The DIY Guide: How to do SEO
Praise Sim, Copywriter, GENIA
8 May 2020
What is SEO? Is it advertising?
Advertising is more pervasive now than ever. Be it the ads you relentlessly swipe past on Instagram or the pop-up ads you meet at every new webpage, you simply can’t escape them. With this comes a blessing and a curse – advertising opportunities are endless, yet it’s easy to be brushed past if your ads aren’t displayed to the right audience at the right moment. Hence, despite its pervasiveness, many advertising campaigns fall short of desired performance in terms of raising brand awareness or converting customers. Amongst the drawbacks of social media advertising is that many times it lacks the crucial element of intent from the users perspective, or even when it does, the timing may wrong.
What do I mean by intent? Having intent is wanting or planning to do something. For example, the simple act of performing a search on google is a show of intent. You have a question and you seek answers. It’s a simple, yet powerful philosophy, or as WordStream puts it “the magic of giving people what they want”. This forms the basis of all forms of SEO campaigns – the aim to meet the user’s need or want, at that moment. The keywords searched by users reveal tremendous intent of users. For example, when an office worker experiencing back pains from long sitting hours googles “quick remedies to lower back pain”. The user displays an immediate need and want for pain relief and is more likely to be sold by whatever they find on the first page of google. Being able to give people what they want at the right time forms the foundation of any SEO campaign, and it is what we ultimately hope to achieve for our businesses.
This begs the question:
Can you do your SEO on your own?
You’ve probably landed on this page after a good hefty research on what Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is exactly, and you’re probably wondering how you can do it on your own. We are here to help you identify the readily available tools and steps you can take to optimise your own business, starting from your very own workspace.
Every SEO expert, website or book will tell you that Keywords are the absolute most crucial aspect of SEO, and rightly so. Keyword optimisation forms the very essence of successful SEO campaigns. But, why? And how exactly can you do the same? Lucky for you, the process of finding good keywords isn’t that different from your regular brainstorming process.
Think about the conversations you’ve had with relatives, friends or business partners regarding your business. You’d notice a certain trend in terms of recurring topics and questions. Combine that with what you think are searches your target audience are possibly searching on google, and you are off to a good start.
Now that you have a ‘speculative’ list of keywords, you’d look to reaffirm what you already have, using simple tools that can be readily found off the internet.
Neil Patel’s UBERSUGGEST is an extremely user-friendly tool that allows you to gain insight into the strategies that are working for others in your market so that you can implement and improve them, giving your business the edge over your competitors!
“Imagine being able to reverse engineer your competitors’ SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing strategy.” – Neil Patel
Simply set your desired location and enter a domain or keyword you are interested in, and you will be met with this page.
Right off the bat, you’d identify the “search volume” and “SEO difficulty” numbers. From these figures themselves, you can get a rough sense of whether your keyword ideas are feasible to rank for.
Scrolling further down the page, you’d notice a section dedicated to keyword suggestions you could possibly rank for!
To learn more about how you can utilise this great tool, Backlinko has a great article going into detail the individual functions of UBERSUGGEST’s keyword research tool.
Now that I’ve found a good list of keywords, what do I do with them? Read on!
SEO focuses on establishing web presence by adopting strategies that happen both on and off the website. These two strategies, on-page and off-page SEO capture the essence in establishing website presence.
On-page SEO refers to changes made directly to your website, letting Google know what your website is about and what keyword search terms it should appear for. On-page SEO allows you full control to optimise your website as compared to off-page SEO.
Paying attention to the quality of your content can go a long way to boost the ranking of your website. This is because Google takes in behaviour cues (bounce rate, click-through rate, dwell time) associated with a page when it does its rankings.
Two crucial aspects influencing these behaviour cues are:
- Relevancy of your webpage
- Quality & Frequency of Content
1. Relevancy of your webpage
Hearing from Google themselves, “The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the information is more likely to be relevant”
Keyword placement generally follows these key areas:
Title Tags & Meta Description
The Page Title and Meta Descriptions are considered a more technical aspect of keyword placement. How you choose your page title and meta descriptions affect the first impression a user gets from your website. A good Meta Description should be appealing and realistic, capturing the true focus of your content. If the content of your page fulfils it due promises, it can impact the number of clicks to your site while reducing the bounce rate.
Headings & Subheadings (H1 & H2 tags)
The Headers that you choose can make your content easier to grasp – the “anchors” to navigating your page, which could go miles to boost user experience. According to the Medium, they act as a “navigational cue (that) clarifies the page’s contents, removes ambiguity, and prevents users from immediately bouncing from your site.”
