SEO is the process of improving your site’s organic search traffic. This isn’t something you can pay to make happen. It takes months of work and adjustments to cater your site to a search engine’s algorithm. That said, it’s not all about appeasing Google—good SEO involves creating a page that’s built for readers as well. The building blocks of SEO include keyword research, on-page SEO, off-page SEO and technical SEO.
Before you can begin any SEO effort, you need to know what keywords users are searching for. These keywords guide your on-page SEO efforts. Luckily, there are many SEO services that can help you narrow down high-volume, low-competition keywords in your niche. These are the best ones to focus on, as there are a lot of people searching for them and not a lot of relevant content crafted around them.
However, it’s not as simple as just plopping your keywords into a blog post and calling it a day. Search engines are looking for content that’s valuable—not content stuffed with specific terms. Part of your keyword research is also figuring out user intent and tailoring your content to meet that intent.
You’ve got your keywords and your content, so now it’s time to optimize your page. There’s a lot that goes into this, including crafting quality title tags and meta descriptions, using a well-organized structure on the page with headers to separate content and including image alt tags for every visual you’re using.
Making sure your URL slug accurately reflects what the post is about is also key. And don’t forget to include a variety of internal links—this helps Google better understand the structure of your site.
Off-page SEO encompasses the things you do outside of your website to help it rank. For example, one of the big factors that Google uses to determine whether or not a page is trustworthy is the number of backlinks it has. The more high-quality sites that link to yours, the higher you’ll rank in a search engine results page (SERP).
Other off-page efforts you can take include building up your social media accounts to improve reputability, partnering with influencers to spread the word about your services and creating guest blogs for websites in a related niche.
Think of technical SEO as behind-the-scenes work. It involves a lot of backend tinkering to optimize your site speed, remove duplicate content with canonical tags and set up a secure HTTPS connection.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. You’ll also want to submit a sitemap to every major search engine, add schema markups to your pages, which help search engines better understand the content of a page, and optimize robots.txt files, which search engines use to know which pages they should look at when curating results for a query.