! That’s why Caseo opened its doors nine years ago – to help business owners improve their online presence and eventually, increase their conversion rates by attracting more relevant organic or local traffic to their website.
We have the tools, skill and experience necessary in order to build a custom SEO package for each client, no matter what industry they specialize in. We’ve helped clients of all sorts across North America and the UK get their website to the number one spot on Google. When you work with us, you’ll receive regular Google analytic reports that will tell you precisely how successful our efforts are, where improvements are needed, and overall, help you see your business goals are well within reach all thanks to search engine optimization.