Mention Search engine optimization to any business person and they will look at you as if you are either speaking a foreign language or offering a less than professional service (the later thanks to all those scam SEO companies) … but the truth is simple. Search engine optimization is about strategic planning, content strategy,Guide to SEO Success and crafting an overall experience that will engage and resonate with your target audience.

SEO is not just the one thing; it’s actually an overall strategy that will help you build your brand and market your products and services utilizing content as your tool. It’s also about marketing that content, as well as using other methods to build traffic and conversions. As you can imagine this is extremely beneficial to every business, so let’s look at few things to help you achieve SEO success.

Know Your Target Audience

If you don’t know who your target audience is, how can you ever hope to create content that your audience seek out and engage with? The answer is simple, you can’t. You should create audience personas to cover all the different segments of your audience – from your cold prospects, to your warm leads, to people who have already purchased from you and importantly understand how your products and services solve your audiences’ problems.

Create Valuable Original Content

Content really is king when it comes to SEO, nowadays everyone understands that content marketing is the main SEO opportunity that works, levels the playing field and allows everyone to build their brand, generate more website visitors and make more sales. The content you create however needs to be of value to your audience, needs to be original and it should not be written purely for the search engines.

Earn Links

If you have links from other authority websites to your website, it helps to move your website up those search engine results, as your website is perceived as being of greater value than those websites with fewer authority links. But, you can’t have just any old links to your website, instead links be earned links via social media, guest blog posts, videos and other ethical means. Do not pay to get links; do not use link farms; as this sort of action doesn’t work and can actually get your site blacked out from SERPS and banned from the search engines.

Structure Your Website Correctly

For SEO to really work, it’s not enough just to have excellent content. You also need your website to have a linking structure that aids SEO and a design that loads quickly and is responsive and works across all devices. You should use keywords as naturally as you can and incorporate them in the URLs, keywords in the anchor text, and in titles of every page and every piece of content you publish, provide you do so in a natural manner… in other words don’t create content to include these things, rather use them as they appear naturally.

Keep Abreast of Google SEO Guidelines

Things change extremely quickly in SEO, with every update that Google and the other search engines make. Sign up to receive Google updates on their webmaster guidelines, the information you can learn from Google will help you with every search engine.

On-Page SEO

This includes title tags, images, keywords, content, and internal links. Understanding how to use each of these is important because it will make a difference behind the scenes to get more traffic to your website. Once again create content naturally, include a few keywords within your titles, your image alt tags and generally speaking most content will be pretty search engine friendly… it then becomes a simple matter of creating enough of this content to feature highly within the search engines.

Off-Page SEO

This refers to earning external links via content marketing, social media promotion, guest blogging and more. The point once again is that you need to earn the links in an organic manner. As mentioned, do not pay for links or pay to play guest blogging. Earn the links through the natural things that you do to engage with others online.

Promote Your Content

One of the things that people miss out on when it comes to SEO is that they create tons of content and then forget to market it. You may market your products and services, but you also need to market your content to maximize results… this is actually much easier than many people imagine I tend to push content out to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all automatically and this aids not only my social media marketing but also my SEO and you could easily do the same.

Using these SEO tips will increase your chances for search engine success if you do them all regularly and patiently. SEO like content marketing is not an overnight solution to website traffic generation. If you want something that’s overnight, you’ll need to run paid advertisements which in the long run become expensive and may not perform as well. However, SEO can not only help you get traffic, it can also make that traffic stick around due to the fact that your website is easier to navigate, contains content of interest and of value to your audience… and of course those sales will naturally follow as a result.

Guide to SEO Success
5 things every small business can fix on their website in the next week to increase leads
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