How do I get started with SEO? It’s a question many people wonder about when heading into the world of online business.
You’ve started your business and you’ve created a website. But, you aren’t getting the traffic you expected when you launched your product or website into the online world.
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For those just starting out in digital marketing, the process of optimizing your website for search traffic can seem like a daunting task. But, search engine optimization (SEO) doesn’t have to be intimidating!
The rewards of a solid SEO strategy far outweigh the effort. Those benefits include increased organic traffic, higher click-through rate and more conversions! And, luckily, there are countless resources online to help you on your journey to Page One of Google.
There are over 200 different ranking signals that Google examines and processes to determine where your site should rank in its results pages. If you want to improve your sites visibility by ranking higher, these components need optimizing.
The best way to identify the areas of your site that need improving is to conduct an SEO audit, and we’re going to be showing you how you can get started with SEO campaign that will bring you qualified results that you can see with your own eyes!
What are the Benefits of Running an SEO Audit?
Performing an SEO audit on your site will highlight what areas need optimizing. SEO isn’t just about making sites friendly for search engines. You should also be focusing on improving the user experience.
More importantly, by optimizing your site you should see:
- An improvement in your site’s ability to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs)
- An increase in site traffic
- Your site’s overall visibility increase
- Better domain and page authority
- Result in a better ROI compared with paid advertising
- Site will be more competitive
What Exactly Is An SEO Audit?
An SEO audit will examine the individual technical elements of your site as well as your online presence. Ideally, an SEO audit should be an in-depth examination of your site, looking deeply into the following core areas:
1. Technical SEO includes:
- How your site appears and performs on mobile devices
- Site and page load speed
- Crawl & indexing errors
- Presence of XML sitemaps
- Use of robots.txt file
2. On-page SEO includes:
- URL and site structure
- Keyword density
- H1 titles
- Meta descriptions
- Title tags
- Internal links
3. Off-page SEO includes:
- Backlink count and quality checks
- Social media engagement across a range of platforms
- Trust & authority
To get an idea of how your site is performing across all of the areas you will need to execute a comprehensive SEO audit. You could opt for a manual audit. However, this will not only require a lot of time and experience, but you will also have to use a range of tools.
A simpler solution is to do a quick SEO audit with a dedicated SEO tool or digital marketing agency.
Now that you’ve determined why you need to run an SEO audit, you need to come up with your own SEO campaign. Having an organized and methodical approach to your SEO campaign will allow you to maximize the benefits of search optimization.
1. Define Your Goals and Strategy.
This first step is the most crucial stage of the process and revolves around three questions:
- Who is my target?
- Why do they need my website?
- How do I measure progress?
Answering these questions will help you create your marketing personas, which are generalized profiles of your customers. You can get ideas about demographic information (age, interests, location, etc.) from your website analytics, but if you want be thorough, ask them yourself.
Short customer surveys, either on your website or through your customer support team, are great ways to capture this data.
Once you have a picture of your audience and their different needs, you can start refining your content to target them. Matching your content with your marketing personas is a proven way to move your users through the sales funnel.
Keywords are vital to any SEO campaign, and there are innumerable articles and instructional guides online that can help you begin your keyword research. Essentially, keyword research should consider the three main search intents:
- Gathering information, to answer a question or find a solution.
- Comparisons to decide which product or solution is best.
- Completing an action – anything from making a purchase to signing up for an email subscription.
To find keyword suggestions, you can try a Keyword Tool which suggests keywords based on your site’s content and tracks those keywords. A paid keyword tool will typically compare your Google rankings to your competitors who use the same keywords. This will give you a clearer picture of who those competitors are and what keywords are worth targeting.
A site like Ubersuggest is another great resource if you aren’t sure which keywords you should be targeting.
A great place to organically find keyword suggestions is from communication with your customers. Going through data from your customers calls and emails is an extra step of qualification. If someone is asking your company for something, whether it’s a question about the product, price or support, there’s close to a 100% chance they’ve tried searching Google for the answer first.
Targeting keywords used by your customers when they call your business will help your website attract more qualified users and drive more conversion.
3. Technical SEO Audits
Technical audits check that your website is setup correctly. If you have decided to audit your site manually, we recommend you check at least these five technical SEO aspects:
- XML sitemap – Search engines use sitemaps to locate and rank URLs.
- Robots.txt – Control what search engines crawl and avoid crawling duplicate or irrelevant pages.
- Page speed – This is imperative to user experience and a slow site won’t rank highly. Most technical SEO audits highlight slow pages and outline potential causes.
- URL structure – URLs need to be accurate and concise.
- Meta tags – The titles help to rank your site and your descriptions should be written to sell the site to the user.
If you opt not to perform an audit manually, you can use a tool like WooRank to create an instant technical audit and see where you stand from an SEO perspective.
It is now time to put your SEO strategy into practice! Focus your content on four areas:
- Keyword consistency – Use keywords throughout in body copy, headings, and subheadings. But don’t use them unnaturally! Google seriously frowns upon keyword stuffing and the practice will impact your rankings.
- Value – It is hard to measure the value of content, but one way to do this is with search intent. Does your content facilitate one of these intents?
- Links – Relevant, quality internal and outbound links help boost SEO.
- Images – Optimizing your images improves the user experience and alt text can help keyword inclusion, boosting SEO.
You can further qualify and convert your website visitors by digging through your call data.
People are using searching engines these days to find very particular pieces of information – especially answers to questions. We’ve seen that Google is rewarding sites that offer quality content with higher visibility. When you are crafting your content, make sure what you are distributing has real, tangible purpose for your audience.
In a nutshell, answer the main questions your audience is asking to attract more website visitors.
A strong SEO strategy will entice people to link to your site, increasing your audience.
Search engines see websites that have lots of links coming their way as authoritative and trustworthy, but there is a catch. Those sites linking to you also should be authoritative and trustworthy.
There are several things to consider when building your link profile.
- Quality over quantity – just because you have a lot of sites linking back to you doesn’t mean Google will reward you. In order to benefit your site, your backlink profile should be high-quality and natural.
- Encourage the flow of link juice, which is interpreted as a vote of recommendation toward your site and is one of the most important factors in determining your site’s search ranking. Learn more about link juice here.
Conclusion: How Do I Get Started with SEO?
The first step to get started with SEO is to conduct an SEO audit on your website.
SEO is constantly changing which is why you should regularly conduct SEO audits to check and monitor your site’s performance.
There are ways you can perform a manual SEO site audit if you have the time and the budget. But, if you are just getting started and don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, you should be using an SEO audit tool.
Most SEO audit tools have various features that are designed to cater to specific needs, so it’s imperative to review the elements necessary to your mission. If you are stuck on keyword research, look for a tool that incorporates keyword tracking. If you don’t know where to start with your technical analysis, choose a tool that will help you understand the more complex SEO concepts.
There are hundreds of various services, agencies and SEO audit tools available, so choosing the right one can be confusing. You need to consider your individual knowledge, experience, budget and intended use. Spend a few minutes reading this guide to find the tool that fits your needs.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with your SEO audit so that you can optimise your online presence for greater visibility and increased traffic.
What do you think? Have you audited your website and SEO efforts? Let us know how it went in the comments below!