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SEO

What Is SEO in Digital Marketing?

What is SEO

SEO

SEO is one of the many ways to drive traffic to your website. But more than the traffic it brings, it’s one digital marketing strategy that can help deliver high quality leads to your business for years to come. 

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the nitty-gritty of SEO. Here, you’ll get a better understanding of what SEO is and why it is essential for businesses like yours. 

By the end of this piece, I’ll help you make an informed decision on which is the best route to take for your business or blog. 

To begin, let’s start with what SEO is. 

 

What is SEO? 

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the practice of optimizing content so that your website is discovered in the search engine results page (SERPs). 

The goal of SEO is to drive ‘earned,’ ‘unpaid’ organic traffic to your website. 

In simpler terms, you make specific changes to your website to make it more appealing to search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. And what do you get in return? 

Those search engines will display your website on top of the SERPs. It helps show your business in front of your customers as they search for what you have to offer. And this means more targeted people are seeing and clicking links to your website based on past work. 

Optimizing for search engines increase both the quality and quantity of a website’s traffic. It also helps website owners gain exposure to their brands without continued spending on ads. 

 

Why is SEO Important

Why is SEO Important? 

There are many other ways to drive traffic to your website, aside from SEO. But why should you optimize for search engines? 

SEO’s impact lasts more than several years. 

While paid advertising, social media, and other digital marketing strategies can drive traffic to your website. They last for a relatively shorter time compared to good SEO. This is especially true for paid advertising that gives immediate results but disappears completely once the campaign ends. 

The more time, effort, and budget you spend on SEO, the better and longer your website will enjoy consistent organic traffic. 

But the importance of SEO doesn’t just end there. Optimizing for search engines also gives you 20x more traffic opportunities than PPC on both desktop and mobile. This is when your website appears in organic search results. 

Organic search plays a critical role in getting users to engage or convert. To put that in numbers, 40.9% of Google searches get an organic click for mobile devices. That’s a huge difference compared to the mere 2% of paid clicks. For desktop devices, it’s 62.2% organic versus 2.8% paid clicks. 

These are only a few of the many reasons why you should utilize SEO for your business. 

 

Types of SEO 

There are two types of search: organic and paid. 

As stated above, organic means unpaid, natural rankings in search results. Paid search, as the name suggests, focuses on paid rankings. 

Organic search can be optimized with various SEO practices. Meanwhile, traffic from paid search can be acquired through search engine marketing (SEM). 

For this guide, we will focus on organic search and discuss the different types of SEO. 

On-Page SEO 

On-Page SEO involves optimizing the content on your website. 

Optimizing each page on your website helps search engines understand the topic of the content you are publishing. This tells search engines that your website is relevant to people who are searching for specific terms.

In this type of SEO, you do the following: 

  • Keyword Research – Looking for keywords to include on a page (more on this later) 
  • Content Creation – Publishing high-quality, informative content revolving around the keywords 
  • Keyword Optimization – Adding the keywords in strategic places in the content 

For On-Page SEO, excellent content is key to rank higher in the SERPs. According to Rand Fishkin of SparkToro (formerly with Moz), your content should be ten times better than other content available on the results page. That and a couple of relevant and related keywords. 

Areas of On-Page SEO 

To find success in this type of SEO, you must pay attention to these areas that will help increase your rankings, traffic, and conversions. 

Title Tag 

Title tags are an HTML element the shows the title of your web page. Along with meta description, they appear in search engines like this: 

Steven J Wilson example of a Title Tag

Meta title tags are crucial because they help search engines understand what your page is about. This is why it’s vital that you follow the SEO best practices for optimizing title tags, such as including your target keywords. 

SEO aside, they also leave first impressions on the people looking on search engines, which can be a make-or-break factor on whether searchers will click on your link. 

Meta Description 

Located just below the title tag, meta descriptions explain what your page is about. It is the longer version of the title tag. 

Just like the first HTML element, meta descriptions also tell search engines what the topic of your content is. Meta descriptions also need keywords to rank your page in the SERPs. 

Header Tags 

Header tags are HTML elements H1-H6 that’s long been a fixture of SEO, but most people know a little about. But what exactly are header tags? 

These HTML elements are used to determine headers and subheadings within a content. Just take a look at the illustration below. 

Steven J Wilson Header tag examples

While header tags aren’t as critically important for site rankings as they used to be, they still serve a role that can indirectly influence your rankings. 

