As an essential part of digital marketing, SEO is used to help websites get found online. The practice of SEO is mutually beneficial, as search engines compete with each other too. Therefore, they want to find their users the most helpful results possible. But search engines can only achieve their aim if the websites offer up the right clues through SEO.
SEO consists of various tricks and techniques to align your content with what people are searching for. So that you can best understand SEO, here are 5 real truths to inform your approach.
SEO is not going to work overnight
While it’s true that rich text results allow some content to be displayed promptly (i.e breaking news stories), for the most part, SEO takes time to garner attention. So no, SEO is not a case of adding keywords, refreshing, and seeing your page suddenly jump to the top.
Now, you might be wondering why SEO is even worth it if it’s not going to necessarily work overnight. SEO can be likened to a savings account in that it’s a long-term solution with a generous payoff in the end, rather than being there to make you a quick buck.
The reality is there’s no way of cheating your way to the top. Yes, there is paid to advertise but that only runs as long as you fund the advert. Once the advert stops running it will disappear. SEO on the other hand will still be working like a trooper for potentially years to come. Due to the long-term benefits that SEO can produce, it’s always best to hire SEO services to get it up and running for you if you’re not sure how it works. A professional will ensure that your SEO is making an impact long after they have finished working with you, which is something you won’t be able to match if you don’t have experience in SEO.
Keywords aren’t everything
Shock horror! Keywords are a core part of any SEO strategy but they aren’t the only aspects you need to look at.
SEO is made up of on-page and off-page aspects. If you were to create a checklist of all these elements, you could easily run into hundreds of tasks. That’s not to say your website necessarily needs all of these processes, but at the same time keywords alone aren’t enough to get people onto your website, let alone keep them there.
Let’s take backlinks as an example, which are when other websites link to your content. The more backlinks your website has, the more authority and credibility it has in the eyes of search engines. Sometimes backlinks happen organically, but commonly it requires you to organize sponsored posts and similar marketing efforts to get your name out there.
SEO isn’t free
Technically SEO is free right? I mean, nobody is charging you to place keywords into your content. But hang on, how do you find said keywords and other SEO errors in the first place?
There are certainly free tools that exist for SEO including Google Trends and Ubersuggest. But what you have to consider is whether free tools are enough to bolster your SEO efforts, given there’s nothing to stop your competitors from using exactly the same strategy.
Any SEO is better than none at all, but if you’re serious about being king of the search engine rankings, then you’re going to need to invest in decent SEO software, not to mention an SEO expert to audit your content and implement any suggested changes.
Don’t see this as a downside though, because SEO is an incredibly worthwhile investment. It’s going to continue to work on your behalf to pull in as many website visitors as possible. But as the saying goes, the more you put in the more you get out.
Your audience is still humans
If you’ve never come across keyword-stuffed content then count yourself lucky. Such sentences read like so: ‘If you are looking for a New York dentist open today near me cheap, then you are in the right place’. Basically, these websites contain keywords that attract search engines, but sound like total gibberish when you are trying to read the text!
What some people forget is that while SEO speaks to robots, the content itself must speak to humans. Sometimes it’s possible to use literal search terms within image tags, but when it comes to the written content, even if it contains keywords it must make sense!
Otherwise yes, you’ll get the visitors but they’ll soon make a swift exit, pushing up your website’s bounce rate which is terrible for SEO. Hence, writing for robots alone never pays off.
SEO should never be ignored
Making SEO an afterthought or worse still not a thought at all is a disaster waiting to happen. Granted, not everyone understands SEO. But similar to building work you have carried out in your home, of course, you don’t understand how to do everything, but that doesn’t mean the work isn’t essential or at least for the greater good.
SEO can get quite technical, not to mention time-consuming to implement. But it’s there to help link search engine users to your website. Given the billions of searches carried out every day, why wouldn’t you want a slice of the pie? That’s why you have to make SEO a top focus of your marketing efforts.
To sum up
If you weren’t already aware, SEO takes dedication and patience to see real results. That doesn’t mean to say it’s not worth the effort, because SEO is in fact essential. But equally, you need to take the time to audit your website and be prepared to invest your time and energy if you want to get to the top and stay there.
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