When you have questions that need answers, where do you turn first? Whether you’re on a mobile device or a desktop computer, Google is the nation’s go-to resource for just about anything. When the switch is flipped and you have answers you want to provide, a solid SEO marketing strategy will help you reach the right searchers at the top of their Google results pages.
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the combination of all the techniques used to drive traffic to your site from—you guessed it—search engines. With 60% of consumers starting the buying process on platforms like Google or Bing, helping your site rise through the ranks is a surefire way to increase brand visibility and drive new sales.
If there’s any question why SEO marketing matters at this point, think about your own search behavior. If you’re like most users, you usually won’t even scroll past the first search engine results page (SERP). You need to rise to the top, and there are proven methods to get you there.
Want to better understand how you can boost your search rankings? Here are 10 things you need to know to navigate SEO for beginners.
One mistake that business owners make is failing to let their brand inform their SEO strategy.
Branding may seem like a completely separate part of your business, but your visual identity, brand message, voice, and similar factors actually help search engines determine what your business does and what search terms it’s most relevant for. The role of SEO is to capitalize on the brand and ensure it always ranks high for those relevant terms.
A strong brand is also crucial for building your authority and online reputation, both of which can increase clicks into and on your site, then ultimately boost your search engine ranking.
Mastering the branding side of search engine marketing doesn’t have to be hard. With Adobe Express, you can upload your logo, brand colors, and brand fonts into your brand manager to easily customize every template for a consistent look. Pro tip: You can claim a free 60-day trial to Adobe Express to try your hand at easy-as-pie branding today.
When paired with your SEO strategy, you’ll get more eyes on your brand than ever and greater brand awareness..
Adding keywords throughout your website content is a key SEO marketing strategy, but it does matter what keywords you’re actually adding. More likely than not, your target audience uses search queries that are unique from those used by general consumers.
So how do you find the right keywords to target? Most SEO experts use online keyword research tools like the Google Ads Keyword Planner or the SEMrush Keyword Magic tool to build a list of keywords and phrases with strong monthly search volumes and (preferably) limited competition.
Don’t immediately dismiss a potential keyword just because it doesn’t have the highest search volume. Long-tail keywords—which are highly specific phrases that contain at least three words—may not get as much search traffic, but if you rank high for these industry- or product-specific keywords, you’re more likely to convert. Similarly, if you own a local business, you can benefit from a local SEO strategy that targets search terms directly related to your target market.
You may also consider using your SEO tools to look at what keywords your competitors are targeting, too.
When people search on Google, they want to get the best answers in as few clicks as possible. Because of this, search engines prioritize great content first.
Whether you’re writing copy for your homepage, a product page, a landing page, or your blog, you need to make sure you maximize your web page’s readability and provide the clearest information possible. Using page titles and headers that include keywords is an effective SEO marketing tactic that can easily enhance readability and increase click-through rates (which is a search engine ranking factor).
While it may be tempting, creating high-quality content means no keyword stuffing. Google actually penalizes web pages that use keywords in excess, as this prevents brands from ranking high purely based on quantity. Instead, you’ll need to write in full sentences and creatively inject keywords throughout your site. Don’t forget to use your own brand’s name in your copy, as you don’t want to be the second search result when customers are searching directly for you.
If you’re always busting out quality content, Google’s algorithm will take notice. Over time, your brand authority will rise and push you toward greater visibility.
Google Images may have been created because of J.Lo’s iconic Versace moment, but today, it offers business owners the chance to rank high outside of traditional SERPs. Even if your full web page doesn’t take the number one spot, the images on your site or your social media pages still can.
The best images to include in your web pages for SEO marketing are high-quality and unique—duplicate content performs worse—which means branded templates like the ones you can create with Adobe Express can get higher page ranks than generic stock images. This same logic can be applied to your video-based content marketing, too.
Make sure your images aren’t increasing your load times. Your image file sizes should always be under 500 KB and optimally be between 1,500 and 2,500 pixels wide. Don’t worry—Adobe Express-created images will work great on your website.
While keywords on your image won’t be taken into consideration by Google’s algorithm, keywords inserted behind the scenes will. When preparing your photo to publish on your site, you can boost an image’s search ranking even further by adding your target keyword to its file name, alt text, and title tag. Need another reason to focus on image SEO? Most users who click on your image will click into your website, too.
The more places your target search terms appear, the more likely your website is to make it to the top of your target SERPs. So if adding a keyword to something as minimal as your image’s file name can boost your search engine ranking, where else can you insert keywords to boost your brand visibility?
Before you publish your page, you should be able to add a page title and a meta description, which make up the text that is actually shown from your web page when you appear on an SERP. Adding keywords to both of these areas can easily inform search engines that your web page is relevant to a specific search term.