Header tags indirectly impact rankings by: 

  • Making content more scannable for an easy read. 
  • You are sending the right signals to search engines about what topic your content contains. 

Image ALT Tags 

People visiting your web page can physically see the photos published on your site. But search engines can’t. And this is where image ALT tags come in handy. 

ALT tags, otherwise known as “alt attributes” or “alt descriptions,” are HTML code and text that you add to describe an image. If you include keywords in these tags, search engines will easily determine what your photos are about. 

These tags are vital because they not only make for better user experience, but they also contribute to image SEO. ALT tags lend search engines a helping hand by describing what an image is about through keywords. 

Internal Links 

Internal links are hyperlinks that direct to another page on the same website. 

Internal linking is an essential step in SEO for the following reasons: 

  • It allows for more straightforward navigation on the website.
  • It helps establish site architecture for the given website. 
  • It helps distribute link juices around web pages. 

Both internal and external (more on this later) links send search engines signal about the topic of your content. But internal links are used to show relationships between content. As search engines determine such relations, they work on ranking your most essential pages higher in the SERPs.

Page Speed 

Page speed is another important ranking factor that Google is looking for. It is the measurement of how fast your web page content loads. 

Page speed is often described as “page load time.” A page’s loading time is dependent on several factors, such as image compression, page file size, and the site’s server. 

Google penalizes pages with longer load times, which tend to have a lower average time on page and higher bounce rates. Hence, it’s crucial that you follow the SEO best practices on increasing your page speed. This includes enabling compression, reducing redirects, and improving server response time, among others. 

Off-Page SEO 

Off-page SEO involves optimizing efforts outside of your website. Unlike on-page SEO, you often do not have control over off-page SEO. 

For instance, you reached out to an authoritative website to link to your website. That’s off-page SEO. It is considered off-page because you didn’t change anything about your website. 

Off-page SEO is vital because it touches many of the search engines’ off-page factors that help rank a website. Some of the most important of these factors include the following. 

Links 

Building links is at the core of off-page SEO. This is because links are one of the most important ranking factors for Google. 

Links are crucial because search engines use them to discover new web pages. They are also used to determine how well a page should rank in the SERPs. 

Search engines look at the number of links from external websites pointing to a page you are trying to rank. These links tell search engines if the page has sufficient quality to rank for relevant keywords. 

In general, the more high-value links you build, the better you rank in the results page. 

We will discuss link building in great detail at What is the SEO Process section. Keep on reading to learn more about this process. 

E-A-T 

E-A-T in SEO stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. It is one factor in determining Page Quality. 

Search engines determine a page if it has a beneficial purpose. If it does, it’s E-A-T level is considered whether the content is YMYL (Your Money or Your Life). 

This ranking factor matters on topics such as YMYL, which include pages that can potentially impact a searcher’s safety, financial stability, health, and happiness. 

And what do these all mean? It all boils down to links and high-quality content. 

As mentioned above, links are crucial to rank higher in the SERPs. And it’s not just any link; it should be linked from high-quality content. For you to create high-quality content, you need to look at your E-A-T. 

Social Engagement 

Google made it clear that social media is not a direct SEO ranking factor. But despite this, there’s still a connection that indirectly affects how search engines see your content. 

Engagement metrics, like “shares,” play a role in SEO. How? The more social shares you get, the more visibility of your content gets. 

And visibility sends the right signal to search engines that your content is high-quality and relevant to the keywords you are targeting. 

That said, social engagement impacts SEO. And you should also pay attention to this when trying to rank on the results page. 

Local SEO 

Statistics show that 46% of all Google searches are local. And how do you take advantage of these searches? Through local SEO. 

Local SEO is the process of optimizing content to drive traffic organically. But in this type of SEO, you are targeting more relevant local searches. 

Investing in local SEO is vital because 80% of local searches result in conversions. And 50% of people who made those searches visit a store within a day after conducting a local search. 

If your business offers laundry services, and a local customer searches, “laundry service near me,” local SEO helps you get found in the SERPs. That means an opportunity to convert, so you shouldn’t miss out on local SEO. 

Important Parts of Local SEO 

The process of local SEO is not all that different from organic SEO. This involves taking the following steps to optimize your content for local searches. 

  1. Performing keyword research. 
  2. Creating content with a local focus. 
  3. Acquiring high-quality links. 
  4. Outreaching. 

