The internet made it easy for brands to achieve greater appeal and accessibility, but the corresponding barrage of entries also resulted in immense clutter. If you’re looking to make your brand stand out atop the massive number of Google search results then SEO is the answer to your worries.
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the process of having your website appear higher on the organic search rankings for a particular keyword. A keyword could be summed up in two forms, mainly short tails (“restaurant Delhi”) and long tails (“how to find genuine iPhone earphones”). For a brand to stand tall in search results you need to moderate between the two forms. So choose a keyword which best expresses your industry and products and services. The higher you rank on Google, the better your chances are of gaining traction online.
The core Google algorithm uses 200+ factors to determine the best course of action for its SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). These factors provide a level playing field for all brands. So if your website checks all the brackets, then you have a better chance of outranking companies that may even be 100 times larger than you.
The Google algorithm gains access to your site’s public code through its web crawlers (or spiders) that scan through the contents of your site. These crawlers relay the information back to the main server at Google headquarters, following which the factors (mentioned earlier) come into play and your website is ranked accordingly. If you wish to scale the search results then follow all the guidelines and rules set out by Google.
SEO is a rapidly evolving tool and its dynamic nature offers even newcomers the chance to master the game if they stay updated with recent trends. There are many online outlets which will give you a basic run around of the technology, but for a complete understanding of the application, we would suggest taking up courses offered online. So platforms like Udemy SEO and Udacity search offer courses which run both crash courses and extensive curriculum.
SERP Volatility records the frequency of ranking changes that Google performs on their search results. If the top five rankings in your search results change quite often, you need to look at other keywords to balance out the volatility. Similar to any hedging strategy, a good SERP strategy focuses on multiple keywords across multiple niche filters.
A huge component of SEO is content marketing. It looks to bridge the gap between your website’s traffic and the consumer’s need for certain answers. So a personal blog or article section becomes a key source of competitive advantage. A great tool for conducting such research is Buzzsumo, which allows you to filter through keywords, locations, and key audience segments. You can search for what your competition is doing and simultaneously check out who your industry’s influencers are. Buzzsumo’s PRO tool comes at a cost but you can always avail the trial tool to check its effectiveness.
Though WordPress is one of the most effective CMS platforms around, it ranks low in terms of being SEO-friendly. This is where website plugins make your life and SEO ranking that much better. The Yoast plugin for Wordpress is one of the best ways to supercharge your website to become SEO-friendly. It’s light, robust, and takes care of a lot of issues that may arise with beginner-level SEOs. The Yoast plugin is available for free, and there is also a premium version for advanced users.
Another key component of good SEO is backlinking and crosslinking. You need to know what websites have higher domain authority, for your site to link to, and vice-versa. If you’re able to link to a high-authority website, your website’s ranking is juiced up. This practice is called link-building. There’s a tool called Ahref which gives you some amazing insights on what the industry is doing in terms of keyword research, backlinks, and rank tracking. The tool will be a great addition to your SEO toolkit.
A game-changer for SMBs and startups, SEO is a rapidly evolving technical field. Since most startups can barely afford an agency or a full-time SEO expert, an in-depth knowledge of a few quirks and hacks can push your brand to win big on the SERP. So try to effectively utilise these pointers, as they can help you garner the desired traffic you seek for your website.