If you are new to SEO or Search Engine Optimization it can be a little overwhelming and you may not know where to start. There seems to be a lot involved in getting started like keyword research, off page optimization, link building, content and social media marketing, link building, on-site optimization and website design. So where do you start and what’s most important? What elements are most critical or take the most time and effort to impact? Should you start with everything at once or start with the lowest hanging fruit?
While there is no one perfect answer or fit for every business or website the first-place start is to assess your website. If your website has issues like it’s hard to navigate, is dated or simply does not have much content, it’s better to establish a strong foundation and build from there. In other words, if your site stinks any other activities will fall short because you may have some early wins but your potential audience will bounce right off your website.
Below are three elements that you should start with to build a solid SEO strategy:
Website Design and User Experience
Website design is not a direct SEO factor but if you have a difficult to navigate or a poorly designed website it won’t matter what else you do for SEO because users will not engage with your content. The purpose of SEO is attracting the right audience and delivering content that will encourage them to take action. If when they arrive the images are of poor quality, or the structure of your site is hard to navigate users will quickly leave your website in search of something more friendly. Now that is a measurement that the search engines care about. Bounce rate is an element of their algorithm and basically tells the search engine that there was not enough value on the site to encourage engagement.
Also, if your site hasn’t been updated in quite some time or it is not mobile-friendly it is time to invest in updating your website before you invest in other SEO tactics.
Publishing content for content’s sake doesn’t do much for your SEO campaign. Content that provides value, informs your audience and is authoritative ultimately wins the SEO race.
Long format, media-rich, authoritative content takes time and effort. By developing a comprehensive content marketing strategy that includes keyword research and mapping you ensure that you and your organization is producing content that fuels your SEO efforts.
Content that will have the greatest impact on your SEO campaign is natural and engaging. It meets the needs of your audience while providing resources and enhancing the user experience.
It’s no secret that link building is one of the most important skills set in SEO. There are two ways that search engines use links in their algorithm. As they crawl sites, links lead them to new pages and content and they show the search engines which sites should show up in their results. If your site has no links to internal pages or other sites linking to your site the search engines
Internal links are basically links between pages of your site that allow you to connect your content in a way that shows credibility and authority.
External links to your pages from other sites are important because it demonstrates that your site is valuable to other sites and is willing to establish a relationship.
By starting with these steps, you will be able to build a solid foundation that will start to increase online presence. Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy starting with your website will lead to a cohesive plan for all of your marketing communications.