These steps will be discussed in great detail in the What is the SEO Process section. 

 

What is The SEO Process

What is the SEO Process? 

Now that you have an idea of the types of SEO, it’s time you get an overview of how the SEO process goes. 

How Search Works 

Search engines rank a website in three primary steps: 

  1. Crawl – search engine crawlers scour the Internet for content. 
  2. Index – search engines process and store information they find into a huge database called an index. 
  3. Rank – from the index, search engines chose the best answer (aka most relevant) for each search query. 

For crawlers to rank your website higher in the SERPs, you have to optimize your content for search engines. How? Through the steps below: 

Keyword Research 

SEO campaigns usually start with keyword research. 

Keyword research is the process of finding words and phrases that your audience enter into search engines. It involves analyzing those search terms to help you develop an informed content and marketing strategy. 

The ultimate goal of this process is to optimize content around those keywords. You do this, so your website ranks in the SERPs. 

Importance of Keyword Research 

Keyword research is crucial because it tells you what topics your customers care about. It also gives you relevant data like search volume that tells you how popular those topics are to your target people. 

Determining the intent behind each search term also lets you identify what sort of content you should create to resonate with your audience. 

By researching keywords for their search volume and intent, you get insight into what answers people are looking for. You get a clearer view of what you should consider in the next steps of the SEO process. 

It is like a compass that tells you where to go when doing content creation, outreach marketing, and promotion, among others. 

The Keyword Research Process 

SEO specialists usually take the following steps to discover search terms. 

  1. Making a list of relevant topics for your business. 
  2. Research keywords that fall into those topics. 
  3. Discover related search terms. 
  4. Come up with a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords for a balanced strategy. 
  5. Use keyword tools like SEMrush to check how competitors rank for specific keywords. 
  6. Refine your keyword list based on search volume, general intent, and trends. 

Content Creation 

Once you have your keywords sorted, the next thing to do is to create your content. 

SEO speaking, content must be of high-quality and should contain useful information to your audience. Remember that when searchers type a query, they are looking for a ‘relevant’ answer. 

If you want to rank on the results page, your content must be able to provide answers that are of value to searchers. 

Importance of Content Creation 

In digital marketing, content is ‘still’ king. 

Search engines’ mission is to compile and organize information and to present the best possible answers to questions. 

That’s why content should be useful and relevant to searchers. And the ‘best’ answers are always rewarded by search engines in the form of a higher results page ranking. 

Simply put, content with SEO value, ranks higher in the SERPs. So, you should work on creating optimized, valuable content. And by optimized, we mean strategically placing relevant keywords on the content you are creating. 

Different Forms of Content 

There are different forms of content, and they work differently depending on your audience. 

Remember that each industry is different. One industry may find blogs to resonate with its audience. In contrast, others may notice videos to be an effective form of content that drives results. 

The idea is to find what content appeals to your audience. Because the more it appeals to them, the better search engines will look at your content. 

Below, we rounded up some of the most common types of content that work best for SEO

  • Web Page Content 
  • Video Content 
  • Blog Posts 
  • Long-Form Articles 
  • Evergreen Content 
  • Photo and Visual Galleries 
  • Podcast 
  • Social Media 
  • Local Listings 

Link Building 

After creating content for your audience, the next to do is to build links to your website. 

As mentioned above, links are one of the most important ranking factors that Google has established for SEO. Previously, we’ve discussed internal links. Now, let’s talk about external links, aka inbound links or backlinks. 

Importance of Links 

Inbound links are links that point from one website to a page on another website. They are like “votes” for a specific page, acting as a real-life reputation. 

To put it simply, think of links as people. Say, you asked five people what the best diner in town is. Then, they all said, “Steven’s Kitchen in Manhattan.” In your mind, you would trust Steven’s since people are vouching for it.

This is what links do for search engines. These links signal to search engines that other website trusts your content. 

And the higher the number of links that point to your website, the higher you appear on organic search engine rankings. 

Ways to Build Backlinks 

Link building can be done in several methods, and Moz has provided an exhaustive list to help you build high-quality backlinks. To give you an idea, we rounded up some of the most popular strategies that tend to work for most campaigns. 

  • Publish a blog 
  • Find customer and partner links 
  • Create unique resources 
  • Build resources page 
  • Refurbish top content 
  • Get involved in your local community 
  • Be newsworthy 
  • Be personal and genuine with outreach 

Outreach 

Aside from link building, outreaching is another way to help businesses rank for their chosen keywords, thus attracting organic traffic. 

