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If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably heard of SEO before. But if not, SEO stands for search engine optimization—the process of getting more eyes (i.e., more online traffic and conversations) on your website. SEO is a key part of any marketing strategy and is one of the most powerful tools out there to drive business because being high in search engine rankings affects the optics of your business in two ways: 1) it drives traffic because more people are likely to see, and 2) businesses at the top of a search engine are more likely to be considered trustworthy.
There are two different types of SEO: Organic and Paid. To break it down quickly, organic SEO derives from strategically creating content that uses keywords, a great website, and technical maintenance. Here at Zettist, we focus on content strategy with organic SEO built-in, utilizing a strong and unique brand voice for your business.
Paid SEO, on the other hand, is when you pay a search engine for ad space. When you type something into your search bar, the first few results are almost always paid ads (and denoted as such). Both have pros and cons, but today we’re going to dive into Organic SEO specifically.
Organic SEO is great for many reasons and can work for any business. By optimizing your website, internal and external link building, utilizing metatags, and more you can build your ranking in a very cost-effective way. Not only does Organic SEO cost less, but it also will last longer and build trust amongst your audience. With paid SEO, you may burn fast and bright, but as soon as that ad space runs dry, you’re back to square one. With organic SEO, it may take longer to see results, but due to content relevancy, they will last much longer. And, Google’s engineers even suggest quality, organic content, and highlight that there are over two hundred ranking factors in the video below!
But that brings us to the age-old question: “How long does SEO take?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple because there are many variables (see above), and every business is different. Morning Score surveyed 75 SEO experts that concluded, on average, that SEO takes six months to show an increase in traffic and 12-24 months for full results. Within this estimate, there is a pretty wide range and you’re probably wondering where your business falls. While it’s impossible to say for certain, there are a few key factors we can focus on to rise to the top as quickly as possible.
When it comes to SEO-driven content, sheer quantity isn’t going to cut it. For your content to be effective, you will need to focus on a few important things:
1 | Keywords
The key with keywords (no pun intended) is to do your research. Keywords are crucial because they’re the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find content. It’s super important to research the most effective terms that are relevant but also have low competition. Long-tail keywords and questions are usually a fabulous way to begin.
2 | Focus on your Audience
Your audience is probably looking for an answer to a question, so answer it! Make sure your content isn’t just focusing on keywords but also considering your target audience, the information they’re looking for, and why they want that information. The days of keyword stuffing to get ahead are long gone. So, create a quality answer that you would be proud to send to any client if they ask you directly.
3 | Optimizing Links
You will need to use two kinds of links in your article: internal and external. Internal links direct back to your website and external links are used to back up your sources with an external site. Make sure the information is correct, and you’re using reputable sources. Our team utilizes studies and scholarly articles as often as possible to keep our content unbiased and factual.
4 | Word Count
There is currently a correlation between the number one ranking articles on Google and their word count. While this may change as the AI behind the algorithm gets smarter, it is valuable to look at the content already ranking for your keyword, read it, and see how you can make it longer, clearer, and easier to understand overall. Some experts suggest over 300 words per article, while others favor long-form content over 2,000 words. For us, we aim to hit the sweet spot around 800 words, but always stop when the content is done (no rambling), and try to take into consideration other ranking articles’ key features.
6 | Consistency
Because it can take a little while to notice results from Organic SEO, it’s easy to get discouraged. That’s why it’s important to remember that slow and steady wins the race. Patience is key, and consistency with your content will get you to the finish line.
We firmly believe that all businesses, young or established, can significantly benefit from the power of Organic SEO. If you need help building SEO-forward content, we are here to help. Reach out to us today.