What is SEO and How Does It Work?

Content marketing has been a transformative approach to marketing—rather than chasing down your target market, you create content that is ready and waiting for them when they start needing services like yours.

However, it's important to be as findable as possible in today's crowded online marketplaces. 59% of shoppers use online research when they are planning a big purchase, and you need to make sure your content (whether that's product pages, blog articles, or helpful guides) is at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). How do you do that?

A robust search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is all about pushing your online content and brand to the top of the results so more shoppers see it, use it, and become likely to purchase something from you. Get started with these eight vital aspects of SEO.

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Keyword Research

What are your target shoppers typing into Google as they start shopping? Whatever they are curious about is what you should be creating content about.

By using paid tools like Moz, free Google analysis tools, or your own research over time, you can identify the most valuable short and long-tail keywords to feature in your content. Creating high-quality videos and articles centered around these core concepts is a terrific way to provide value and be noticed.

On-Page Optimization

Search engine optimization also has a technical element to it. There are a lot of different fields and pieces of information that you can use to tell humans and bots all about your content. These elements include:

  • Title Tags: Create a title that includes the content's keyword and gets your audience's attention.
  • Meta Descriptions: Write a helpful 155-character description of each piece of content. This shows up in search results.
  • Headings: Headings structure your content and make it more enjoyable to read. It also helps bots understand more about your message and purpose.
  • URL Structure: Create short, concise URLs that highlight the keyword
  • Keyword Usage: You never want to stuff your articles but use the keyword as approximately 1% of the content and be sure to include supplemental keywords or variations.
  • Image Optimization: Choosing relevant images (and inserting a lot of visual elements) makes your content better. Go the extra mile by adding descriptive alt-text—this gives search engines more context and helps your content be more accessible.

Off-Page Optimization

Supplement your on-page SEO efforts with some off-page SEO. A backlinking strategy, in which you get links to your website on other reputable and high-quality sites, will bring in more traffic and make search engines prioritize your content more. The more backlinks you have, the more 'social proof' your content has, and the stronger your online presence becomes.

Technical SEO

This is the 'real' technical SEO: all the back-end changes you make to your site so it's fast, easy to navigate, and safe. Consider optimizing your:

  • Site speed
  • Canonical tags
  • Mobile design
  • HTTPS connection
  • Well-organized XML sitemaps

Content Creation

The stronger boon to your SEO will be the frequent and routine creation of high-quality content. Publishing content that is engaging, valuable, and relevant goes a long way; both humans and search engine bots will trust your site more if there is a consistent pattern of content creation. Good content also increases your odds of having backlinked content.

User Experience

Today's search engines do more than just look for keyword matches. They gauge multiple several factors before suggesting viewers go to your site, including:

  • Page load speed
  • The visit duration of past visitors
  • Ease of navigation
  • How well the content matches the search intent

Search Engine Crawling and Indexing

Remember: you're creating content for humans, but you're also giving a nod to the needs of both.

Google and other search engines have created bots that crawl around the web, indexing content, updating their indices, and getting everything ready to show up on search results. Your website needs to be easy to index.

Algorithm Updates

SEO advice changes over time because the algorithms that guide the SERPs change. Keyword frequency used to be the main metric. Now it's user intent and experience. Tomorrow's trends and tactics may be a slight evolution from today's tips, or they could be a radical change. Make sure you stay updated on those changes, either by doing your own research or by partnering with a digital marketing expert, so your strategy never becomes outdated.

Make SEO Work for You with Help from Mid-West Family

If you want to rank highly in SERPs and engage with new shoppers, creating a robust SEO strategy is essential. It's the foundation for your content marketing strategy, how you refine your website over time, and how you make sure you're easy to find when customers need you. Knowing—and adhering to—best practices is a long-term investment in your business.

At Mid-West Family, we are here to help you reach organic traffic through well-organized content and a quickly performing website. Reach out today to see how we can help your current website climb to new heights with our SEO services or see how we and our website company Webstix can help you create a whole new hub for customer interactions.