How to Craft A Successful SEO Strategy Post 2020
A Beginner’s Guide to SEO
For those of us who have been involved with websites for some time (1995?), it is easy to forget that every day there are newbies to every topic under the sun.
Ignorance is a lack of knowledge, often related to a lack of experience or opportunity — it has nothing to do with intelligence. Therefore we should not feel any superiority over another because we learned something first. We all must bend a knee from time-to-time to give the less experienced a lift up.
Likewise, don’t be afraid to acknowledge the fact that you do not know something. One of the greatest indicators of intellect is understanding and embracing what you don’t know and then showing the humility to change that. If you find this article to be helpful, by all means, share it with others.
It’s in this spirit that we share this SEO primer.
What is SEO and Why is it Important?
Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is the art and science of making your website visible to search engines, so customers can find you. If customers can’t find you, they certainly can’t do business with you.
Google is, of course, the largest and most notable search engine, but it is not the only player in online search. For example, YouTube has emerged as the second-largest search engine in the world and Amazon serves up roughly 3x more product searches each day than Google.
Getting up to speed
Even before diving into our SEO starting tips, spending 15 minutes with Mojo CEO Steve Lomas’ timeless, easily digested talk on SEO can really help you get up to speed quickly.
What not to do
Crafting a good SEO strategy for your website is not overly complicated. It starts with writing thoughtful, unique content that speaks to your audience in language they understand to help them find your site.
Google is becoming ever smarter about SEO scams and faked keyword strategies, so a good SEO strategy today SHOULD NOT involve:
- DO NOT force lengthy, awkward keyword phrases into your copy
- DO NOT overload unhelpful links or backlinks to your site
- DO NOT stuff extensive keyword lists into the metadata of your pages
Google is wary of such tricks and others, and they will demote your site trust factor for such practices.
10 SEO tips to get you started
Every Page is Unique
Think of each page as serving a unique purpose summarized by a strong keyword phrase. For example, your home page should focus on the simple keyword phrases while specific service pages should be more detailed. Use this keyword phrase in your first paragraph of copy, your top-level heading, and it will be included in your URL. Don’t force it everywhere else.
Use Natural Language
Freely use natural synonyms for your keyword phrase. This helps Google and other search engines understand the content of your pages for searchers. Again, write naturally and don’t feel compelled to beat the same keyword phrase over and over.
Blogs should follow the same strategy and keep focused on a strong, keyword phrase for each blog post. Ask what is the question or need that would bring a customer to that specific blog -- focus on that keyword phrase.
Draft sufficient copy for each page. Too little copy (say 150 words) will register as weak content for search engines like Google. Too much (say 2,000 words) suggests you need to break that page into smaller, unique pieces of content.
Product description pages should have a single, unique keyword phrase, be written in full, natural language, and be tied to a single, “canonical” URL.
Mind Your Headings
Google reads headings and top-level copy as priority content. Use unique language in these areas to help Google and users understand your content. For example, the level-1 headings “About [Company]” or “[Product/Service] That [Does Something]” have much stronger SEO value than “About Us” or “Our Products.”
After your content is drafted, optimize. Undertake keyword planning and strategy to help fine-tune your phrases to obtain the highest SEO value. But start with writing thoughtful, compelling and unique content.
Images and Graphics
Add unique alt text for images and/or graphics to help Google and for accessibility reasons.
Don’t duplicate large sections of content across your site.
Meta Data Matters
Implement good meta descriptions (what will show about the page in search results), page titles and URLs for your pages -- using your SEO plug-in.
Beginning with these tips will provide your site with an excellent foundation for additional SEO fine-tuning.