In search, you’ll often hear SEM and SEO used interchangeably. The truth is, however, they’re entirely different.
SEM, short for Search Engine Marketing, is often known as “paid search,” while SEO, Search Engine Optimization, (i.e. “free” or “organic” search) is just the opposite. SEO is an essential, but often-overlooked piece of the digital marketing mix that’s worth investing — and reinvesting — in to ensure that your site continues to stay at the top of the search results where consumers can find it.
While the best things in search may be free, they’re rarely easy — and that’s why you shouldn’t go it alone. While SEO done well can be cost-effective, without the help of an expert to optimize your website, it can cost you. So, how do we boost SEO? Keep reading.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top considerations you need to make in order to keep your SEO efforts fresh and effective.
- Find the right keywords. Know which keywords you want to rank for. Factors should include volume and competition, along with your specific product, offering, industry, or niche.
- Put your keywords in the right place. If you can’t find keywords in your title or your meta description, neither will the search engine crawlers . . . or your customers.
- Use the H1 tag. It’s the low-hanging fruit that many websites miss.
- Strike the right balance. When it comes to keyword density, it’s essential to use your top keywords just enough. Not only is excessive use of keywords bad SEO, but it’s also bad UX.
- Get those backlinks. Backlinks are inbound links that point to your website from other websites. The higher the domain authority your backlinks have, the better.
- Put your social media presence to work. Social signals, your website’s likes, shares, and presence across the social media presence, work similar to backlinks, helping to boost your organic search ranking.
- Stand out from other search results with rich snippets. These tell potential site visitors more of what they want to know before they click so that they can feel more confident that your site has what they’re looking for.
- Speed up. Mobile site speed is a key ranking factor for Google Search. So, if your site is slow to load on mobile, it’s more than a UX problem.
- Go long. Find a place for long-form, keyword-dense content on your site. When it comes to Google search rankings, longer articles tend to perform better than shorter ones. Boost SEO with more long-form content.
- What’s in a domain name? Better search rankings, if it contains your main focus keyword.
How have we put these pointers into practice for our own clients? Recently, our client Evivo was releasing its groundbreaking research on Newborn Gut Deficiency. In order to raise awareness about the little-known, but incredibly common condition, we launched a new landing page, optimized for the focus keyword, “newborn gut deficiency.” Simply by making the title of the page start with the focus keyword: “newborn gut deficiency,” including the keyword in the filename (newborn-gut-deficiency), and placing it in strategic locations throughout the content of the page, the page is already appearing on page 1 of search engines.
Want to see for yourself? Search for “newborn gut deficiency” and you’ll see something like this in the “free” listings.
So, perhaps the old saying is true. There’s no such thing as a free search, but with the right expertise, a small investment can have a substantial, outsized payoff.
If you’re looking to boost SEO efforts or need help navigating the constantly changing digital marketing landscape, we are here to help. Please, contact us today!