Some people who are new to SEO seem to think that it’s a one-time thing. They think SEO is like a surgery that’s meant to cure a specific problem. But nothing can be farther from the truth.
SEO is more like the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.
For a website, you need constant SEO efforts – all the time. Death, in this case, is being relegated to the second page of results, where less than 10% of Google users bother to venture into.
This is exactly why you’ll be billed monthly when you engage the services of an SEO professional. The work never stops, because it’s an endless race.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
Everyone Wants To Be #1
While there can be only one #1, that’s not stopping all your competitors from trying to outrank you. And that’s why they constantly work to improve their SEO profiles. They want to be at the top, where 32% of Google users click. The second placer only gets about 17% of the clicks.
Google is as Fickle as the Weather
Google has a set of Webmaster guidelines, and they keep on updating it. So, you need to constantly make sure that your website conforms to the most current guidelines.
Then there’s also the algorithm changes to consider. You can be #1 one day, and then off the charts the next.
You need constant SEO efforts to make sure that algorithm changes don’t affect your ranking significantly and regain lost ground quickly.
Your Website Needs to Stay Relevant
You also have to make sure that you have fresh content on your website regularly. This is important for SEO, and at the same time your visitors expect it as well. A day without updates can be a disaster, because your visitors will cut down on the frequency of their visits and they may even neglect to visit anymore eventually.
You also need to check that the outdated info and that content are archived or eliminated. You may have some mistakes in your website that you didn’t notice before, so you’ll need to correct that. Then you also have to make sure that you inspect all those sites who are linking to you. You need to identify the good links and eliminate the bad ones that may possibly harm your SEO efforts.
Remember, even if you get the top ranking for the most important keywords in your niche, you still need to keep working on your SEO. It’s like a race that never ends. Just because you have outranked all your competitors doesn’t mean you can now rest on your laurels. It’s an endless adventure and the sooner you realize this, the better it will be for you.
Once upon a time, websites bragged about their site visitors. That was the only thing they cared about. While today this is still an important factor, the amount of traffic you get is no longer as important as the amount of “targeted” traffic you have. Targeted traffic means your visitors are people who are likely to use your product or service.
Defining Your Targeted Traffic
Let’s put this in proper context. Let’s say that you are a wedding planner based in San Francisco. How do you define your targeted traffic? Who are the people you want to reach out the most?
•People looking for a wedding planner. People can type “wedding” on a search bar for a variety of reasons. Some just want to know all about wedding customs, especially the strange practices around the world. Some are guests who want to know about what gifts they should give the bride and groom. Some couples may be looking for a wedding location, while others may be looking for a place to spend their honeymoon.
In your case, your targeted traffic are the people searching for wedding planner services.
•People who live in San Francisco and are looking for a wedding planner. China has 618 million Internet users. But should you care? Of course not! The people you want to reach out to are those who live in San Francisco, so your efforts should focus on that. A wedding planner who attracts the attention of ten soon-to-be-wed couples in San Francisco is better off than those who attract a hundred thousand couples living in China.
Benefits of Targeted Traffic
As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to determine who your intended audience is. Once you’ve done that, you can reap the following benefits:
1.They are more likely to spend money. Since they are specifically looking for a website like yours, then it follows that when they find your website you are in a much better position to make a sale.
2.They are more interested in the info you are offering. Even if the visitors you attract aren’t looking to buy, the fact that they are interested in your website and spending time reading your articles means that you can boost your SEO.
SEO tracks the time people spend on a website; the longer the time, the better for your SEO. If you have a high “bounce rate” (the percentage of people who leave your website after seeing your first page on the site), then your SEO for that particular keyword can suffer. Obviously, you aren’t offering the content that the user is looking for.
3.They are more likely to bookmark your website. Now you no longer have to keep on maintaining your SEO efforts to have people continue to visit your website. They can go to your site directly.
4.They will likely recommend your website to others. Such recommendations will not only increase your traffic directly, but they will also boost your SEO, which in turn boosts your website traffic further.
