It can be difficult to define SEO, even if you are an expert in the field. Since its inception, SEO has changed a lot, and some of the original best practices have become completely obsolete and have been replaced by new rules and standards.
After a recent update to the Google algorithm, we’re changing our definition of SEO and what the best practices are. This will give you a strong foundation to build your SEO strategy for 2021 off of.
What is SEO?
In other words, SEO is the process of making sure your website appears as high as possible in search engine results pages (SERPs) for certain search queries.
Your SEO strategy is a plan to improve your website’s ranking in search results. This is usually done by using a combination of different methods. To improve your website’s ranking in SERPs, you need to focus on various elements, including on-page optimization, content creation, social media management, and link building.
Why does SEO matter?
A recent study by Ahrefs found that 91% of pages online get no traffic from Google.
68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. A majority of Americans say they get their news from their smartphone, tablet, or computer, and almost all say they look online to learn more about businesses. As we conduct more and more aspects of our lives online, it becomes increasingly important to be mindful of how we appear online. This is especially true for businesses, who rely on their online presence for everything from customer outreach to building their brand.
If a business wants to be successful, it needs to have a plan for how to make sure its website appears as high as possible in search engine results. Your website’s ranking in search results is determined by a variety of factors, but you can improve your chances with a good SEO strategy.
Your ranking in search engine results is important for SEO purposes. For the majority of users, the first page of results is enough, with the top three taking up over three fourths of clicks. The first result alone gets a third of all clicks. If you want to improve your online presence, you need to have a good SEO strategy and work to get your business to rank well. It is especially important to aim for the top spot.
If you want your website to appear in search engine results, you need to have a strong SEO strategy. This will not only help your website appear in the search results, but also ensure that it appears prominently. SEO strategy can impact
- Brand awareness and audience engagement
- the functionality of your website – which can have a huge impact on bounce rates
- Branded search results
- And, ultimately, in 2021, SEO has a huge impact on the overall success of your business
What determines best practices in SEO?
There are a number of things you can do to make sure your site ranks well in search results. Follow these best practices to ensure your site has the best chance of ranking high. There are many external factors that affect your website, such as the number of links to your site and the level of engagement from visitors. However, there are also many factors that you can control or influence, such as the content of your website.
A lot of it comes down to Google. Google has nearly 93% of the market share as of June 2021. So if you want to rank in Google, you need to play by Google’s rules. The best way to rank in Google is to follow their rules.
When people use Google to search for something, the company’s main aim is to give them results that are relevant and come from sources that can be trusted. google has 200 ranking factors that determine how search results look for a particular query.
Not all ranking factors are created equal. Some of the more important ranking factors are:
- Relevance: how relevant your website, web page, or other owned assets are to the user’s search query.
- Site Speed: how quickly your website loads.
- Mobile-Friendliness: how well your website is formatted for mobile users, or how your website performs on mobile devices.
- Backlinks: how many backlinks your website has received.
- Engagement: how many users click through to your site, how long users remain on your site, or if users bounce when visiting your site.
- Content: how well the content of your page addresses the search query.
In addition to its ranking factors, Google releases several algorithm updates per year. These updates can have a significant impact on how websites rank in search results. An algorithm update is a change in the process that determines how Google ranks websites in search results. Google is improving its search experience by rolling out updates that will make results more relevant and of higher quality. The range of impacts these algorithm updates can have can be pretty big, with some going unnoticed while others can have a really major and immediate impact on search results.
SEO is one of the trickiest parts of marketing. Paid ads usually provides ROI within 7 days, however, this is not the case for SEO. With SEO, you’re waiting to see results for months. This means that running an effective SEO team is different from running any other marketing division.
You aren’t progressing as quickly as you were, which gives you less room for error. Picking the wrong team or strategy could mean wasting months going down the wrong path, only to have to start over from scratch.
The following are 10 tips for managing an effective SEO team.
Don’t spend your time or money going in the wrong direction.
To improve your SEO and get more traffic and conversions, follow these commandments.
Commandment #1: Figure out the roles you need to hire for
If SEO is an idea, we need to plant it in the right conditions for it to grow. If you try to improve your SEO by yourself, it will be unsuccessful. SEO can’t make it in any climate. To successfully blossom into a beautiful traffic and conversion tree, the right temperatures, water, and nutrients need to be in the soil.
