Are You in the Know About SEO? | Social Joey
Even a few years ago, the acronym “SEO” was relatively unknown, especially for those who aren’t in marketing. But it’s OK to admit it: Even today, with SEO used in nearly everyday lingo, the term can be intimidating.
Unless you’re involved in the ins-and-outs of content creation daily, referencing SEO may leave you with more questions than answers.
But don’t worry—we’re going to take some time today to share some basics! Read on as our Social Joey gurus give you a user’s guide to SEO.
What Is SEO?
Let’s start with the most basic: SEO stands for search engine optimization. In other words, it’s a set of best practices designed to optimize your business’ placement in search engines.
To break it down further, it’s what helps you rank higher when someone searches for industry terms on Google.
While the Google algorithm is ever-evolving, there are still some standards that can help you optimize your content, helping it be seen by more eyes. We’ll share some of those below.
Why Is SEO Important?
The website that has the top spot in a Google search gets nearly 33% of all traffic.
The websites that are listed on page 1 of Google search results get 91.5% of all traffic.
Here’s what they’re searching for:
Nearly 80% of Google searches are for certain items/products/services “near me.”
Four in five consumers use search engines to look for local information.
And finally, here’s why it matters most:
- As many of 18% of local searches lead to a same-day purchase.
But Isn’t SEO Hard?
Well, it certainly can be! Some companies devote many hours and thousands of dollars to search engine optimization each year. If you really get into the nitty-gritty of trying to match up with the intricacies of the Google algorithm and its many changes, it can be a full-time job.
But with that said, it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are some basic steps you can take to “SEO-ize” your content.
Let’s step through them.
Determine Some Keywords
You have probably heard of “keywords,” but how well do you understand their purpose? They’re just what they sound like—keywords that relate in some way to your business expertise.
Keywords play an important role in digital content creation. Think about it this way: People search for specific terms and phrases on Google and other search engines. You want your business to show up quickly when they search.
Those terms and phrases, then, are the basic keywords you should be highlighting in your content. Because there’s a lot of competition around some keywords, you will also want to incorporate phrases beyond the basics—longer keyword phrases such as “cleaning services in Kenosha” and offshoot keywords such as “organization tips” can be good ways to do that.
Not even sure where to begin with keywords? There are many online resources available to help you parse through the words most applicable to your brand, your industry, and your location.
Put Those Keywords in Strategic Places
You have your keywords, but what are you supposed to do with them? There are some specific spots where you need to incorporate your keyword or keyword phrase in every piece of content you create for your blog or website:
Your headline. The keyword should always be included in your headline, which should be labeled as the page’s H1 tag. Because “keyword stuffing” isn’t cool and isn’t super readable for your audience, do your best to incorporate the keyword or keyword phrase in the most seamless way possible. This may require tweaking the headline a few times to get it right.
Your subheadings. The keyword doesn’t need to go in all your subheadings, especially if it doesn’t read well, but it should go in at least half of them. These subheadings should be identified in your CMS as H2/H3/H4 tags, depending on the formatting of your blog or other website content.
Your meta information. This includes both the meta title and the meta description. Unclear about what those are? Your meta title is the title that appears when your content pulls up in the search engine. Your meta description, then, is the little teaser that pulls through. Both need to include your keyword or keyword phrase. It’s a good idea, too, to make your H1 tag and your meta title at least slightly different.
Image file names. You probably wouldn’t think about this one, unless you’re “in the weeds” of content creation, but photos also matter. Make sure your image file names include your keyword or keyword phrase.
In the content itself. You’ll also want to sprinkle your keyword into the blog or other website content itself. But don’t overdo it! You can actually use a keyword or keyword phrase too much, overly saturating the content. A program such as Yoast will identify whether you’ve used the keyword too little, too much, or just enough.
The URL. When you’re setting the URL for your content, you want to ensure it includes the keyword, too. Keep the URL concise, so choose something like www.socialjoey.com/blog/seo-guide to include the keyword while still being straight-forward and clear.
Try Other Ways to Boost SEO
How else can you help optimize your content? Make sure your content follows the basics—it should be helpful and readable, not just stuffed with keywords.
Make it readable by breaking it into segments. Use this rule of thumb: If the text on the screen is bigger than the palm of your hand, it probably needs to be broken up with a subheading or other formatting change. “Chunking” your text by breaking it up with headings and lists is helpful.
You’ll also want to incorporate both internal and external links within your content. Link to other resources within your website, but also hyperlink to at least a couple of reputable external resources.
Need some help creating content that hits the mark? That’s what we’re here for! Get in touch today to see how we can help.