Update 5/25/2021: This post has been updated with additional information about SEO Strategies.
Assume you’ve opened a new cake store. The shop sells a wide variety of delicious cakes, pastries, chocolate balls, bakery products, candies, confectionery products, and much more. In addition, to ensure the success of your venture, you have also set up a website to help you reach a larger audience.
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However, unfortunately, you do not have any strategies for SEO or digital marketing. As a result, your website appears on the 4th page of search engine results! Is there any point in having such a website? Obviously not. Because, as per the survey, 75% of search engine users never go past the first page!
This is why web page optimization and SEO best practices are needed. For any business to be profitable, to thrive, and to outrank competitors, effective SEO strategies are required. But what exactly is SEO, what are the different types of SEO, what NOT to do in SEO, and how can you track the progress of your strategies for SEO with Google Analytics? Let’s find out the answers to all of these questions in the following sections.
What Is SEO?
If you are a keen follower of digital marketing trends and have some knowledge of the subject, you must be well familiar with the term SEO.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing a website or webpage to maximize the volume and efficiency of traffic from a search engine’s organic results. However, in contrast to Search Engine Marketing (SEM), you do not need to pay search engines to rank your web page or website, when it comes to SEO.
Furthermore, the higher the exposure your pages get in search results, the more likely you are to attract the attention of prospective customers to your business, resulting in greater success and revenue. But you must be wondering what are some effective strategies for SEO and how SEO works. Let’s find out.
How Does SEO Work?
Search engines like Google and Bing use bots (also known as crawlers) to crawl web pages, moving from site to site, gathering necessary information about those pages, and indexing them.
Following that, algorithms evaluate pages in the index, taking hundreds of ranking variables and aspects into account to decide the order in which pages should appear in search results for a specific query.
Furthermore, most search engines update their algorithms on a regular basis to ensure that users get better results and experiences. As a result, you must periodically optimize your website or web page to keep it up to date with the new algorithm and to make certain that your strategies for SEO work as planned.
When it comes to web page optimization, there are several things to consider. Some of the most important factors are as follows:
- Mobile Friendliness
- Page loading speed
- Site security
- Search intent
- Content Quality
- Structured data
Each of the above considerations must be taken into account when planning successful strategies for SEO. Any of these elements that you overlook may have an impact on your overall web page optimization process.
Further, SEO can be divided into two main categories: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Both of these strategies are valuable in their own right and are regarded as the best SEO best practices when it comes to developing strategies for SEO. But what exactly are On-page SEO and Off-page SEO, and how do they vary from one another? Let’s find out.
On-page SEO (also known as On-site SEO) is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher in search engines and earn more prospective traffic. Simply put, it is a way of optimizing elements on a website in order to increase its role in search results.
The following are some of the most important On-page ranking factors:
- Page content
- Title tags
- URL structure
- Schema & Markups
- Image Alt Text
- Title & headers
- Meta description
- Structured data
Let’s go back to the cake store! For example, suppose you want to target a specific product for your shop, let’s say– Themed Cakes. Then, for optimal on-page optimization, the keyword– Themed Cake, must be on the top of your keywords list as well as an integral part of your strategies for SEO.
Use the keyword “Themed Cake” on each page, as well as in all content and elements of the website. Ensure that the keyword “Themed Cake” appears in the title tags, image alt text, title and headers, meta description, and page content.
Why Does On-Page SEO Matter?
The value of on-site web page optimization cannot be underestimated. In addition to assisting search engines in interpreting page content, on-site SEO also aids users in easily and clearly understanding what a page is about and if it responds to their search query. Furthermore, it also facilitates the crawler in comprehending what the website contains and what a visitor will see on the website.
When search engines receive the relevant query, they can efficiently represent or rank the page on the SERP based on this information. Above all, the ultimate aim of on-site SEO is to make it as simple as possible for both search engines and users to:
- Recognize the purpose of a website;
- Determine whether or not the page is important to a search query or queries.
- Consider the website to be useful and deserving of a high ranking on a search engine results page (SERP).
In the next section, we’ll look at the sibling of on-page optimization– off-page optimization.
Off-Page SEO, like On-Page SEO, should be an integral part of your strategies for SEO. In a nutshell, Off-page SEO (also known as Off-site SEO) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to influence your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). In other words, off-page SEO is a form of SEO that primarily entails any activity that raises awareness of your website and drives referral traffic from other websites.
The following are some of the most important off-page activities:
- Link building
- Guest blogging
- Social media marketing
- Social bookmarking
- Local directory submission
- Link wheel
- Online question- answer
- Content marketing
- Influencer marketing
It’s time to go back to the cake store! Find high-authority websites to build backlinks with to ensure a steady influx of prospective customers to your website. Furthermore, emphasize guest blogging and social media marketing as well.
