In the past, SEO has been a complicated, tricky way to trick Google’s algorithm into thinking you have the best content. People did this with invisible background text and even stuffing as many keywords as possible into articles.
Luckily, that’s not how SEO works anymore.
Technology has advanced, and SEO algorithms have, too. The more complex the algorithm becomes, the more simple the SEO fundamentals you need to learn.
We’ll discuss how SEO and SEM work, and tips and tricks to help you rank the highest you can.
How SEO Works
To understand how SEO works, you’ll need to understand what SEO is supposed to do. Search engine optimization was created in order to rank up on search engine results in order to get more and better leads.
The reason you need to optimize your content is that search engines use an algorithm to go through everything you publish to find the most relevant content on the internet for things that people search. In other words, the search engine wants to give the person searching the best possible result.
In the past, technology hasn’t been as advanced, so the algorithms weren’t very smart. That meant SEO relied on tricking the algorithm into thinking you had the best content.
Nowadays, search engine algorithms have become smarter, so simple tricks don’t work the same way. In fact, you can be penalized for too many tricks in Google’s SEO system.
Google wants you to write like a human, and you can even view its SEO strategy here. While you can’t see exactly what’s going to win you rank results, you can read through the goals of the search engine algorithm and see what Google has to say about everything.
One of the trickiest parts about SEO is that it’s constantly changing. Seriously, the algorithm is always learning new things with every search that someone makes, and the results of any search can change at the drop of a hat.
While you might not necessarily see a change in the way the algorithm works, you should be prepared for major changes at any given time. There are a few things that can make this easier that we’ll talk about below.
Google is extremely open to getting you started in the SEO world, and there’s even a Google support page for setting up your Google-friendly website. This is a great way to start a website or blog that you want to rank well on Google.
Leads often times get lost in the SEO world due to low rankings or other factors that all contribute to your SEO strategy. These tips will help keep you on top of the SEO game while also ensuring that your content isn’t based on outdated practices, making change easier to adapt to.
SEO Fundamentals: the Do’s and Don’ts
While SEO is simple, there are some very clear things that you should and shouldn’t do. Doing some of these don’ts can result in you penalizing your page, so make sure you’re not hurting your own efforts.
You can also check out these 14 tips for staying relevant in your local market for further SEO learning.
Don’t Keyword Stuff
The first problem that people have is stuffing their content with the same keyword. Not only does this make the actual blog or article harder to read, but it’s also going to cause your content to rank lower than it would if you wrote normally. Plus, it’s not helpful to your readers. Seeing the same word or group of words too often doesn’t read naturally.
This is an SEO tactic from the past, and it’s one that a lot of people still do. Keywords are the search term that you want your content to rank for. While they’re important to use, it’s just as important to use other similar terms throughout your content to stop Google from flagging you.
Don’t let anyone trick you into doing this. There are a lot of people who swear by this, but it’s an outdated method that’s going to hurt your content.
Do Write Like A Human
The best thing you can do with keywords is to use them as naturally as you can. Avoid sounding like a robot on repeat by saying the exact same term over and over again.
This is also going to bring you better leads in general. No one wants to read content that sounds fake or stuffy. Sounding like a human will bring you more long-lasting subscribers and readers.
One way you can see if your content sounds like a human is by reading it out loud. You might feel silly at first, but it’s a great way to see how your content sounds and make sure that you’re doing well.
Don’t Assume You Know Good Keywords
A lot of people think they know the perfect keywords they want to rank for. However, keyword research is more complex than most people would assume. Picking a keyword from out of your head isn’t going to get you anywhere.
This also applies to using keywords across your website that are too similar. While you want your website to have a cohesive theme, you don’t want to be competing with yourself on every single piece of content you’re publishing.
Do Use Keyword Research in Planning
Keyword research is an extremely important part of writing content that’s going to rank. This involves a few different things, and planning all of your content at the same time can help with this process.
There are actually ways to see what people search for—this means you can find out how your customers are searching and how you can best target to rank for them. Sometimes people search differently than you realize, so make sure to pay attention to how your readers are searching.
