A Guide to SEO in 2020

You’re ready to launch your site, and you have your marketing plan in place.

Are you prepared to roll out your SEO strategy?

If you have no idea about SEO and its advantages, then this brief guide will get you up to speed.

 

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving or optimizing on-page and off-page aspects of your site to better visibility of your site on search engines.

Understanding SEO requires marketers to understand audiences and what makes prospects tick.

It uncovers prospects’ problems and how they search for answers online.

By understanding these traits of your prospects, you have data to provide a valuable offering.

SEO optimizes your site on the internet, giving you exposure to more prospects looking for what you’re selling.

Essentially, SEO’s primary goal is to push your site up in the search rankings by making it more favorable in algorithms used to calculate where your site should rank.

 

What are Organic Search Results?

SEO utilizes “organic” strategies to grow your online business.

Essentially, SEO does not involve using paid strategies like advertising.

You might have to pay for some of the software and subscriptions, but the majority of the strategy unfolds without you spending much money on the task.

SERPs (search engine results pages) feature advertising and dynamic organic search result formats (also known as “SERP features”).

Some SERP examples include snippets, like the boxes that pop up on the top of search results when you type a question into Google.

New SERP features launch all the time, with the sole purpose of presenting answers to what people are searching for online.

Search engines make money from this model, and the goal of SERP is to keep you returning to SERPs and keep you on the page for as long as possible.

SEO strategies and tactics organically influence some of the SERP features with Google.

With SEO, your goal is to affect search results and SERPs, providing your site with more traffic from top search results.

However, it takes months for SEO strategies to produce results on your site.

You might have to wait three to six months before you start seeing increased traffic volumes.

During this time, it’s important to persist with your efforts.

Eventually, you’ll reach the inflection point where you see the traffic arriving.

 

Why Your Online Business Needs SEO

Today, every business understands the importance of having a website.

Over the last 10-years, the world went online, and those that choose to avoid the expanding digital age got left behind in the dust.

However, while most businesses understand the importance of having a website, the vast majority do nothing to promote it online.

They keep the site as an informational resource online and never tap its marketing capability.

This marketing strategy brings zero results, and you might as well not have a website.

If people try to search for your business using any term other than the URL of your site, they never find it.

Instead, your site remains buried under pages of results.

SEO can be used in a combined effort with paid ads however many focus solely on driving organic results and not paying per click for ads.

If you set up your SEO strategy right initially, it continues to deliver results years later.

Creating compelling content that ranks for the right keywords snowballs your traffic over time, while you’ll have to keep paying for advertising services to produce the same results.

To get the bots to index your site for keywords, you need the right on-page SEO strategy.

On-page SEO is the stuff you do to your site to improve its utility to prospects and search engines.

Removing duplicate pages, entering keywords in descriptions, and speeding up loading times are vital on-page tactics to improve your search and SERP results.

 

White Hat vs Black Hat SEO

You might hear the terms “White hat” and “Black hat” SEO.

What’s the difference? White hat SEO techniques refer to strategies and best practices in-line with search engine rules.

White Hat SEO strategies add value to prospects and search engines, providing a level playing field for those developers and marketers that put in the work to optimize and market their websites.

In contrast, Black Hat SEO strategies refer to strategies and techniques to fool or spam the search engine bots.

Black Hat strategies do work, and many people are using them right now to promote sites.

However, when the search bots uncover what you’re doing, they will penalize your site’s rankings and possible remove your site by de-indexing it from search results.

That action will destroy your business, and all your work goes down the drain.

While Black Hat SEO might be tempting, we strongly suggest avoid it as the search engines always catch up and your victory will be short lived.

Here are a few tips for optimizing your website to Google’s specifications.

Google Best-Practice Webmaster Guidelines

  • Design pages for users, not search bots.
  • Don’t use black hat strategies to deceive traffic or search engines.
  • Think about what makes your website unique.
  • Work on improving organic search and SERP results.

Actions to Avoid

  • Posting auto-generated content.
  • Avoid link schemes.
  • Never plagiarize content.
  • Don’t use content cloaking methods to fool bots.
  • Don’t post any hidden links or text.
  • Avoid using doorway pages to funnel traffic illegitimately.

 

Do I Need to Hire a Professional SEO Agency?

If you have no SEO experience, you can learn plenty of tactics for a successful campaign by yourself.

The internet has a wealth of resources dedicated to the subject.

However, it’s going to take time to learn and execute your strategy.

As a result, you’re missing out in the early stages of your business when you need SEO the most.

If you have no experience and a marketing budget – hire an SEO professional.

A professional SEO service understands what it takes to get your site to rank with the search engines.

They have a set of procedures and tactics formulating a proven SEO strategy, delivering results for your business.

Bootstrapping your business is viable, but it takes longer.

By investing in SEO for your business, you get faster results.

That in turn means you start pulling profits sooner, allowing you to scale and grow your business.

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