Search Engine Optimization
In a day and age where just about any business or organization maintains a website or other form of online presence, the concept of search engine optimization (SEO) has become vital.
The Concept of Search Engine Optimization
The general concept of SEO is simple, so beginner web developers are able to wrap their heads around it. However, SEO also comes with multiple facets, making it something that even the most skilled developers will never perfect.
Keeping up with best practices in regard to SEO is a must, and it can also be quite daunting. That is why SEMrush is such a valued tool in today’s market. This is an online tool that streamlines everything associated with search engine optimization along with providing developers with resources to bolster other aspects of their online presence.
Today, we’re going to provide you with a crash course on SEO and what you or your business should be looking to achieve through your search engine optimization strategy. Furthermore, we will also provide an overview on the powerful tool that is SEMrush to show you how it can transform your online presence.
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What is the big deal with SEO?
Because search engine optimization has become a more crucial component of digital marketing over time, there is a really good chance that you have heard this term before, even if you don’t know what it is.
As a most basic definition of this layered concept, search engine optimization is the process of taking steps to increase the visibility of your website through major search engines.
Example Search Engines:
Of the many available search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo are some of the heavy hitters that users utilize most often. For many people, search engines are the starting point for when they are searching for various products and services. Think about it for a minute — when you are trying to find a service in your local area, where do you start your search?
Unless you have a referral from a family member or friend, you probably just Google it. This is the case for so many people around the world, which is why it’s important for your website to show up near the top of the results when users are searching for the things that you sell.
If the major search engines do not deem your website relevant, then it will be pushed toward the bottom of the results where users will seldom find it. You might be wondering ‘How can I control how relevant Google thinks my website is?’ and that’s a good question. As a web developer, you actually have a lot of control over that and we’ll show you how you can harness that power through a tool like SEMrush.
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Two of the primary goals that you should be looking to achieve through a strong SEO strategy include:
Increase traffic to your website:
Maximizing the number of people that come to your website is a goal for every web developer or business owner. After all, the more people that see your website, the more people that are exposed to your message. Through search engine optimization, you are able to increase the flow of traffic because more users will find you during search engine inquiries. Proper SEO brings your website high up on search engine results where searchers are more likely to see the link and click on it. If your website is buried on one of the lower pages of results, users are far less likely to find you.
Improve the quality of traffic to your website:
While it’s always nice to have heavy volumes of traffic to your website, it won’t mean anything unless it is the right kind of visitor. You won’t benefit if thousands of people visit your site and then immediately leave. You want to increase your chances of converting a visitor into a paid client. Search engine optimization is great for this. Not only does it drive more traffic to your website, but these are specifically visitors that are actively searching for the products and services that you provide. The very fact that they are searching online means that they are in the market to buy. This gives you a great chance of earning a new client out of a visitor.
SEO is a powerful tool in enhancing your visibility, or the visibility of your business, online. People trust search engines to provide them with helpful results when they are searching. If you are able to position your website prominently in search engine results pages, this will lend your business both visibility and credibility. There is little wonder why businesses sink serious money into developing a strong and effective SEO strategy.
An organic (and free) way to reach potential clients
Another big reason that anyone who runs a website finds significant value in search engine optimization is because it is an organic way to market your business to potential clients. At the same time, it doesn’t cost you anything. But, it’s important to note that, while creating a strong SEO strategy is technically free, it is highly likely that you will incur some costs in achieving success.
This money might be devoted to an SEO specialist that can help you find results in this area of digital marketing or expenses that are affiliated with using helpful online tools like SEMrush. Still, unlike pay-per-click advertising campaigns, you won’t find yourself paying for each and every visitor that you attract. After developing and deploying your SEO strategy, you can enjoy floods of new traffic long into the future instead of constantly refilling your account with more money like you would with a pay-per-click advertising campaign.
SEMrush Search Engine Optimization Tool
By leveraging helpful and cost-efficient tools like SEMrush, you can be effective on your own in developing strong SEO. One of the primary reasons that this method of marketing your business online is so effective is because it is organic in nature. This means that the demographic that you are targeting will not feel like you are advertising to them in an aggressive way. After all, no one likes to feel targeted with ads or marketing materials.