But what exactly is outreach in SEO? 

Outreach is technically one way to do link building. In this method, you reach out to people to create valuable backlinks from third-party sites. Other than gaining traffic, doing outreach also helps businesses build credibility within their respective industries. 

Often, businesses also perform outreach to improve brand awareness. This is done in several ways, like earning a mention from influencers and press releases, among others. 

Importance of Outreach 

Outreach is crucial in SEO to stand out from the crowd. 

As more and more digital marketers create content for link building, the supply of content is now significantly exceeding demand. 

It is up to the outreach specialist’s skill to identify strategically valuable publishers and convince them to accept and promote their content. 

When you do this correctly, you may enjoy high-quality backlinks to your website. And that means better ranking and more organic traffic for your web pages. 

Ways to Perform Outreach 

Businesses can outreach in various ways. This includes the following strategies: 

  • Email outreach 
  • Social outreach 
  • Influencer outreach 
  • Press outreach 

 

Is SEO Difficult? 

With all the steps mentioned above, you’ve probably guessed: SEO is complex. 

Learning its process by yourself demands a significant amount of time and attention. You might even have to spend months just to learn the basics and find your footing in this digital marketing strategy. 

This is why many business owners are too intimidated to take on SEO themselves. 

But you know that SEO is an excellent investment. So, what should you do? 

Seek help from the professionals. 

Marketers who have spent enough time mastering the optimization method offers you better chances of achieving your business goals through SEO. 

 

Should You Hire Someone for SEO? 

If you are a business owner who doesn’t have the luxury of time to spend on learning SEO from scratch, it’s probably best you hire an expert to optimize your website. 

Pros of Hiring Someone for SEO 

You get someone who has a full understanding of SEO 

When you hire someone for SEO, you acquire valuable digital marketing knowledge that will help you achieve your business goals. You are getting someone with advanced skills that can work hand-in-hand with you. 

You get someone who is updated on current algorithmic changes 

Search engine algorithms are an ever-changing element that you need to keep up with. And staying up-to-date is one of the many offers that an SEO specialist can bring to the table. Using outdated tactics can hurt your rankings. 

You get someone to talk to within your business 

Got an in-depth question about SEO? Feel free to discuss it with an SEO expert. Having someone to do SEO for you means you can explore ideas that might work best for your business. There is not a one method works for all approach in SEO. Strategically piecing together business goals with SEO could be the thing that helps you stand out to algorithms. 

Quicker Return on Investment 

SEO is an investment that, when done right, gives excellent returns. Depending on your business goals, SEO can provide some of the best returns in digital marketing. For instance, one case study shows how a website saw an average of 140,000+ organic visitors per month from the previous 20,000. That’s an increase of 600%, boosting the client’s brand awareness and, ultimately, their revenue.

Cons of Hiring Someone for SEO 

SEO takes time to get results 

As we will discuss below, SEO is a commitment that takes months or even years to pull off. Be mentally prepared to commit to 6 to 12-months for superior results.

SEO Is Complicated 

Many factors contribute to the success of an SEO campaign. If you’re hiring someone to do the job for you, you will have to rely on that person’s skill to get results. That’s why it’s crucial to find an SEO expert with experience and someone whom you feel you can trust to deliver results.

 

How Long Does SEO take

How Long Does It Take to See Results From SEO? 

If you’re hiring SEO experts to work for you, know that there is a baseline period for you to see results from your optimization efforts. 

Ask some SEO agencies, and they will tell you that it takes 6 to 8+ months to rank for high competition keywords. High competition means keywords that have high search volume that often convert well into visitors or purchases.

Many marketers and advertisers bid for high competition keywords because of its opportunity to convert, gaining huge traffic and sales. Thus, the term “high competition.” 

In contrast, it may take you 4 to 6+ months to rank keywords with lower competition. By lower competition, it means terms that have relatively lower search volume. 

Low competition keywords often rank easier in search engines because fewer marketers and advertisers are bidding for them. Ranking low competition terms usually take little to no link building and no domain authority.

As a general rule of thumb, it is best to find high volume keywords with low competition during the keyword research phase. These keywords give businesses a chance to rank on the results page. 

With that said there is value in using keywords that have low volume with low competition as well. I recommend this more for newer sites that are still growing and building their E-A-T with google.

