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SEO 101

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When discussing your website and marketing strategy, one of the key terms that come up is search engine optimization (SEO). Most people understand that SEO is important for their company and website traffic, but how to improve it is a little more questionable. If you are uncertain about SEO and how it works, you’ve come to the right place. This blog will give you a crash course on all things SEO, including what it is, what affects it, how unLOCKEd can help, and more!

What is SEO?

SEO is the practice of orienting your website to rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP) so that you receive more traffic. Google surveys web pages to find the ones that are relevant and optimized to appear when someone enters a search query.

What is SEO ranking, and why is it important?

In SEO, ranking refers to your content’s position on the SERPs. A #1 ranking means that when people search for a particular term, your web page is the first result (apart from promoted results, featured snippets, and answer boxes). Appearing in the top 3 results is excellent because your click-through rates skyrocket the closer you get to #1. Appearing within the top 10 results is useful because it keeps you on the first page of search results. The higher your position on the SERP is, the more relevant, organic traffic your page will receive, resulting in more leads and sales.

What are SEO ranking factors?

Now that you understand what SEO does and why it is important, let’s discuss what Google looks at to decide if your website is optimized. OptinMonster recently provided a guide to Google’s top 10 current SEO ranking factors. These are some steps you can take to begin improving your SEO ranking:

  1. A Secure and Accessible Website – If Google is unable to access your page, it will not be able to survey and rank it.

  2. Page Speed – Google wants to provide users with the best web experience, and being able to access information quickly is a big part of that.

  3. Mobile Friendliness – More people now use mobile devices to access the web than desktops, so the mobile experience plays a significant role in how Google ranks search results.

  4. Domain Age, URL, and Authority – Google prioritizes websites that have been around for a while (3+ years). A relevant URL is only really important before this; focus on a URL that reflects your business and then optimize the content instead. Authority has to do with great content, the content’s creator, and off-page SEO (inbound links, social shares, etc.).

  5. Optimized Content – Factors such as organic use of keywords and terms related to the main terms people are searching for (LSI keywords), understanding search intent (navigational, informational, investigational, or transactional), content length (2000+ words ranks better), content optimized for answer boxes, and use of video content affect how Google’s algorithm ranks your content.

  6. Technical SEO – Google can better understand pages with the correct coding and layout (keywords in page titles, proper heading hierarchy setup, image alt tags, etc.).

  7. User Experience – Google uses AI to better understand your page’s user experience, a signal they call RankBrain (click-through rate, bounce rate, and dwell time).

  8. Links – Google uses inbound and outbound links to determine your authority and relevance, and internal links to tie together and boost other pages on your site.

  9. Social Signals – Social shares can indirectly improve your SEO by increasing traffic and building backlinks, although it is not a direct ranking factor.

  10. Real Business Information – This includes name, address, phone number, business listings on Google My Business and Facebook, reviews, and the right local search terms.

How can outsourcing your marketing improve your SEO?

Reading through this list may seem like an overwhelming amount of information. Although some of it can be implemented through simple changes, other ranking factors require large amounts of work or even redoing parts of your website. This is where unLOCKEd can help! Our marketing experts can devote the time and knowledge needed to improve your website and SEO. We know all the tips and tricks to help without taking your time away from running your business. Contact us for your website and other marketing needs.

Author: Sarah Murphy


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