When a user conducts a web search, you will have already anticipated what they are searching and positioned your website to be visible in the search results. This means they will find your website on their own. Most people today are savvy enough to decipher between a paid advertisement and genuine search results. These same people have less faith and trust in paid advertisements because they know that the ad was purchased and not earned. But, when users find websites through their own searches, they tend to trust the results more and therefore are more receptive to the message. This is all-in-all a more effective way to market to your intended demographic.
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What are the world’s top search engines looking for in a website?
Search engines rely on bots to crawl the internet and its seemingly endless directory of websites to pull information. These same search engines have developed algorithms that determine the relevance of each website. The key to the best possible search engine optimization strategy is to crack on the code on what these search engines are looking for and make sure that your website reflects favorably.
While the algorithms change — which is why SEO specialists are always learning and working to stay ahead of the curve — there are some general characteristics that count as positives for your website. The following is a truncated rundown on what sort of content you should include on your website and how it should function.
Engaging, relevant content that benefits your audience
Does the content on your website inform a visitor? Does it let them know about a certain topic or give the user a better understanding of your product or service? Search engines are in constant pursuit of vetting websites and elevating those that provide helpful content to visitors. That’s because, too often, web developers are more focused on where their website ranks within search engines so they end up loading each page with monotonous content that doesn’t really achieve anything. It only exists to look good in the eyes of the search engine bots.
Don’t get caught up in trying to methodically place keywords. Your best bet is to include well-written, thoughtful, and engaging content on your website and search engines will continue to perfect their algorithms to make sure that you’re ultimately rewarded for these efforts.
While this certainly falls under the umbrella of “engaging content,” it’s worth noting that content needs to be original. The major search engines are able to tell when you copy large chunks of content and use it over and over while changing only a few different words. This is often done when a company operates in many cities and states — they might copy and paste the same content over and over while changing the city name. Search engines quickly pick up on duplicate content and will penalize the website accordingly.
Fast load times -Key to Search Engine Optimization
Believe it or not, but search engines even look at the upload speed of your website when trying to decipher which sites are more relevant than others. This might not be something that you think about too often, but the major search engines want to make sure they are directing users to quality websites. That means a website that doesn’t take too long to load pictures, video, and other content. If a website features sluggish load times, that will hurt its ranking.
Organic and quality link building
When links to your website are published elsewhere on the internet, that enhances the credibility of your website. That means that others find the content on your website valuable and are therefore linking their visitors to it. Search engines count this toward your relevance score. However, some people try to game the system and participate in link-building programs and services that don’t actually produce any quality links. The algorithms that search engines use are sophisticated enough to decipher between quality links and junk links — and they will weigh them accordingly.
Ad-free or ad lite
If a search engine detects that your website is filled with advertisements or affiliate links, they are not going to deem it very relevant. After all, advertisements are not very useful to visitors. While some people and businesses choose to monetize their websites through advertisements, it’s also important that you find the right balance between paid advertisements and original content.
The proper keywords (but don’t go overboard!)
Researching which keywords and keyword phrases are most commonly searched for by your potential clients is an essential step in the search engine optimization process. Once you know what your prospects are searching for, you can include those keywords in your website’s content, the description of your images, and even the URL of your pages. However, it’s important to be careful. “Keyword cramming” is the practice of filling content with certain keywords just for the sake of achieving relevance in search engines. In many cases, cramming in keywords can hurt the quality of your content. So, it’s important to avoid overdoing it with your keywords.
While it’s important to be conscious of factors that will create better search engine optimization for your website, at the end of the day, you are serving your readers. That means you need to design your website in a way that will best serve your visitors. Giving them a positive and informative experience will increase your chances of converting them into paid clients. The search engines will ultimately see the value contained in your website and rank it appropriately within its search engine results.
Hiring a Search Engine Optimization professional vs. doing it yourself
Like many other aspects of running a business, you are faced with the choice of hiring a professional to fine-tune your approach to search engine optimization, or you can utilize available tools to do it yourself. In fact, some tools like SEMrush actually make the process quite simple, so you don’t have to be some sort of web development guru in order to find success.
If you are thinking about venturing into SEO by yourself, then it’s important, first and foremost, to have the available time.
Developing and deploying an effective SEO strategy takes a lot of time and tinkering — this is not a one-time effort that requires a few minutes of your time.