 

How Much Does SEO Cost? 

The cost of SEO services depends on what is included in the package. Services are based on the scope of a project, but just to give you an idea, the typical SEO campaign cost in 2020 is around $750-$2,000 per month.

One-time projects cost around $5,000-$30,000. Hourly rates for consultants are priced between $80-$200. 

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in SEO services.

 

Wrapping It Up 

Now that you have a better understanding of SEO, it’s time to decide which is the best route for you to take for your needs. 

Decide whether to take it upon yourself or hire someone to do SEO for you. But here’s a piece of advice: if you want to increase your chances of success in this strategy, it’s best that you seek the help of an expert. 

What is your take on SEO? Is it worth learning or getting experienced help is best?

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What are Primary Keywords and Secondary Keywords in SEO?

Primary and Secondary keywords SEO

SEO

Primary keywords and Secondary keywords are terms used by webmasters and content creators to target specific search queries to help rank their content higher in search results.

These days, keywords are just as relevant as they were a couple of decades ago. Of course, they are not the main factor in the optimization of your content. Your content also needs to be complemented by on page-technical improvements, link building, social signals, navigation, and schema markup. 

So what are keywords, and why are they important? What is the difference between primary and secondary keywords? How can I do proper keyword research and optimization? What are the best tools I can use for keyword research?

Below, I’ll answer all of these questions and guide you through your keyword optimization journey.

 

What are Keywords and Why They are Important? 

Keywords are words or phrases that people search for in Google, Bing, Yandex, or in other search engines. Using these keywords, people are trying to find answers to their problems and discover meaningful solutions. 

To put things simply, you need to have specific keywords on your page in order to rank higher and become visible in search engines for these terms. Understand that Google is now using over 200 ranking signals, with keyword optimization being just one of them. Nevertheless, choosing the right keywords is the key to success. 

To better understand why keywords are important, you first need to discover how Google works. In the past, they used to rank sites that focus solely on a specific keyword. Basically, overloading the page with their primary keyword. Now Google focuses on a wide range of aspects. 

They want you to create content for the end-user and integrate as many LSI (latent semantic index) terms as possible. In other words, they also want you to use numerous primary keywords and multiple variations of your primary keywords. 

Because it’s so easy to be lost in keyword optimization, your main goal should be to write meaningful posts and content that adds value and encourages people to engage with you. However, you should never neglect the importance of using the right keywords that have the proper search volume. 

Keep reading to better understand the difference between primary and secondary keywords. 

 

What is a Primary Keyword? 

Primary keywords are those terms you want to rank up for. These are terms with high search volume that can bring a considerable amount of traffic to your site. If we’re taking the same example listed above, your primary keywords are all the terms that relate to buying laptops online. 

As a rule of thumb, your primary keywords should be targeted to a broader audience and should be spread out across the text on your site. You want to include your main keywords in the title, headings, anchor links, first and last sentences. You should include a maximum of 2-3 primary keywords per page, and a minimum of one. 

Primary Keyword Examples

For instance, if you’re selling laptops online all across the state of Texas, your list of keywords should include the following: 

  • buy online laptops Texas 
  • purchase laptops online in Texas 
  • laptop stores near me 
  • buy online laptops Texas in the USA 
  • laptops for women Texas 

You want to integrate these keywords in the text, in your meta title & description, and also in your headers. However, you also need to incorporate secondary keywords, which have a supporting role. 

 

What is a Secondary Keyword? 

These are keywords that play a supporting role. In other words, they support the primary keywords and bring in additional information. These are LSI keywords that you have to use naturally throughout your content in order to provide value to the end reader. 

Secondary keywords do not have as much SEO value as the primary keywords, but using them can still help you outrank your competitors. 

Secondary Keyword Examples

If you are selling laptops online in Texas, some of the best secondary keywords you can use are: 

  • Lenovo laptop shop near me 
  • buy Asus laptops 
  • purchase laptop batteries 
  • laptop chargers online 
  • laptop repair services 
  • the best laptop accessories store 
  • laptop dealer near me 

As you can notice, these supporting keywords can be used to showcase the benefits of your main product or sell additional products that go well with your main offers. 

 

How to Properly do Keyword Research? 

