SEO Basics: Your Ticket to SEO Success in 2021

seo basics in 2021
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The fact that you’re here means you’re ready to learn the secrets to search engine optimization (SEO).

Well, I’m really sorry to break it to you but your way around SEO is no secret nor a gambling game.

On the contrary, what you require is a proper understanding of exactly what people want when they search on search engine and doesn’t just stop there. You have to go further to understanding the reasons behind the search.

Organic search is one of the biggest marketing channels that you should focus on investing on.

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seo basics

A newbie to SEO?

I’d suggest you go through the basics of search engine optimization before moving on.

Already have your way around SEO?

Great!! You’re ready to move ahead.

A complete Guide to SEO is something that I hardly doubt can fit in a single article. But I hope with this Guide, we’ll try our best to fit as much information.

There are various elements that contribute to the success of your SEO. Let’s look at a few:

  • On page SEO: On-page SEO (or on-site SEO) is the practice of optimizing web pages for specific keywords in order to improve search visibility and traffic. It includes making changes to elements like title tags, headings, content and more.
  • Off page SEO: Off-page SEO refers to anything done outside of your website with the potential to affect search engine rankings. Optimizing your site for off-page SEO means you’ll have to improve the way that both users and search engines see your site in terms of credibility, authority, popularity and relevance.
  • Technical SEO: Technical SEO is the process of ensuring that a website meets the technical requirements of modern search engines with the goal of improved organic rankings. Important elements of Technical SEO include crawling, indexing, rendering, and website architecture.
seo basics

1. Search experience optimization

I know it didn’t take you a long time to know the acronym SEO means search engine optimization. In the context, you can easily tell it means optimizing your site for search engines.

That said, search experience optimization is a new way to look at SEO at a different angle.

What is Search Experience Optimization?

 Search Experience Optimization (SXO) recognizes that the user experience – not search engines – ultimately determine SERP position and rank. This approach to SEO aligns efforts toward the audience to ensure you meet the searchers needs.

To be more specific, it focuses on making your website the perfect answer to your customer’s every question.

This strategy is what differentiates top performing bloggers and overcomes the barriers to greater search visibility in the search results.

Where to Start with Search Experience Optimization

How can you accomplish that, exactly? Search experience optimization encompasses a number of moving pieces, including:

Website usability

  • Do you have any problems with your site architecture?
  • Are there any indexing issues that make key information difficult to locate?

Relevance

  • Do you know the keywords that people are using to find your website?
  • Have you mapped out content to address your users’ search queries?

Authority

  • Is your content fresh and relevant? Is it written well and formatted to maximize readability?
  • Do you have both internal and external links in your content? Do those links actually add to the value of your content?

The main aim of search experience optimization, is to directly appeal to the end user. To do so, it requires you to position your website as the best, most relevant answer to whatever question your target users are asking.

2. Optimize content for people

Most beginner and intermediate bloggers tend to forget it’s always about optimizing content for people (customers, readers & subscribers).

Note: Always optimize content for people & no search engines.

Before we get into the how of creating content for people over Google, we need to understand the why.

Since 2019, Google’s algorithms have evolved beyond simple keyword metrics.

What would have improved your rankings 5 years ago would see you buried in the SERPs today.

Inserting keywords with calculated precision and failing to write clear, easy to understand, and people-first content will have two negative effects on your ranking goals:

a). The impact of keyword backed content has been reduced as Google has embraced machine learning and personalization, so creating content with keyword intent will fail to move the needle.

b). Your keyword backed content will not be user-friendly as it will be clunky and over optimized, so your user signals will suffer and fail to move the needle.

Ways to Create Content People Will Love

1. Have a clear objective

The key to delivering value for people is to understand the goal of your content before you start writing. You should have a single objective and single audience in mind to help you structure your content and tone of voice. 60% of people struggle to produce content, so by setting out your goals early you’ll be best placed to turn your ideas into something practical.

2. Take time to research

Even experts in their field take the time to research an article before writing it. What additional information can you find to strengthen your position, or deliver more value? Your research phase should also help you create the skeleton of your article. Knowing your intro, middle and conclusion will make writing the content much simpler.

A recent study by the Content Marketing Institute showed that only 42% of B2B marketers have conversations with customers as part of their audience research. So, take the time to speak to your audience and understand what type of content will most resonate with them.

3. Cite your sources

Adding relevant statistics and quotes can add depth and add value to your content. But sources without citation are useless. Show you have taken the time to build your content by quoting all original sources where possible.

4. Edit (then edit again)

It’s easy to spend so much time focusing on your objective that you forget to stay on top of the little things – punctuation, spelling, grammar. Your audience will be brutal with their judgment of spelling errors.

3. Voice search optimization

Voice search optimization is the process of optimizing your pages to appear in voice searches. When you optimize for voice search, you optimize for the way people conduct verbal searches. Voice search optimization gives you the chance to have your pages read out loud by a voice search device.

1. Focus on Local Search Results

Add focus to better optimize for local search results. A high percentage of mobile and voice searches are location-based queries regarding location, hours of operation, etc. Do not ignore local search results that you can optimize for by doing something as simple as claiming and updating your Google My Business listing. Then, you can develop better content that more easily answers location-based questions.

2. Choose Long-Tail Keywords

To optimize your site for voice search, focus on long-tail keywords. Common phrases that people use in conversations should be used when creating content that you want voice search to recognize. Next, you should consider local SEO. Create location-specific content for areas that you’re targeting. This way, you’ll stand a higher chance of appearing at the top of voice-generated search results pages.

3. Use Conversational Language

When people are searching using voice assistants, they’re using conversational language, which tends to include longer, more specific search phrases. Optimizing for voice search, therefore, requires marketers to really focus on long-tail keywords.

4. Properly Structure Your FAQ Page

Voice search is definitely on the rise. This type of searcher uses different phrases, so you must plan your content accordingly. To get started, create FAQs that read like a conversation, not a formal document. Structure them correctly on your site, and you are more likely to get featured snippets from Google. Unsure about where to start with content? Read your online reviews for inspiration and voice.

5. Answer ‘Who,’ ‘What,’ ‘Where’ And ‘How’ Questions People often use different terms and longer queries for voice search. Most voice queries start with “who,” “what,” “where” or “how.” Build detailed answers to the most commonly asked

questions about your brand. Make sure this content replies to the who, what, where and how of your products and services, and add an element of fun when appropriate.

6. Identify Key Questions to Optimize For

Voice search has longer queried that often include a question. One approach to optimizing your content for voice search is to determine the questions for which you’d like to be found as the answer, and then including those actual questions in the relevant content on your site in full, natural language. This way, you have the opportunity to be found for the questions you care most about.

7. Keep Your Keywords Simple

When optimizing for voice recognition searching, it’s important to keep the keywords simple. When people ask their smartphone or Alexa a question, they aren’t going into detail. The software won’t recognize something too complex. Therefore, the simpler you can be while still having effective SEO, the better!

8. Make It Concise and Easily Understood

Decades ago, marketers had to adapt print copy to online. Product descriptions and value propositions had to be concise, or the consumer would bounce. Then came the mobile revolution, and marketers had to adapt to video, social marketing and content displayed on a tiny screen. Voice assistants take that to a new level. It’s critical that marketers use simple, direct language that is easily understood in five seconds or less.

9. Optimize for Voice and Traditional Search Traffic

To ensure your website content can be crawled by search engines, optimize site content with long-tail keywords (typically, five to nine words) that are highly relevant to your product or service. People often voice search with longer, more specific phrases versus traditional search terms in a browser, so having your site optimized for both will help you get the most reach from voice search and traditional online traffic.

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