Digital marketing for your online business: How to get ahead of the competition

As a beginner delving into the world of internet, there are some hurdles you will encounter as you launch your business online. This is much more difficult when you have to use an SEO content strategy to hack your way to the top. However, there are no magic tricks to gaining a higher ranking in search engines, and you have to put in the hard work. As SEO is constantly evolving, adaptation is paramount. The purpose of the beginner’s guide to SEO is to give you a perfect understanding of SEO for beginners. Important tenets discussed in this article include using content that resonates well with your audience, using keywords that have a high search volume, and leveraging social media for SEO.


What exactly is SEO?

One of the main factors in your research on digital marketing for your online business: how to get ahead of the competition is figuring exactly what SEO is. Well, simply put Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be described as a means in which you make your site more visible and ranked by various search engines. It includes tactics, techniques, and strategies which can be used to increase the number of repeats and unique visitors to your site. This then translates to more visitors, more business and more money in the long run.


Basics of the SEO emphasis

To provide an easy understanding of how to go about employing SEO, the beginner’s guide to SEO is broken down into sections to allow for better comprehension. As you might have realized the first aspect that comes into play after purchasing a unique domain name and buying a hosting plan that suits your needs is choosing the keyword for your site. To do this, you have to consider what your site is about and choose one that is most relevant to you.


When this is done, then it’s time to put various basics into action including:


  1. Technical

Ideally, this is the most complex part of the beginner’s guide to SEO. The technical aspect that you have to consider is anything that can affect the performance, visibility and the means in which the search engine can access your site. These include;


I. Indexing

The holy grail of SEO is in the indexing and use of keywords. This may seem like repetition, but indexing isn’t what it used to be a decade ago. As you choose your keywords, remember the most important aspect is that the keywords that you choose for your site must show intent. For example, when you type in and search “how to Write” in Google, the result that you will receive will be ambiguous and results in millions of possible outcomes. This comes about when the keyword in question is too broad or vague. To cater for this, it would be wiser to more specific with the choice of keywords. e.g., “how to write a query letter for a book publication.” Use the same technique to choose your keywords, and you will have better chances to be indexed higher.


After you have chosen your specific keyword, put it in use in specific areas in your online business including;

  • Google
  • App Store
  • YouTube channel
  • Social media optimization
  • Third party sites (Amazon, seller)

Ii. Page speed

Slow loading pages are not only annoying to readers, but it does a lot more damage to your visibility than you realize. This is mainly caused by placing too many plugins, using too many widgets and downloading too many themes, hence slowing the loading page speed considerably. To ensure that this does not happen, choose a theme and load one plugin at a time keeping them to the bare minimum. Ensure that the chosen hosting plan also caters to the number of visitors that you receive and if need be, upgrade to a larger hosting plan.


Iii. Site structure

When you are absolutely new to something, being riled up to try everything at once is always a temptation that you have to contend with. However, when you are trying to get people to your site, this is detrimental. Unfortunately, site structure also affects the visibility of your site as a complex site isn’t easily navigable. A solution to this is to keep it clean and uncluttered. No extra banners if not needed, no extra pictures, text or complex menu that is hard to navigate.


Iv. Crawling

As soon as your site is online, Google spider takes on to crawling to your site and doing a thorough check on exactly what the search is about. Ideally, Google uses something called a rank brain to process the address and content of your site to decipher the queries sent when you post. It is for this reason that you can post content, but it isn’t ranked until a while after that. However, in order to be ranked at all, you need to ensure that your site isn’t jumbled up. This means no trying complicated HTML methods unless you are sure of what you are doing. Crawling essentially allows Google to answer to a query that has been raised, making it easier for higher ranking.


2. On page

To increase the chances of your site being ranked higher on search engines, you have to do more than throw a bunch of keywords on your site. In this aspect of what you do on your page is just as important as choosing the right keywords to drive people to your site. These include;


Ii. Text

Most people have encountered situations where they are directed to a specific site after doing a Google search, where they log in and log off immediately. This aspect of logging in and off immediately is called the bounce off rate. The problem in this mostly has to do with choosing the wrong text for your site. Smaller fonts or larger fonts than necessary scream amateur and can make a visitor lose interest in your site in seconds. This is the same case when dealing with the use of cursive in the main body of your content page. Ensure you keep it simple and easy to read.