Finding primary and secondary keywords is not as daunting as it may sound. Finding the right keywords for your business is a streamlined, step-by-step process. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to find just the perfect keywords to rank for: 

1. Define your services & products 

First and foremost, you need to look at what you are offering. Are you selling laptops? That means that your keywords should relate and include laptops for primary terms. On the other hand, if you have a restaurant, you should choose keywords that relate to food, professional service, and spending time with family. 

2. Look at what your customers need 

Next, you need to find ways on how to solve the problems and needs of your customers. For instance, if you own a restaurant, you want to use secondary keywords that relate to spending time with the family, choosing a place to propose, eating well in the evening, or having breakfast. These are all secondary keywords that connect and support the main keyword, which is “local restaurant.” 

3. Check out your competitors 

An excellent source of discovering keywords involves taking a closer look at your competitors. You can use spying tools such as SEMRush or Spy Fu to find out what keywords your competitors are using and look at how they are ranking for these keywords. If you notice that one key competitor is outranking all others, try to determine how they are leveraging the true power of primary and secondary keywords. 

4. Research more keywords 

You can use several tools and platforms. We would recommend you to start with Keyword Planner and Google’s own search platform to find primary keywords and then continue by looking for secondary keywords on Quora, SEMRush, Tube Buddy, and SpyFu. 

5. Map the keywords to pages 

Next, you want to ensure that your site sections and pages all focus on specific keywords. Each primary keyword should ideally be tied to one page. You can also use two or three primary keywords per page. For secondary keywords, the best way to capitalize on their value is to integrate them into blog posts, case studies, and press releases. 

 

Best Tools for Keyword Research 

Choosing a keyword research tool is the best way to find all those unique competitors you could rank for. While you should also use free tools such as Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and Quora, you can get more value by investing in a premium tool. 

The best tools for keyword research are SEMRush, Tube Buddy, and Spy Fu. Each one of them caters to a specific audience and could help you find tons of great keywords that your competitors are not utilizing. Let’s start with the most famous tool, SEMRush. 

SEMRush for Keyword Research

1. SEMRush 

This tool is one of the most famous competitors spying platforms available today. You can do a whole lot on this digital marketing research platform, from finding new keywords and improving your page structure to studying your competitors’ ads, keywords, and pages. 

SEMRush caters to all business owners that want to know exactly how their competitors have succeeded and managed to get high-quality traffic to their sites. You can discover the exact keywords your competitors are ranking on, the links they have to their pages, and even look at their Google Ads campaigns. This priceless tool acts like a mole that spies for you. It helps take the guesswork out of what is working well for your competitors.

Features

Some of the main features of this program include site audit, keyword research, content optimization using the best keywords, benchmark data collection, competitor spying, and SEO strategy improvement. You can discover the exact keywords used by your competitors and use an advanced tool called “Keyword Magic” to dive deeper into the competition, keyword difficulty, and SERP features. 

Inside SEMRush, you can also discover with ease long-tail keywords that surround your primary keywords. 

Cost

The starting price for this excellent tool is $99 a month, an industry-standard, but you can gain access to more features by upgrading to the Guru Plan or the Business plan, which costs $199, respectively $399 a month. 

 
TubeBuddy for Youtube Keyword Research

2. Tube Buddy 

This keyword research tool is just perfect for Youtubers. If you have a YouTube channel, and you want to grow your brand’s reach on this platform, you definitely want to discover what Tube Buddy has in store for you. 

Features

You receive access to a thumbnail generator, advanced video embedding, A/B testing, keyword research, video tags finder, auto translator, and a multitude of other helpful features that help you rank Youtube videos. 

Cost

 The price starts at just $9 a month. You can get access to even more features with their Star plan at $19 a month or their Legend plan at $49 a month.

 
Spyfu for keyword Research

3.SpyFu 

This robust platform offers a plethora of keyword research options.

Features

You get access to interactive reporting, keyword research, sales lead, domain searches, and backlink tracking, to name a few. Thanks to the tracking tab, you can keep a close eye on the keywords you selected and compare it with how your competitors are performing. 

Cost

Pricing starts at $33 a month for the basic plan, $58 a month for the Pro plan, and $199 a month for the team plan.

 

Conclusion 

Using both primary and secondary keywords is imperative if you want to enjoy success online and outrank your competitors. Think out of the box, use all the tools available at your disposal, and begin ranking high in Google & Bing for high-volume keywords. This will allow you to benefit from all that free organic traffic and skyrocket your business. 