You will need to take time to learn about the many ways in which you can boost the profile of your website in the eyes of search engines and make the proper changes to your website if needed. Search engine optimization is also a changing science — it can require quite a bit of your time just to stay current on all the changes to search engine algorithms and how they might affect your website. If you operate a small business and find yourself with almost no time to dedicate to digital marketing, then you might be better off hiring this work out so that it is handled the right way.
Also, if you’re taking a DIY approach to SEO, it’s important that you work with tools and software that can help you. Unless you’re an SEO wizard (and you’re probably not) you will need a resource to guide you. That’s why SEMrush is such a valuable tool. SEMrush provides a full arsenal of tools that are designed to improve search engine optimization and it cuts down drastically on completing the necessary work.
SEMrush — while it might be an industry leader — is not the only SEO tool available on the market. Ahrefs is also a popular name when it comes to SEO tools. Buying an account with one of these programs generally requires a minimal investment and it can potentially pay off hundreds of times over in the long run.
If you do hire someone to plan and execute your search engine optimization strategy, it’s extremely important to vet that person or organization. Because SEO has become such a lucrative business, there is no shortage of agencies that want to provide this service. But, not all of them are effective. In fact, some of them are looking for a quick buck and will use what is called “black hat practices.” These are shortcuts designed to trick search engines into elevating a website’s relevance ranking. While this might be effective in the short-term, it can also put your website at risk of being flagged by search engines and disqualified completely. That can spell disaster for your business.
It’s much safer to work with a reputable company that implements “white hat” practices that will deliver realistic results. These services can be an investment, but be cautious of overpaying for a service that over promises results.
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The difference between SEO and SEM
If you’ve heard of the term SEO before, then you probably have heard of SEM, as well. SEM stands for search engine marketing and there are some major differences between SEO and SEM that you should know about.
SEO vs. SEM
Search engine marketing is a broader form of digital marketing. This includes pay-per-click advertising campaigns, backlinking, and also search engine optimization. Comprehensive search engine marketing utilizes both paid and organic spaces found within search engines to maximize the visibility of your website.
While SEM is a broad concept, SEO is a very important component of it. In fact, some might argue that search engine optimization is one of the most crucial aspects of complete and effective search engine marketing. But, at the end of the day, the two go hand-in-hand. If you want to truly enhance your presence online, you need SEO — but you also need other aspects of SEM.
That’s why many businesses turn to professionals for this — there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to digital marketing. At the very least, it’s important that you have tools to help you keep these components in order so that you don’t forget any important piece of the SEM puzzle. That’s where the tool SEMrush proves itself as such an asset.
Getting acquainted with SEMrush
SEMrush is a tool that you might already be familiar with. After all, it is incredibly popular for businesses of all sizes and industries — from roofers and financial planners to retail stores and enterprise businesses. In fact, SEMrush reported that 45 percent of all Fortune 500 companies use SEMrush as their go-to digital marketing tool and over 7 million marketing professionals have also leaned on its many features.
SEMrush has developed a complete arsenal of tools that help businesses get noticed online. Many of these tools are dedicated to search engine optimization and allowing businesses to position their websites near the top of relevant search engine results. One of the many reasons that SEMrush is so popular is because it is very user-friendly. It boils down very complex SEO processes into terms that are easy to understand and actions that are easy to execute.
Some of the key features include:
This is one of the first steps in creating a strong SEO strategy. It’s important to identify which terms most people are searching for that relate to your business. Not only does SEMrush help you determine this information, but it will also show where you rank within the popular search engine for those terms. If you’re buried on page four of five you can take steps to improve your standing.
Website traffic analysis.
Do you know who is visiting your website right now or where they are coming from? This is valuable information to know. Through SEMrush, you’re able to track this information — and more. This will give you an idea of what sort of web searches are yielding results for you and in which areas your website can improve.
Track placement within search engine result pages.
Your placement within search engines changes regularly. Unfortunately, if you manage to get to page one, there are no guarantees that you’re going to stay there. Not only can your competition improve their SEO posture but there are ways in which your SEO effectiveness can slip. That’s why SEMrush provides a simple and easy way to see where your website stands. When you start to slip, you can use SEMrush’s tools to make the necessary adjustments.