In order to have a successful money tree, you need a good team to help it grow.
No matter how talented you are, you cannot do everything by yourself. You need to know what the right team looks like in order to be successful. Before hiring anyone, determine what tasks need to be completed and what results you desire. If you do not follow this step and randomly hire SEO experts, you will head down the wrong path…only to realize you have been going the wrong way for months (and a lot of money spent) later.
Commandment #2: Hire people with proven experience in that role (and results)
Commandment #1 makes a lot more sense now, huh? You need to first determine what role you are hiring for. Now you can find the perfect person for the job. You are more likely to hire the wrong person if you don’t know what you want. This person may not have the skills you need.
When hiring, look for people who have a history of achieving the type of results you want.
Commandment #3: Create a 30-day, 60-day, 90-day and 6-month, and 1-year plan
What’s a marketing strategy without a spreadsheet? Non-existent. After you assemble your team, you can start making your plan. Where do you want to be in 30 days? 1 year? and every month in between?
Your plan is a way of gauging whether or not you are achieving your desired outcome.
This commandment cannot be taken lightly. Your tree won’t sprout if you don’t have a plan to water it.
Commandment #4: Make someone the lead on every initiative
Your SEO team needs to thrive on accountability. Since it takes more than a few days to see results from a new ad creative, you have to be careful about how much time you spend on SEO. If your SEO team fails to deliver on an initiative, you won’t be able to get that time back. It could take months to see the results you hoped for.
Each team member is in charge of an initiative. The lead’s job is to make sure the initiative is moving forward.
Commandment #5: Schedule weekly meetings to make sure everything is on track
When creating an SEO strategy, you knew that you would have to include regular meetings. Really, meetings are a commandment of all marketing. There are so many aspects of marketing, like touchpoints, pattern recognition, and A/B tests, that you need to discuss with your team in order to be successful.
Holding regular meetings helps to keep you focused and on track towards your goals, as well as providing an opportunity to assess and improve your strategy.
Commandment #6: Get ready to adapt as new information comes in
With any marketing strategy, adaptation is your best friend. A marketing strategy will rarely follow the guidelines that were set on the first day it was established. Marketers rely on new information to determine that they can increase conversions by changing the color of their CTA button.
As you learn more about your audience, you should be willing to adapt your SEO strategy. Your SEO team must be able to quickly incorporate new information into your strategy.
Commandment #7: Ask your team for ideas based on their findings and past experiences
It means being receptive to your team’s suggestions on how they can better do their job. It can be hard for leaders to see small inefficiencies that are holding their team back. They may also be wasting small amounts of money that will add up to a big bill in the future.
Your team knows just as much as you do. After implementing the strategy, allow your team time to share their ideas on how it has gone. Every team member has their own thoughts about your strategy and can offer useful perspectives.
Commandment #8: Stay patient with the results (and don’t make your team feel guilty!)
SEO is a long game. You cannot expect to see results from your SEO strategy within a week. Sometimes results take months. Your team will not see results at the beginning of your strategy.
Create buy-in to be patient with your SEO strategy. You need to show your team that you are willing to be patient for the results. Do not force them to produce hasty results and continue to assure them that it is fine if you have not seen an increase in traffic yet.
Commandment #9: Celebrate the wins
With patience comes the need for celebration. Encourage your team to celebrate their small wins while they wait for the bigger ones to come in. Make sure to celebrate your results. It took time, patience, and months of not seeing any results to get to where you are today.
Let your team know how much you appreciate their hard work. Even if it’s just a small part of the strategy, celebrate the wins during your weekly meeting. Getting even a small keyword boost is something to celebrate.
Commandment #10: Use momentum to keep your strategy growing
An effective SEO team knows that the once the results start coming in, they need to keep up the good work. You will be given a new data set of traffic, page views, read time, sources, bounce rate, conversion rate, and more. This information indicates what your audience prefers to see.
Use the data you have just acquired to make your argument even stronger. This data is the ultimate present for your audience. Use your momentum to keep moving and reach the point where your SEO strategy doesn’t need any extra help to keep going.
SEO can be a reactive and iterative process, which means that occasionally your strategy may not work as planned or may not produce the desired results. Don’t be discouraged if this happens – just learn from your mistakes and use that knowledge to refine your SEO strategy.
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