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Why Branding Should Be Your SEO Strategy For 2021

Branding and SEO

SEO

Developing strategic branding, that can be detected on an algorithmic level, will create longevity and allow your brand to continue to progress through all future Google updates. 

Google has been on a mission for years to continue to improve search results to deliver results as accurate as possible. 

Google is getting better and better with delivering results factoring in user intent. 

Furthermore, artificial intelligence continuously improves the various parameters affecting search rankings. This will continue to make it increasingly difficult to create pages and content that take full advantage of current technicalities in the algorithm. 

It’s time to begin taking a serious look into strategies that fit with Google’s update trajectory. 

We have to begin focusing on a critical aspect that continues to deliver long term results. One that has been used for years offline. 

You have to understand where Google is headed based on their past updates and current algorithms to understand what they expect from your brand.  

 

“Brand is what wins. It always has and always will. It’s how everyone makes a decision.” Gary Vaynerchuk 

 

Brand Recognition Increases Profitability 

According to PwC’s Consumer Insights Survey, 35% ranked trust in the brand among the top three reasons for their purchase decision.  

Brand recognition is among the ultimate objectives of building a profitable business. It increases the chances of potential customers buying products associated with a brand as long as they associate the brand with something they value. 

The same can be observed among search engine users. Having a recognizable brand dramatically increases the likelihood that searchers will click and choose your content over other results. This causes your website to get more traffic, which can then lead to increased conversions.  

You can see in the above diagram from CrazyEgg that the beginning of a conversion funnel begins with recognition and awareness of your brand. 

The wider net you cast will increase your chances of links, which increases your opportunity to increase profits. 

These clicks are essential since a page’s click-through rate is now among the top factors for ranking search results in Google. This makes your branding awareness an indirect factor in getting your content to the top results for your queries.  

 

Why Click-Through Rates Are Important for Search Engine Rankings 

To understand how branding affects where your website ranks in search results, you must first realize that search engines give the utmost consideration to user behavior.  

 One such consideration includes the click-through rates (CTR) that links get when listed as a search result. 

Depending on how much the click-through rate exceeds the average for the search term helps determine where you will rank on SERPs. A more significant positive margin results in a higher ranking on the first page of the search results. 

Wordstream ran a study and found that for every 3%, you increase your click-through rate will result in an increase in your search result position by one position. 

The click-through rate is used as a measure by the algorithm to determine which results generate interest from its users. This is their way of recommending to their users the pages that others previously engaged with while searching for similar keywords. 

 

Why Your Brand Could Be the Deciding Factor for a Higher Search Engine Ranking 

I have skipped many number one search results to go straight to content from a Brand I trust. 

This is true for many others as well. 

“Authority can, and does, influence search a great deal. Brands with higher authority are often more desired, and therefore searched out more frequently by customers because it’s a brand that they trust. This, in turn, results in even better search visibility because it’s getting more traffic.” SEMRush 

As you can see, this increases the ranking of your pages on search results of the keywords related to your pages. 

 

Building Your Brand Is the Best Way to Establish  E-A-T 

E-A-T is a factor in Google’s search engine algorithm. It stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.  

This is used to help Google evaluate the potential of a website’s content and to help determine if the content will be accurate and able to produce helpful information for the user. Any content scoring poorly with the E-A-T evaluation would be less likely to show higher in search results. 

To understand what is taken into consideration, here is a brief look at each element of E-A-T: 

Expertise 

Google divides expertise into two types – formal expertise and everyday expertise. Formal expertise relates to content created by individuals considered as formally educated, verified, or accredited like doctors, financial advisors, and lawyers.  

On the other hand, everyday expertise is those demonstrated by individuals who have adequate life experiences in their topic. 

According to Google’s guidelines, expertise is demonstrated when content is factual and is delivered in a professional manner.  

It should provide your readers with what they need from their search. You can find this out by starting with keyword research and understanding their intent behind their search queries.  

Once you know these things, you can then start writing comprehensive content that can be easily read and understood by your audience.  

You should also add supplementary information in your content or link to another page on your site that can help them answer further questions that they might have.   

Authoritativeness 

This is measured through the relevant credentials on the topic displayed by the content creator. This metric applies to the main content, the webpage, and the website as a whole.  

Both types of expertise can use the about page to provide proof for their authority. As for contributing content creators, professional expertise is displayed through a professional title, short bio, photo, certifications, an official website link, or a full bio link.  