Image & Alternate Texts
Image Captions are the text that accompanies the image on the page. According to Neil Patel, “Captions under the images are read on average 300% more than the body copy itself, so not using them, or not using them correctly, means missing out on an opportunity to engage a huge number of potential readers.”
And of course, the content! This will be further discussed in the following section.
While it is good practice to do the strategic placement of keywords in your website, bear in mind that the keywords should always serve the content. Unnatural or awkward keyword placement will only work against your favour by depleting the quality of your page – something Google’s sophisticated search algorithms are designed to identify. Neil Patel puts it best, “SEO is more about user optimisation than it is about search engine optimisation“.
- Quality & Frequency of Content
Google’s search algorithm prioritizes the most reliable sources available, and to assess this, they look out for signals that signify a page’s “expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a given topic.”
According to HubSpot, every blog post does not just enhance website optimisation but builds brand awareness as well. Creating frequent content will help to increase the number of clicks to your website, boosting your traffic numbers. Creating quality content can begin as simple as thinking of content that will educate your readers, while its versatility is boundless. You can have themes on industry how-tos, personal accounts, or even simple industry-related tips that readers may be intrigued to learn about –– the possibilities are endless!
Building content is also the best way to put keyword research to good use. Going back to the relevancy of your webpage, when your webpage contains similar keywords to the users searched query, it signifies to Google that your content provides relevant information to the user, boosting your search ranking!
It is, however, crucial to understand that search engines like Google do not rank websites completely on the basis of their on-page activities. There are more off-page factors that are considered in determining the ranking of your website.
Perhaps the most important off-page optimisation factor with the most tremendous impact on search ranking is backlinks. Backlinks are links from one website to another. These links are important to your website because they act as a form of endorsement or a “vote of confidence” to your website.
The process of acquiring these backlinks is called “link building”, a critical component of off-page SEO. However, not all backlinks are equally esteemed. For example, backlinks from high-authority, popular sites are inherently more valuable than those from low-authority, potentially spammy sites. According to Moz, “The focus on quality is increasing as Google becomes ever more sophisticated at filtering out low-quality links. This directly impacts SEOs, as they need to make sure the link building techniques they choose focus primarily on that quality.”
Fundamental to the process of link building is having something of value to build links to. This is often the homepage of your website. Building links to a low-quality or low-value page is tremendously difficult, but with the material that is useful and share-worthy, link building becomes a doable and much achievable process.
- Domain Authority
Your domain authority allows Google to determine how much they can trust you. This process, however, isn’t entirely different from your link building process! Links from the aforementioned high-authority sites have significant ranking power that works to boost your Domain and Page Authority. Targeting more traffic-driving links is also critical in achieving good domain authority. Links that come from legitimate sites with good traffic creates a strong signal of usefulness as opposed to links that no one views and drives no traffic.
From this article you’ve probably concluded that SEO is no easy feat. It requires not only good implementation of strategies but consistent effort at it as well –– time that you may not have to spare. In fact, learning how to understand each strategy comprehensively to mastering implementation thoroughly is a tiresome process, despite its astounding results. This is why we are conducting a FREE workshop designed to consolidate the best SEO strategies for your business, walking you through theory and implementation so you can see the best results for your business!
Make the right decision for your business and sign up today! Simply click on this link to find out more about our workshop. We will contact you upon registration with further details of the workshop.
Trust me, you won’t regret it.
For many small business owners, getting started on social media can be a little daunting, especially when you are boot-strapped or face lack of manpower and time. However, it does not have to cost very much to grow your business on social media such as LinkedIn.
Here are 15 ways on how small businesses can grow their connections organically on LinkedIn.
- Define your purpose.
Identify at which stage of your marketing funnel you want your business to focus on and set goals to reach them. Is it to build awareness of your business, garner more engagement or convert people to transact with you? Knowing your business goal will help you work on a strategic social media strategy that will produce successful outcomes at every stage of the funnel.
- Build a LinkedIn business page.
According to Forbes, only 57% of companies have business pages. The remaining 43% are missing out on a free opportunity to generate leads, talent, and, ultimately, revenue. A business page allows you to post content, advertise your solutions and how it can alleviate your target audience’s pain points. While building your own LinkedIn personal page is important, a business page allows you to focus on providing value-added information that your customers can relate to.
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