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(Book) Tactical SEO, a way to increase traffic to your website!

Wonderful reading material, I would rate it at (6/10★) maybe because the topic is quite dry. Nonetheless, did finish the book to keep my “at least 2 books a week” mission for 2019.

If you’re a blogger or into online business, this is a wonderful book for you to get ahead. It is a comprehensive, well-designed search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can increase your search engine ranking and drive visitors to your site. If you design your website with SEO in mind, you can do a better job of engaging visitors and achieving higher conversion rates.

Key lessons from the book

  • How search engine optimization (SEO) works,
  • How digital marketers use SEO to drive website traffic, and
  • What SEO activities and practices will improve your business.

Main Reading Points

  • The goal of SEO is to increase traffic from search engines to your website.
  • Google: dominant global search engine.
  • Delivering SEO relies on managing this process: “analysis, research, strategy, technical, on site, off site, report and refine.”
  • Stay flexible to respond to changes in the market.
  • To boost your ranking value and to optimize indexing, create site content with SEO in mind.
  • SEO-designed content increases the time and engagement users experience on your site.
  • Search “ripples” are a visual device that shows how actions lead to a result.
  • A well-balanced SEO tactic includes metrics, but focuses on activities that drive value.
  • The four main areas of focus in a value-driven strategy are “website, user, search engine and business.”
  • Common search metrics : “click-through rate, bounce rate, time spent on page/site, user engagement, pages seen per visit, demographics and end results.”

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Understanding the context and rationale for each step of our search engine optimization (SEO) process would enables us to craft an effective strategy.

This definition may help:

SEO “is the application of specialized expertise for the purpose of increasing the quality and quantity of organic (earned, natural or free) traffic from search engines to a website.”

The most important search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo, provide answers to users’ queries in the form of a list of websites and pages that focus on the requested topic.

Effective search engine optimization (SEO) helps your customers find what they want and need easier. Even people who are unfamiliar with digital marketing recognize what SEO is and understand how important it is in drawing visitors to your site. The website visits you receive that don’t entail paying a cost per click are organic traffic. Such visits stem from your site’s visibility or from the impressions you generate with organic marketing.

SEO provides visibility by engaging and interacting with users. When visitors create and share user-generated content (UGC) by posting reviews and suggestions on your site, they promote public trust in your brand. Creating unique and in-depth content for your site increases your UGC.

SEO isn’t expensive, it works for you around the clock and it attracts more people to your website. Yet, some website owners who’d welcome extra traffic still limit their SEO efforts to the use of a single key word, prioritization, link building and ranking goals.

Google

Founded in 1998, Google became a $55-billion company by 2014. It is far and away the most dominant global search engine. Its market share is three times that of its closest competitor’s. Google defines success in terms of how well it serves users and it reflects its intense user focus in all that it does. Google takes a continuous improvement approach to its search engine and constantly strives to surpass its accuracy and speed records.

However, a sound SEO strategy goes beyond Google to include other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. They vary slightly and each provides access to different target audiences. SEO practitioners should work from a Google/SEO checklist that includes methods for optimizing Google like “title tags,” “mobile optimization” and performance enhancers such as “anchor text” –text with clickable links and images.

The SEO Process

A structured approach to SEO relies on establishing a process that organizes your activities, provides consistency and enables repeatable success in boosting your search results. Since search is always evolving, SEO frameworks must leave room for flexibility and adaptation.

A typical SEO process includes:

  • “Analysis” – Outline a set of goals and deliverables and identify key performance indicators (KPI).
  • “Research” – To gather information for shaping your SEO strategy, conduct a SWOT review of your current “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.”
  • “Strategy” – Create a framework for achieving your objectives.
  • “Technical” – Set up a website technology plan that supports your SEO.
  • “On site” – Every touchpoint on your site, including the domain name, affects search engines. On-site considerations include items that are visible externally, such as meta descriptions and title tags.
  • “Off site” – Off-site signals weight heavily toward links, although other factors, such as citations, also influence results.
  • “Report and refine” – Set up metrics that show you how well your SEO strategy is performing.
Your SEO process should be a loose, agile framework.

If it’s not, you’ll miss the opportunities that arise in a continually changing industry. You’ll stifle creativity and innovation, and become a follower rather than a leader.

Long- and Short-Term Strategy

To be sure people find it, boost your site with descriptive URLs and site maps.

To boost ranking value and optimize indexing, create website content with SEO in mind from the outset. Make your content user-oriented, valuable, and easy to find and use. Solving problems, proposing solutions and providing data your users want and need will increase the value of your content.