Assistance writing SEO-friendly content.
Your main focus in writing content for your website should be to engage and inform your audience. You don’t want to be handcuffed to certain search engine optimization practices. With the help of SEMrush, you can develop ideas and figure out which keywords to organically work into your content. This can help you produce content that is both engaging but also contributes to your overall SEO strategy.
Managed paid advertising campaigns.
Search engine optimization is a great way to organically reach your audience but paid advertising is a great way to dictate exactly where your website appears and what message you deliver. SEMrush is an effective tool in managing pay-per-click advertising, Google Shopping and other paid advertising campaigns. You will be able to analyze what your competition is doing while helping you stretch your marketing dollars with maximum efficiency.
Manage social media accounts.
Keeping your various social media channels updated is very important, but if you don’t automate the process, it can take up a huge chunk of your day. SEMrush is a tool to make it easier. As a part of its comprehensive search engine marketing suite of tools, SEMrush helps you schedule social media posts and also measures their performance. It can also help you manage social media ads, as well.
SEMrush is available to anyone, whether you’re using it as a freelance marketing professional or you’re enlisting it for a business that you own.
While this might seem like a steep investment, when you properly harness the many tools associated with SEMrush, you will make that money back many times over by bolstering your presence online, which will turn to better brand awareness and, most importantly, more sales. Of course, you don’t have to make this investment just to take the software for a test drive.
SEMrush provides free trials that allow you to explore all the features and determine whether it might benefit your business.
Experience the many benefits of SEMrush
While it’s undeniable that SEMrush provides a wide range of tools, it’s important that you know how to implement these tools to benefit your business. SEMrush helps you uncover valuable information that you can use for sound decision making and help you rise to the top of your market online.
Businesses of all different industries have been able to leverage SEMrush in different ways. The following is a rundown of some of the most valuable benefits that come with implementing SEMrush.
Provides a snapshot of important market insights.
Your goal is to stand out in the market — whether your business is targeted to strictly local clients or you serve a nationwide customer base. Do you know the behaviors of your target audience? Do you know what they’re searching for online? Seriously, do you know which competitors you’re losing out to most often? SEMrush gives you a very vivid look at the market in which you operate, which helps you gain a leg up within it.
Monitor and manage your rankings.
Achieving a high ranking within search engine results pages is the primary objective of SEO. It’s also one of the more challenging results to achieve. With SEMrush, you are able to monitor your ranking and take steps to improve it. Strong SEO is an on-going battle — you need to keep an eye on your placement week in and week out. With SEMrush, you can quickly and easily get the information you’re looking for.
Take advantage of all digital marketing resources.
One of the most helpful aspects of SEMrush is that it brings all the crucial elements of SEM together in one place. From updating social media channels and managing pay-per-click advertising campaigns to developing strong SEO — each of these play an important role in your ultimate digital marketing success. Not only does this help you easily plan out and execute a comprehensive search engine marketing strategy, but it saves significant time in the process. Through SEMrush, you can make this an effortless task that still drives results.
Maintaining existing traffic and attracting more.
When it comes to digital marketing, getting noticed online is the broad end goal. Through SEMrush’s SEO tools, you will be able to maintain your current audience — gaining a better understanding of who they are at the same time — while attracting a whole new steady stream of traffic to your website. SEMrush will put you in front of potential clients, opening you up for the possibility of explosive sales growth.
Know your competition.
In order to beat the competition within your market, you have to know who they are and what they are doing. It can be tough to do that — your competition isn’t exactly going to hand you over their secrets. With SEMrush, you are able to see where your competitors are digitally positioned and what you can do to get out in front of them so you can reach potential clients before they do. It is vital that you stay one step ahead of the competition!
It is impossible to craft a perfect search engine optimization or search engine marketing strategy — this is an objective science. While you’ll never achieve perfection, you can certainly excel in your industry by making sure you are effective on all fronts of digital marketing.
SEMrush is a tool that will help you do exactly that. Whether you manage a small personal website or a large, sophisticated one for an enterprise business, SEMrush can be of benefit. The first step is to sign up for a free trial so that you can get hands-on experience with this powerful tool. Rise above the crowd and get noticed online. Harness the power of SEMrush to get started.
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