Also, update your cake shop’s information in local directories. Use online question-and-answer platforms like Quora to answer questions about your items, in order to increase your scope. Remember, all these elements are critical parts of strategies for SEO.
Why Does Off-Page SEO Matter?
Off-page SEO is extremely beneficial because it informs search engines that your website is essential to those on the internet. Any link you receive acts as a recommendation from another source that your website is of high quality.
Overall, it will improve your website’s ranking in the SERPs, give you more visibility, and drive more traffic to your cake shop.
So now you know what SEO is, what on-page SEO and off-page SEO are, how they vary, and why both – on-page and off-page web page optimization – matter in strategies for SEO. Let’s move on to the next topic: what should you avoid in SEO.
What NOT To Do In SEO?
If you are familiar with SEO, you should have a basic understanding of SEO techniques and what to do in SEO. However, there are also certain conditions or pitfalls that you should avoid altogether. Let’s look at some of the SEO mistakes to duck.
1. Creating An SEO Plan Without First Knowing Who Your Target Audience Is
You should understand that one of the basic elements of SEO is understanding your audience. It empowers you to efficiently target prospective customers. Therefore, before developing SEO tactics, make certain that you thoroughly understand your target audience.
2. Lack Of An SEO Strategy Or Roadmap
It is pointless to know everything there is to know about your audience and then make little or no effort to capitalize on that information. You must have effective strategies for SEO in place if you want to maximize the performance and effectiveness of your campaign.
3. Publishing Low-Quality Content
When it comes to SEO, content quality is extremely important. Your content must be exclusive, free of plagiarism, and engaging. In order to make the content more appealing and information-rich, include as much value and media (Images, Videos, Infographics, etc.) as possible. Therefore, it is suggested to check for duplication before publishing it online with an advanced plagiarism checker.
4. Disregarding Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Remember that web page optimization does not stop after you use a target keyword in your content. In order to follow SEO best practices, you must include title tags and meta descriptions in your content as well.
5. Failing to Use Analytics or Using Inappropriate Tools & Technology
The only way to determine whether or not your strategies for SEO are successfully working is to monitor your results on a regular basis. To calculate the success of your website, you can use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
But how do you use Google Analytics to monitor your SEO progress? Let’s find out in the next segment.
How To Track Your Progress With Google Analytics?
Let us first define Google Analytics. Google Analytics, which was introduced in 2005, is a free web analytics tool provided by Google to assist you in analyzing your website traffic and better understanding your customers.
Google Analytics provides a variety of reports. The following are the 5 standard or default reports:
- Real Time Report
- Audience Report
- Acquisition Report
- Behavior Report
- Conversion Report
Let us get a quick overview of how to use each of these reports, evaluate them, and prepare better SEO strategies.
1. Real-Time Report
You can track the activity on your web or app in real-time with a real-time report. The records are constantly updated, and every activity is documented seconds after it takes place. You may, for example, see how many people are currently on your cake website, which pages or items they are engaging with, and which target conversions have occurred.
2. Audience Report
Audience reports include data that can be used to better understand the consumer demographics, attitudes, mobile use, and industry. All Audience dimensions can be used in segments that refer to other records, such as Pages, Events, or Goals, to determine the types of users performing desired acts. This will assist you in reconsidering your strategies for SEO.
(How to Use Google Analytics: YouTube Video)
3. Acquisition Report
The Acquisition reports show you which online marketing strategies are bringing the most traffic to your website, as well as which tactics are pulling in the most skilled, prospective leads. The report also shows how the website acquires users, their actions on your website, and the conversion route.
4. Behavior Report
The Behavior report shows what the website’s visitors do. The reports specifically inform you which pages people visit and what actions they took while being there. This report will also assist you in determining what content keeps users connected with your website. The Behavior Flow study may also assist in the identification of possible web content or usability problems and flaws in your strategies for SEO.
5. Conversion Report
Conversion reports will tell you how well each target on your website is doing. They enable you to track user activities on your site that indicate whether a business goal is being met or not. A conversion report, for example, will monitor whether or not a visitor to your cake site subscribed to your newsletter or ordered a cake.
So, these are the 5 key reports that you should study thoroughly and use to your advantage. However, keep in mind that Google Analytics contains a lot more than these 5 primary reports. To create successful strategies for SEO, you must be well-versed in Google analytics as well as Google Search Console.
In conclusion, all of this information points to the fact that SEO is a critical factor in the success of any business. It is not only about ranking higher in search engines, but SEO best practices also increase a website’s user experience and usability. As a result, if you want your business to get more prospective traffic, higher conversions, and more revenue, you must start learning SEO yourself or employ an SEO agency to develop long-term, effective strategies for SEO for your business.