Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been and remains one of the most important elements of inbound marketing practices. Because our main purpose is to provide solutions for our consumer’s problems it is important for us to provide these solutions with content that can be found in the place where potential consumers are doing the most research to solve their problems….. Search engines.
We have worked hard to create content and websites for our target consumers to use and enjoy, so we need to make sure they can find it!
Now, I must bring to light the idea that Search Engine Optimization is not simply making sure our website appears at the top of a search engine. According to Hubspot, website optimization is a combination of ensuring your users are getting the best experience possible as well as ensuring you are easily found.
Moz (which I have mentioned in the past), a company that provides great tools for SEO and inbound marketing has provided some awesome guides for SEO and link building beginners. From “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” and “Beginner’s Guide to Link Building” I have pulled out some key takeaways, which I believe are most important for the beginning search engine optimizer.
Relevance and Popularity
First, search engines have specific algorithms and crawlers that go through webpages looking for pages that provide information most relevant for their searchers needs as well as how popular that specific page is. So, it is important for us as marketers (now optimizers) to know exactly what our target consumer is looking for as well as ensure our content or website is continuing to grow.
As discussed in a previous post Content Marketing: Not Your Average Marketing Campaign we will be able to provide relevant content for our target consumers to find by creating a relationship and really listening to what they want and need. If we do this, as well as actively using other inbound marketing strategies such as email marketing and social media the popularity will come with time.
Keywords are Key
Using specific keywords in your content or webpages is another great way to ensure these two are placed at the top of search engine lists. This falls back on the importance of relevance. You should be using keywords in your title as well as your content that are often used by your consumers or audience. If we are really speaking our consumer’s language because we have created that important relationship with them, we are more likely to be found.
In order to see better search engine listings, it is important for all your content to be in HTML format. Though you and your users may be able to see your beautiful webpage or content formatting, if all of that information is not in HTML format the search engine crawlers will be unable to find it and rank it. This includes all rich media such as photos, graphics, or videos.
Moz has a great application, which they mentioned in their guide that provides users the ability to see the parts of your content are visible and indexable to search engines. This application, which can be placed right on your Google Chrome or Firefox toolbar, is called MozBar.
Once we have created relevant content that has become popular, you may begin to get hyperlinks (links) from other websites to your own content and website. This is good! The more links to your website the better! With a large number of links to your website or content you will improve your search engine rankings. These links are showing the search engine crawlers that your site is important and has relevant/trusted information that those in your specific community are willing to share.
Links to websites or content are similar to forwarding emails or sharing on social media. We want our audience and consumers to share our content in order to acquire more.
So, once us beginning marketers have created that great content that our target audience and consumers may enjoy, we must use some of these search engine optimization pointers discussed above (in combination with other inbound marketing tactics) to get that content noticed!