Another aspect of keyword research includes seeing what your competition is ranking for. You can try to rank for the same keywords they’re researching for, gaining more leads and readers for your own website. You can use websites like Spyfu to check on these things.
Don’t Link to the Same Website All the Time
Don’t link to the same websites every time you write something. Some people think that the more links you have, the better your content will rank. That’s not how it works anymore, so don’t do it.
Linking to the same website isn’t doing anything positive for you, and it can actually hurt your website’s rankings.
Do Link to Authoritative Websites
Instead, make sure that you’re using links correctly. Linking to authoritative, well-ranking pages is a huge way to establish your own website’s authoritative presence. This has a large impact on how well your own pages rank.
Good links are really the key to this, so make sure you find pages that are relevant to your content while also being different enough to not steal your readers. This can be tricky, but it’s an essential part of the SEO process.
Make sure you’re linking to your own website too. Internal links are just as important as external links, so make sure you’re bringing all of your content together. Oftentimes this comes in the form of pillar pages and other content marketing strategies. HubSpot has a great, free content marketing certification you can get that will give you a good introduction to doing this.
Don’t Rely on Old SEO Information
The biggest problem with most people, websites, and companies is that they learn about SEO once and never touch it again. They think they know everything about SEO and use the same tactics and strategies for years to come.
The problem is that SEO changes often, and you’ll never be able to learn everything about SEO and never change. On top of that, your specific industry could have a huge change in how people search for things or what kinds of terminology is used.
Anything technology related can change quickly, but SEO changes can happen anytime a competitor’s ranking changes. In the ever-growing internet, this can happen at any second no matter your industry. Relying on old information will eventually work against you.
You can see the biggest myths here.
Do Pay Attention to SEO Changes
The simple solution is to pay attention to SEO changes. This doesn’t just mean the marketing director needs to make sure that they know what’s going on; it’s just as important that anyone with a say in content creation knows what’s happening with SEO.
There are a variety of ways you can keep up with SEO changes. You can subscribe to marketing blogs and keep tabs on what Google has to say about any updates happening. You should be learning constantly when it comes to SEO, so webinars are also helpful.
In reality, this means that you’ll want an employee to be dedicating hours a week in order to stay updated. This is a critical part of your SEO strategy, so don’t underestimate it.
Don’t Pump Out Tons of Low-Quality Content
One major myth people believe is that the more content you can create, the better. While this isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s going to end up hurting you if the content is low-quality.
Quality will always trump quantity when it comes to SEO—think back to the purpose of SEO that we explained earlier. Search engines want to make sure that you’re providing value to your readers if you want to rank well.
Low-quality content also reflects poorly on your company or website, and that’s never going to be good for business. It’s also going to lose you leads.
Do Write Quality, Informational Content
You want to help your readers, for both your own purposes and to rank well on search engines. The more informative your content, the better your likelihood of ranking well and creating good leads. This is also a critical part of inbound marketing, which focuses on great content and helping your prospects in order for them to turn to your company as a solution to their problems.
Writing great content isn’t always easy, and this is one of the most common areas that companies seek help for. However, if you’re looking to create content in-house, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you throughout the process.
Tools like Grammarly can help you ensure that you aren’t making grammatical errors, but you want to make sure you’ve got great topics too. This is where keyword research can come in handy, and brainstorming sessions with your team can be helpful as well.
How a Digital Marketing Agency Can Help
If you’re thinking about hiring a digital marketing agency, then you can actually check out these questions to find out if we can fit into your processes.
Here at Riserr, we want to make sure you’ve got everything you need to succeed with SEO. That’s why we want to take over the process for you, and there’s actually a lot of benefits.
For one, we already know the SEO fundamentals, and our entire jobs are dedicated to staying on top of SEO news so that you don’t have to. With all of our employees, we have decades of experience and practice to draw from, whereas most companies have one or two people that are doing everything SEO related.
We want to help you with your SEO fundamentals, and we’d be happy to speak with you. You can contact us here at any time, and we’ll happily show you how we can help your company get better leads through SEO campaigns.You Will Miss Leads if You Miss This Guide to SEO Fundamentals