Introduction to SEO: Basics of Planning and Implementing A Successful SEO strategy

Only a century ago, no one would have thought that goods or services from across the world could be availed with a single click at the drop of one’s hat. The technological evolution has shrunk our world into a global village with an integrated network of buyers and sellers from every part. However, exposure to a global market with the advent of internet has brought its own downsides for businesses. It has increased competition to an unprecedented level. For every search query on Google, users are overwhelmed with millions of results. Only a few of them are frequently opened, while the rest are eclipsed under the pile of top results. The difference between the two categories is an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.

What is SEO

To understand what is SEO, it is paramount to understand the working of a search engine and how it produces the most relevant results for a search query. Search engines rely on their algorithms to scrap the web, identify and rank the content in order of usefulness and quality, and present the results for a search based on their relevance. Search engines use robots called Crawlers to browse the web to collect data, links and other information. The bots follow these links to connect relevant information and rank them to provide the most accurate results to the users. Algorithms follow several rules and frequent updates to these rules to optimize the ranking system and furnish the most fulfilling and satisfactory answers for the users. Simply put, SEO is all about adopting to these rules and updates so that your website can shine the brightest when a relevant query is performed. An effective SEO strategy improves website’s ranking which is indispensable for increasing organic traffic and for the businesses to meet the desired growth targets.

Here is a step-by-step guide for an effective and all-encompassing SEO strategy that fits for all niches:

Creating fine content

High quality content lies at the heart of a successful SEO strategy. The sole purpose should be to satisfactorily answers the questions visitors are looking for and this can be done by writing accurate and up-to-date information. Knowing your audience is the key to producing precise content. It should not be too technical to confuse laymen but it has to be based on facts and technically sound line of reasoning. If it is a website content, it is always suggested to use visual aids to assist the content. If you are writing a blog, always mention the name of the author and their credentials to establish credibility and trust among the readers. A separate page about the author stating his relevant experience and qualification is a bonus. 

Striving for Keyword optimization

Keywords denote the most commonly used words to search a specific topic. For content to be captured by the eyes of the algorithm, it must have them in an appropriate amount. The number of keywords used per article is referred to as keyword density. Experts opine that a particular word should not be repeated for more than 4-5 times. Otherwise, it runs the risk of getting penalized by Google’s updates. One of the primary sources of getting an idea about keywords for a topic is “search-bar suggestions”. It shows the most frequently typed words for a query. Other reliable tools for determining them include Moz and Ahrefs. Apart from single-worded keywords, long-tail keywords such as “most experienced neurosurgeon in New York” are particularly helpful when users are looking for discrete answers.

Engage in link building

It refers to expanding your roots in the virtual words by getting trust-worthy online sources to share your content. But how do you make well-established and popular websites to endorse you? The answer is simple: write quality content. Link building exercise works on the simple formula of “like attract like”. Reliable sources will share sound content and spammy websites will connect to sites of similar nature. To take baby steps in this exercise, participating on social media platforms such as Quora and Twitter or writing guest blogs on other sites have been proved fruitful. 

Staying updated on updates

Search engines are always in continuous pursuit of improving their performance by providing a fulfilling, to the point, and enriching experience to the users. For this purpose, they release updates from time to time for effective scrutiny of content; promote the ones which are beneficial to the users and discourage the spammy ones by either lowering the ranking or taking it down altogether. Thus, it is imperative for authors to acquaint themselves with the updates and keep in touch with them to design a proactive strategy to stay atop of the SEO game. On average, Google release around 500 major and minor updates a year; not adopting the content to them can negatively impact the ranking of websites. There are many sources such as Moz and Ahref that decode these updates and provide valuable insights into how you can turn them to account.

Improving Page layout

Easy and clear readability can significantly enhance the visibility of the content and aid users and algorithms equally in locating information. For better page layout, content should be divided into main headings and then into sub-headings. Creating bullet points in such a way that all of them are connected coherently can further advance SEO goals.  

Ensuring Better accessibility and smooth operation of website

This one relates to technical SEO. Website owners should always be on the watch to ensure that the home page and internal pages of the site are easily accessible and it is not too slow as to frustrate users to leave the page. When a page takes too long to upload, it forces people move to another source. Similarly, on online selling platforms, slow operation often leads to undesired experience for the users. People often click twice on “add to cart” button if the function is not executed at the first time or they click on the wrong item because the desired article moves down the page as the site uploads completely. Such technical snags create bad impressions and downplay the positive aspects of the websites.

Make your website mobile-friendly

Smartphones make the single biggest market of internet users. According to statistics, 59% of Google searches in 2021 were performed on smartphones which stood at 45% only five years ago. The trend will maintain upward trajectory in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to tap this market and adopt your websites for mobile phones as the website design may appear differently on cellphones and desktop. 

These seven crucially important factors cover almost everything to get you started taking your first step towards initiating a successful SEO strategy.