Iii. Image

As much as you might have great content, no one is going to give your online business a chance if you don’t choose the right images for your site. It has been proven that people are drawn to a site that uses pictures in a post than those that don’t. To nullify the chances of this, you should aim to use relevant images for the content that you post. However, this does not mean that you dump a myriad of photos on your site without consideration of relevancy that might otherwise overwhelm your visitors. Remember, modesty is key when dealing with images as they would have logged into a photo gallery if they wanted photos.


Iiii. Video

The use of video in your online business is one aspect of establishing your brand. However, as much as it can be entertaining, engaging and informative, no one is going to revisit your site if they are ill-formatted and produced. What’s more, they should be of good quality that communicates what you are mean without being ambiguous. Do not ramble on and on in your videos and give your visitor what they came looking for. When dealing with videos in regards to SEO, always remember that high quality is key.


Iiv.    Audio

Podcast is becoming the in thing when it comes to communicating with your visitors. It is one of the easiest ways for your visitor to feel you are speaking to them in a personal touch. However, when it comes to audio, there is a need for you to provide high quality that isn’t raspy. White background noise is completely unacceptable. Also aim to do research in your niche and see whether your visitors want it to play automatically when they visit your site, or if they want to download it personally.


3.    Off-page

Lastly, the last thing we are going to consider in the beginner’s guide to SEO is what you can do as an added support for your site. As much as using specific keywords in the right manner can be effective, you might want to see some growth faster. One way to do this is to establish your online business as a brand on itself by building trust, authority, and relevance on and off your site by using tips that allow you to communicate and build an audience everywhere that isn’t your site. This includes the use of;


I. Link building

This is one of the most important factors that will help you with Search Engine Optimization. As you create content for your site, you will discover that you can link internally to other posts on your site. Fully utilize this aspect to ensure you keep visitors on your site and continually communicating with them. However, reach out to other sites that have been before you and are known as an authority in your niche and request for a link back to your site. Often this is done by doing guest posts on their sites and using it to advertise yourself in the by-line with a link back to your site. Do note that it isn’t easy to do this and that you have to provide excellent content for it to be considered.


Ii. Social media

As expected, the use of social media has to be taken into consideration in your desire to garner a higher ranking in search engines. Given that millions of people are either in one social media platform or another, it is wise to reach out and communicate with your would-be clients on these platforms. As this is an extension of your site, treat it with the same care and professionalism that you do to your site as it helps you build your brand. To fully reap the benefits of this, aim to be consistent and provide useful information for your followers. However, this does not mean that you bombard them with posts as it can lead to a decline in followers. Remember, there is a difference between being frequent and being bothersome.


Iii. Reviews

As you provide services for your clients throughout, you might rely on them to be repeat customers over time. These clients might also be so impressed with your business that they tell others that are in need of what you offer and in return they tell others. However, a great way to increase your chances of getting a higher rank in search engines is actually to utilize this aspect as free advertising. Put up and encourage clients to write reviews on your site about what they did for you. Get more from it by encouraging them to mention you in their various sites and social media as a special thanks when they are impressed. Remember, if your online business is truly tremendous they will do so even before you enquire, which gives you more traffic.


Iv. User-generated content

Finally ending the beginner’s guide to SEO is taking a key interest in the content that you provide your visitors. Your aim as an online business owner is to provide content for people and not simply for higher rankings. Steer clear from providing dull, dreadful and ill-written pieces. Stay true to your content that resonates with your visitors without venturing out of your niche. Though you might have wriggle room to post whatever you deem relevant, posting a piece on “new dance styles” on a fishing site is far fetched. Remember, using keywords to boost search engine optimization rankings is about much more than placing the keywords everywhere. It might work for some time, but after a while traffic to your site will come to a drastic stop.


In Summary

As a newbie, the beginner’s guide to SEO would prove useful as you get a footing in why the use of SEO is so important in giving your site higher visibility. Remember, it is not enough to simply place a number of keywords anywhere in a blog post. Search engines, especially Google has taken to the use of the hummingbird to ensure that the use of keywords as an SEO tactic is not misused. This means that sites ranking is done in a manner that has a beautiful keyword and content blend.

Ensure that you produce great content that resonates with your audience every time. This will draw more people to your site reducing your bounce rate, hence making search engines take a note of your site and give it a higher rank. Make your mark offline by making it your aim to establish your online business as a brand in social media platforms and use them to grow your home base. Always remember to be a professional in all platforms.

Finally, when choosing a specific keyword, select one that has a high search volume. Needless to say, that they need to be as specific as possible to draw visitors to your site because if it lacks a specific niche subject, it will lack any value.

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