Demystifying SEO: How to Make the Most of Search Engine Optimization

Digital marketing is a brave new world. A huge part of surviving (and thriving!) in this complex and evolving landscape is search engine optimization, or “SEO.”

While SEO is essential in any comprehensive digital marketing plan, it can also be intimidating—especially if you lack digital marketing know-how.

The good news? Regardless of your experience with this organic marketing method, there are some things you can do to start putting it to work to increase both the quantity and quality of website traffic.

Here, we’ll look closely at all things SEO, including how you can use it to reach your business goals.

What Is SEO?

SEO improves your website’s visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Using keywords most related to your business, products, and services, SEO strategically (and organically) ensures that your website will rank highly on search engines.

Another way to look at it? When internet users enter a search for the products and services you sell without knowing your company name, SEO is the key to them finding your website.

The Benefits of SEO

SEO can help maximize inbound “organic” (natural, not paid) traffic from search engines to websites. However, this is far from its only benefit.

Other SEO upsides include:

How to Use Keywords in SEO

Now that we have covered what SEO is and why it matters, it’s time to drill down into how keywords work.

Search engine algorithms use many factors to determine how high your keywords rank. These factors serve one purpose above all else: satisfying user intent.

That’s where keywords (and keyword research) make a significant difference.

Keywords or key phrases are the words browsers enter into search engines to find content that answers a specific question or fulfills a particular need. In the United States, Google accounts for over 85% of all searches, so SEO is focused on their requirements.

Keyword research helps narrow down the words or phrases that match customer intent with what they seek. For successful on-site optimization, relevant keywords should be carefully chosen to build key terms and incorporate them into your website content.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you run a furniture store and are looking to drive sales of a specific bed style. Generic keywords with common, huge search volumes like “furniture” are difficult to rank organically. Therefore, a more specific key phrase such as “mahogany sleigh bed” is more defined and targeted to rank near the top of Google. Using this keyphrase will bring you better, more qualified traffic to convert into a lead.

6 Tips for Making the Most of SEO

SEO involves much more than stuffing your web pages and blog posts with keywords. Instead, it’s a strategic endeavor.

These tips can help you rocket to the top of search results:

  1. Use Google’s recommendations to optimize your website. Why Google? As the leading US search engine with 85% of the search engine market, it’s the best way to find your target audience and drive them to your website.
  1. Continuously add search-optimized blogs, articles, videos, and case studies to your website. Not only does this provide more content for Google to index, but it also means more opportunities for your website to rank high on results pages.
  1. Use Google Analytics to track your results. Information like the most viewed pages and searched keywords can help determine if your SEO efforts are working or require modification.
  1. For immediate results, use PPC marketing to “pay your way” to the first page of Google and Bing/Yahoo results. (It can take several weeks before Google will notice your optimization efforts and 8-12 months to see a measurable increase in traffic, associated leads, and conversions.)
  1. Engage in a combination of SEO and PPC marketing. (Paid search helps you rank for highly competitive words that don’t organically deliver high rankings.)
  1. Don’t underestimate other factors, like inbound links from high-quality, authoritative websites. An important variable in SEO, inbound links occur when another website links back to your site, which Google views as an indicator that a website is trustworthy and valid.

Harness the Power of SEO with X-Factor

SEO is one of the most important things you can do to supercharge your website. Although the tips and hacks mentioned here can help you get off to the best start, they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

Not only that, but search engine algorithms are constantly changing, meaning that the occasional website makeover isn’t enough. Maintaining awareness of the latest SEO trends and best practices can help you harness its full potential for your brand. This is what we do best at X-Factor.

As digital marketing specialists, it’s our business to stay at the cutting edge of SEO and other online marketing practices—and to put our knowledge, experience, and drive to work for you.

Get your free quote from the X-Factor team today if you’re ready to garner coveted first-page search rankings, increased traffic from qualified leads, higher close rates, and more.

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