Are you looking to brush up on your SEO strategy to improve your site’s ranking and overall web presence? Throughout this article, we will tell you what exactly SEO is, what factors are taken into account by Google’s current algorithm, and some free tools to help you moving forward.
What is SEO?
First off, it’s important to understand what SEO is and why it’s so important for you, as a freelancer or business owner, to care about the content being published on your site. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and simply means how your web presence is being ranked by Google based on a set of factors that we will discuss below.
You may be wondering why it’s even important to care about SEO on your site in the first place. Well, it’s estimated that 90% of searches are done on Google and fewer than 10% of people click to the second page on search engines.
The top 3 results are generating over 70% of all clicks on a page!
Needless to say, you’re going to want to put some effort to rank within the first page for maximum exposure.
One of the biggest factors that you need your content to be is relevant. The relevancy of your content is going to indicate to Google where and how your site should be categorized and to whom your site will be of highest value. When thinking about relevancy, picture your target audience. Brainstorm some pieces of content that you feel will be of value to them, regardless if it leads directly to monetary compensation.
There’s an estimated 200+ factors that the algorithm takes into account with Google ranking, and I’m going to show you how you can start with actionable steps!
First off, differentiate between the actions you will be taking for on-page SEO and off-page SEO which both have different strategies to take into account.
On Page SEO
You’re going to have the most control over on page SEO. These are strategies that you can tweak over time to adhere to the latest SEO recommendations.
Copywriting is the process of writing content specifically for the intent of ranking on search engines. This includes writing blog posts as well as optimizing individual page’s content in a way that makes the most sense to the reader and the algorithm.
When SEO content writing/copywriting, start by choosing a topic relevant to your industry or a topic of value to your audience. After you’ve chosen the topic, choose a keyword that you want to rank for on search engines in relation to the topic you’ve just written about.
This keyword will be the starting point to the next steps.
On Page SEO Checklist
Think of the points below as your on-page SEO checklist.
- Include your chosen keyword in the title of your article, preferably at the beginning.
- Re-structure your URL to include the keyword that you’ve chosen for this particular topic.
- Keep the URL short and straightforward. The reader should be able to know the general topic of the article just by looking at the URL!
- Within the first couple of paragraphs, mention the keyword another 2x. Make sure you’re not simply throwing in the words as you wish, but making sense of the sentences that you put together as well as making sure the information flows naturally.
- Include a few links within the article that will redirect them somewhere else on the site. This will help reduce your overall bounce rate and teach Google what your content is about, both factors taken into account by the ranking algorithm.
- Structure your content to be easily consumable. Add subheadings throughout the article that direct the reader in case they’re looking for something specific.
Headers and subheaders should include keywords and keyword variations, as well.
- Optimize your meta description. This is a short page-related summary that shows up under a page’s title. This is aimed at boosting your click-through rate.
Off Page SEO
Off-page SEO are the actions taken away from the website that ultimately improve your site’s ranking on SERPs. These are activities that you will need to perform that drive traffic from an outside source and build awareness around your brand. External link building and a consistent social media presence are two of the most important factors in off page SEO.
Off Page SEO Checklist
- Set up social media accounts where you can share content linked back to your site. Here you can drive traffic to a specific place on your website.
- Backlinks on other websites around the web also validate the authority of your site. This can happen organically when another person or company features your site on theirs as a Brand Mention. Otherwise, you can do this by guest blogging that leads back to your site
Free SEO tools
It is also important to measure your progress regularly and there are many free tools out there that can help you do that.
- Google Search Console and Google Analytics will give you valuable data on website visits, impressions, rankings on certain keywords, and much more.
- Ahrefs has a good backlink checker
- Answerthepublic is a cool site that gives you insight into what people are searching regarding a particular topic or keyword, using data collected from popular automated search results.
Search Engine Optimization can sometimes take time before seeing results, yet is undoubtedly a critical success factor. As mentioned before, you’re going to have more control over on-page SEO than with off-page. Therefore, it is recommended to start with on-page, which will become your building base.
Let us know what you’ve been doing to keep your SEO strategies updated!