Long Term

Finding the correct balance between a long-term and a short-term strategy is a challenge for most SEO experts. Ongoing long-term SEO activities are practices you maintain for a period of six months or longer.

Ensuring a positive user experience requires continuous website maintenance that focuses on improving performance daily, responding to changes and innovations, and fulfilling user expectations.

Short-Term

In contrast, short-term strategies are actions designed to elicit an immediate, positive response. Begin by searching for missed opportunities and finding small changes – “low-hanging fruit” – that are easy to implement.

Replicate Success : Learn which of your competitors’ tactics worked in the past or are working now. Always seek to improve your search performance by fixing bugs immediately, increasing speed when you can and enhancing your mobile performance.

Ripples

Google once offered a feature named “Ripples” that people could use to share and reshare their original content. Google named this feature after the ripples a stone makes when you toss it into a pond, because shared and reshared content ripples out through the Internet.

Google removed the feature in 2015, but the concept of ripples is a powerful metaphor of the way your actions may cause subsequent actions, and those actions, more actions – all starting with your content.

Separating SEO from Return on Investment (ROI)

Viewing SEO strictly through the lens of ROI thwarts the goals of building and driving value. Building an SEO strategy based on granular metrics excludes actions that don’t directly affect those measurements. However, the tangential but positive effects of a worthwhile change may not directly correlate to a measured activity and may remain invisible to metrics.

For example, quality blog content increases users’ trust in your brand and may increase positive word of mouth, but neither bonus will show up in your measurements of transactions.

To evaluate how your current optimization efforts are doing, check your search engine results pages (SERPs). Assess the quality of this traffic by analyzing the data on click-through rate (CTR), time visitors spent on your site and other relevant metrics. Even when metrics don’t drive your strategy, they are useful tools for evaluating how your SEO is performing and in what specific ways or arenas. Studying data regarding impressions, clicks, SEO traffic, linking and referrals can help you refine and revise the components of your strategy.

Value-Driven Strategy

A value-driven strategy focuses on four key areas:

  1. “Website value” – This includes the site’s technical design and architecture.
  2. “User value” – This refers to the elements that contribute to the user’s experience, such as content and accessibility.
  3. “Search engine value” – Search engine value pertains to the signals that register on the Google ranking algorithm, such as metadata, linking, key words and themes.
  4. “Business value” – This value derives from fulfilling your commercial objectives and returns.

Metrics provide insight and deliver real-time information for measuring the success of your SEO strategy. Worthwhile metrics paint a clear and immediate portrait of how users interact with your site and content. Common search metrics include “click-through rate, bounce rate, time spent on page/site, user engagement, pages seen per visit, demographics and end results.”

Evaluate Your Activity Checklist

To gather information that will help you evaluate and modify your activity checklist, ask your SEO staff these questions:

  • Why are you taking this step?
  • What effect did it have the last time you tried it?
  • What should you do to follow up?
  • What goal are you trying to meet, and did you meet it?
  • What feedback did you receive from your users?

SEO Plus

Don’t limit your SEO strategy to maximizing search engine discovery and ranking. Limiting your scope in that way would impede your campaign’s success. A comprehensive approach to SEO includes taking care of other digital arenas where users interact with your brand, offerings and website.

Incorporate four main digital hubs into your SEO strategy: “content, social media, pay-per-click (PPC) and design.”

Quality Content

While creating quality content is crucial, quality alone isn’t enough to attract an audience. However, superior web content helps your site outshine your competitors’ sites, increases the time users spend with you, and boosts the quality of their interaction with your material. Providing original, intelligent content positions you as a thought leader and an expert in your industry.

But even wonderful content needs correct coding. Proofread for errors in spelling and grammar, and make your material easy to load and navigate.

In SEO terms, fit key words organically into your page headers, secondary headlines and text that centers around that topic.

When people engage with your content, post comments about it and share it on social media, their activities boost the likelihood of search engines discovering your site. Leveraging social media to get readers to discover your content is a strategic and savvy SEO move. Additionally, social media data will tell you what your target audience wants and responds to, thus informing your ongoing content creation.

The idea that media outlets compete with each other is a popular misconception. An increase in audience percentage on one medium does not necessarily mean a decrease in others. Pay-per-click campaigns can supplement organic SEO activities and ensure that your target audience sees your content as frequently as possible.

Always Evolving

The SEO environment is always evolving. SEO practitioners must constantly learn and adapt. Recent trends affecting SEO strategy include mobile and app search, and the integration of social media into search engine results. New technologies such as artificial intelligence can enhance searching as search engines explore more deeply into video, still images and voice.

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