Utilizing Core SEO Principles to Build Brand Awareness
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it plays a major role in establishing the visibility of any website online, which also makes it a crucial element in digital marketing. SEO improves when website content consists of specific words, called “keywords,” in topics and phrases that users search for on platforms like Google or Bing to research and find products and services every day. Direct correlations can be drawn between the value that smart SEO tactics can offer in elevating brand awareness, which subsequently can yield conversions into new sales opportunities. This can be a daunting, if not confusing process, but the basic elements are quite easy to understand after they’ve been broken down.
What is SEO in Web Design?
SEO is known as a key factor in establishing where a website will organically place in search engine results. A website’s SEO ranking is determined by a range of factors, such as how well the site’s content is organized and the specific words that are used to make up content on a page.
An example of a keyword is “marketing.” A multi-word phrase that also functions as a keyword is “marketing agency near me.” These keywords are ranked by two important components:
- Search volume – how often a term has been searched in a certain period
- Conversion rate – the number of visitors on a company’s website who completed the desired action (bought a product, signed up for a newsletter) out of the total number of users
Using keywords with high search volume has the potential to attract more users to a site, but that also means increased competition when ranking on search engines. Low-volume, longer keyword phrases are more specific and therefore generally come with higher conversion rates.
A website audit is an examination of page performance before launching full-scale SEO programs or a website redesign. Auditing your website is critical in determining whether it has the foundational elements in place to achieve your traffic goals and provide you with a detailed view of how it can be improved to reach those goals. There are several different types of audits that you can put into action:
- SWOT analysis: Measure your website’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats against a competitor’s website.
- An example of a strength could be that your website is easier to navigate than other websites.
- One weakness could be that your website has slower page loading times or images that are too large.
- Examples of opportunities could be widgets, plugins or tools on your website that gives yours an edge.
- A threat could be that other websites rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) than your own. As a result, your site is losing leads and conversion opportunities.
- Lead conversion optimization audit: Analyzing how traffic is coming to your website and where it’s coming from.
- Google Analytics is an excellent tool for understanding where your traffic is coming from, which will help you better understand your audience’s behavior and optimize your site’s content to suit their needs.
- Analyze the content on your website to ensure the content is helpful, informative, and up to date.
- Are your forms collecting enough information to contact leads?
- Design and layout: Are your calls-to-actions clear and visible? Is the copy too small and difficult to read? Is the website easy to navigate, and is it ADA-compliant?
- Overall user experience: Are there any spots of frustration for visitors who come to your site?
- SEO website audit: Evaluating the factors that can impact your site’s performance in SERPs.
- This includes links but also extends to other elements such as keyword usage, content, metadata, page speed, user journey, and video optimization.
- It’s possible to conduct an SEO audit on your own, but you’ll likely get more thorough answers in less time by employing an agency.
This is the process involved with priming the individual or secondary pages within your website to positively influence your rankings in relevant searches. This includes topics like your website’s content architecture and the content itself, as well as heading structure, meta-tags, page titles, links and anchor text, images, and more. SEO is only impactful if you are consistently inputting new, high quality, and topic-focused content to your site. Constantly refreshing your site with updated content or blog entries that educate and reel in your audience is the best way to organically optimize your ranking.
Internal linking is the practice of linking related content from other areas of your site through specific words. Internal links should be incorporated into text sparingly and naturally, as overloading your page with links will cause search engines to dismiss it completely. Routinely checking to make sure these links work will also help to avoid search engines from penalizing your website.
Think of this as the manner through which you can leverage activities related to SEO that occur outside of your website to improve your search rankings. This is largely centered on gaining backlinks from other websites but also includes brand awareness activities like media mentions, social media mentions, and brand attention.
Incorporating a solid site structure will also improve your search results. You’ll want to build your site from the inside out, using an obvious hierarchy of content and pages, and clear topic collections, while including batches of internal links to make it easier for search engines to index your pages and understand the context of your content. Once Google understands your website structure in its entirety, it will be more confident in serving your pages to users with relevant queries; higher confidence equals higher rankings.
Relevant Content with a Focus Keyword
A focus keyword is the target word or phrase in of a piece of content that you feel will be a key driver toward the topic you want a page to rank for. Seems simple enough, right? Not really. As with everything in SEO, there is strategy involved, and uncovering ways to optimize your content is no different.
Let’s say that as the owner of a bakery, you discover when performing topic research that you want your bakery’s website to rank for ‘best blueberry muffins.’ You’ve researched the keyword, and now you’re going to write a blog post using the focus keyword ‘best blueberry muffins.’ The writer should use the focus keyword most often within the post. It should appear in the H1 heading, a few of the H2s, and the body text. That post will drive your website toward the top of search results when people search that term.
- Performing keyword research
- Use SEO tools such as Semrush or Ahrefs to study search volumes and keyword difficulties.
- Interpret search volume: High-volume keywords are competitive and difficult to rank without good content around the terms. Lower volume, longer tail keywords may offer more value.
- Keyword difficulty: High and low search volumes often go hand in hand with keyword difficulty. The higher the volume, the higher the difficulty.
- Finding intent through SERP analyses
- Searching your intended keyword on Google is a vital component in topic research. The content that you write must be aligned with what Google is already showing.
- Using your focus keyword
- Since your term now matches the intent of your post, you shouldn’t have any trouble using it naturally in your content to send all the right signals to Google when it’s published.
- The best practices of SEO include using your focus keyword in the title of your content, the H1, some of the H2s, the content body, and your title tag.
Another valuable way to build your site’s credibility and SEO is to link to other credible websites on your site. This practice, “backlinking,” is a bit more complex, as it requires making solid business connections with the right individuals, associations or organizations prior to requesting backlinks on their own websites. Pitching backlink-for-backlink, in which you and another brand within your industry link to each other’s websites, is a way to make this process easier.
How We Can Help with your Website SEO
SEO is a crucial catalyst to help build a successful business from a brand’s digital platform. When a company’s website ranks higher than its competitors online, it boosts their brand’s credibility and converts prospects into clients and customers, while also assisting with recruiting and retaining employees.
SEO is an ever-evolving process and should be maintained, updated, and reviewed. To learn more about how Premier can help you with this process, connect with us today!