As for everyday expertise, a statement that the content creator shares their significant personal experience, not professional advice, can serve as a basis of their authority.  

These proofs of authority are not limited to the bio and about pages of authors. Creating content outside of one’s website as long as the content coincides with the website’s niche or field is another crucial factor in determining authority.  

For example, Google would not see content discussing a medical condition written by a doctor as authoritative to the doctor’s website if it is found on a website for financial advice.  

Trustworthiness  

This is simply the integrity of your website and its contents.  

You should, at the very least, have some of the underlying security features and pages added to your site. If your website does not use author biographies and reference external sources where applicable, it could also be a sign of an untrustworthy source.  

Some examples of things you should have set up early on when launching your website: 

  • A secure domain (HTTPS) 
  • A contact page 
  • A physical address (if applicable) 
  • A terms and conditions page 
  • A privacy policy page 
  • The refunds and returns policy for your transactions 
  • A comprehensive specification for products being sold 
  • A biography in the about page  
  • An author biography section for relevant blogs or articles 

How Authenticity helps build E-A-T 

As a brand, you want your targeted audience to look to your brand as the expert authority in your niche. You want them turning to your brand whenever they need more of what you offer.  

The goal should be for your target market to see your brand positively, and the best way to express that is through authenticity. 

A survey conducted by Social Media Today found that user-generated content was the most effective in creating authenticity and trust for a Brand. 

You want to deliver the value that your audience expects and give them more of what they may not even realize they want. 

Focus on developing a strategy that holistically blends Branding and E-A-T to establish your overall goals. 

The only difference between the two is that E-A-T targets Google’s algorithms, while branding is more concerned with your audience’s perception of your brand.  Together these will have a substantial impact on your overall rankings. 

 

Brand Awareness Leads to Links 

An established E-A-T brings awareness among content creators in the same niche as your brand.  

This comes with your brand’s content being used as a valuable resource when creating their content.  

These are essentially backlinks that help in improving your search engine ranking. 

There is a strong correlation between backlinks and the amount of traffic you generate from Google.  

The more you build your E-A-T, the more backlinks you will generate naturally, which will keep Google happy. 

 

Overcome YMYL with Solid Branding 

YMYL, “Your Money or Your Life,” pages are web pages providing content related to topics that may affect a person’s financial stability, happiness, health, or safety.   

These include topics on personal finance, financial transactions, medical information, legal affairs, news, public and official information, and car safety.  

YMYL pages are placed under a stricter set of quality guidelines in evaluating content for search engine results.  

These guidelines include E-A-T.  

You are less likely to be affected by the current and future standards for such pages if you continuously work on establishing stronger E-A-T. Especially in the earlier stages of your site. 

This does not mean that you can get away with breaking YMYL guidelines on E-A-T. You would still have to back up elements of your content with facts from other reliable E-A-T resources and maintain a smooth-running website. 

E-A-T is the foundation that establishes your brand in Google’s algorithm. Because of this, your pages can break into the top results even if it’s a YMYL page with less friction.  

 

Good Branding Creates Longevity 

SEO standards will continuously change due to improvements made to the search engine algorithms to continue to improve user experience.  

This results in technical strategies only lasting until the next update. Such approaches may be only good for a few months up to a year.  

In some cases, these updates result in dramatic changes in how pages are ranked in search results.  

This is why you have to create proper brand recognition from your target audience. Your brand’s reputation from your audience cannot be taken away by any update on Google’s algorithm.  

And, the most significant way to do this is through high-quality content.  

 

“Content is the cornerstone of internet marketing and for successfully building a brand.” Neil Patel 

 

Users Will Consume More of Your Content 

With Brand recognition and quality content, users are more likely to consume more of your content, which results in lower bounce rates.  

If you provide more value through the effective use of internal links, you will increase their time-on-site and their pages per session.  

 

“… bounce rate doesn’t have a direct impact on SEO. But, It does have a huge impact on lots of metrics that DO have a direct impact on rankings.
 Mathew Woodward 

 

Final Thoughts 

These metrics will be observed by Google and will be seen as a justification to increase your ranking for relevant keywords. 

Aside from your audience, other content creators will be referring to your content as a trustworthy source.  

You are further establishing your brand recognition and awareness. 

Effective branding will stand the test of time and will help you dominate rankings. 

What are you currently doing to build your brand and establish E-A-T? 

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