Before you even think about how to attract back links to your website or how to use a blog for SEO purposes, you first need to think about the keywords you are aiming for. People who use search engines to find information do so by typing certain words and phrases in the search bar. Your first responsibility therefore is to figure out what your target audience are typing in their search engines. This process is known as keyword research.
There are three major factors to consider when you are looking for keywords and phrases to focus on:
1.How relevant is it to your business? This is fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of businesses who fail at this sort of thing. For example, let’s say your company offers home security devices in Detroit. If you focus on just the word “security”, you may get visitors who want to know all about website security or even Social Security. You may also attract the attention of people who want to know how to be a security guard.
The relevance covers your location and the area you cover as well. If you are limited to Detroit area alone, then you have to include “Detroit” in your keyword planning. You don’t really care for people who live in LA or Dallas, right?
2.How many people use the phrase? You want the keywords and phrases used most often by the people whom you want to attract the most: the people who are looking to buy home security devices. After all, that’s how your company makes money.
While you can guess at the phrases they use, with proper keyword research, you can get a clearer idea of the words they use. You can compare the number of people who enter “Detroit home security” on the search bar to the number of people who used “How do I protect my home from intruders”. With proper research, you will know if it’s better to focus on the word “intruders” or if it is better to aim for “home invasions” instead.
3.How competitive are these keywords? The best keywords are the ones who are not only popular but are also not really used by your competitors. Using low competition keywords leaves you with a much better chance of ranking #1 on the results. Being on the top spot of the first page of Google’s SERPS gets 91 32.5% of all the traffic. Being #2 only gets you 17.6%.
No Room for Guessing
A lot of businesses today simply try to brainstorm for keywords. After all, if you have a business that sells home security devices in Detroit then you should have a fairly good idea of how your potential customers think. And if you can market to them, then you should be able to guess what keywords they will use on Google.
But in the end, you’re still guessing. You don’t really know for sure.
The only way to be 100% sure is to do proper keyword research, check the numbers and compare. Only then should you incorporate the best possible keywords into your SEO strategy.
Essentially, an authority is a person or an institution which has the final say on a particular matter. The authority decides what is right or wrong and others follow their lead. But while this word may be used to refer to government or supervisory institutions, authority can also be a source of information.
Examples of Authority
For example, at one point the New York Times was the authority on the news. Their perceived objectivity and stringent verification procedures means that if a piece of news was printed on the New York Times, then it must be true. It was the same thing for CNN, and they even had videos as proof. For facts about infectious diseases, the CDC is the final authority. For space topics, it’s NASA. Scrabble players consult the Webster’s dictionary to determine whether a particular word exists or is spelled correctly.
For sports fans squabbling over trivia, they can consult ESPN or Sports Illustrated in order to determine who’s right. Who was drafted first before Michael Jordan? Once they see what these websites say on the matter (Akeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie) then there’s no need for further research to confirm the information. The fact that ESPN and Sports Illustrated are highly respected by sports fans means that when these websites say something, then it’s a fact, not hearsay.
Google itself is an authority on just about every topic under the sun—or beyond the sun for that matter. In fact, Google is so popular that the word Google itself is used as a verb to denote researching about a topic. Before Google, other search engines served up websites for your keywords that didn’t necessarily provide what you wanted. But when Google came into the picture, its ability and commitment to give you the websites you needed made it the de facto search engine for the vast majority of Internet users. Nowadays it may direct you to Wikipedia, which many people consider an authority website as well. In other words, an authority is someone or something that others trust.
Building an Authoritative Website
It’s not a coincidence that the word author is in the word authority. Some authorities are said to be so knowledgeable about a particular topic that they “wrote the book” on the topic. Sometimes this is even literally true, as in the case of math and science professors in MIT, Caltech, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).
And that’s what you have to bring to your website. You have to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise about your particular subject, and then spread the word about it. Your website must contain factual and up-to-date information. And you have to go into other forums and blogs so you can discuss your niche intelligently and prove to others that you are a credible source.
Google won’t be able to understand what you are writing, but they can discern the signs of your authority. These signs include other websites mentioning your site or including links to your site. The increase in site visitors as well as the length of time they spend on your website will also help build your authority.. And when Google recognizes your authority on the subject, it won’t be long until you increase your ranking on the search results.