Driving Traffic using SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), is the process of increasing a website’s visibility on Search Engines such as Google, Bing, etc thereby driving organic traffic. SEO is a time taking process and usually involves various techniques such as writing blogs, generating backlinks, optimizing the website, etc. 

Example – You search for “Best app developers near me” on Google. You are most likely to click one of the first few results, and this drives organic traffic to the websites. 

This process of ranking a website on top for certain keywords, or a combination of searches is called SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, and in this highly competitive world of advertising, SEO is still one of the most reliable sources of Organic traffic. 

Some important checklist items given by a SEO checker include conducting thorough keyword research, optimizing your website’s metadata and content, improving website speed and performance, and building quality backlinks.

Let’s understand SEO from the point of view of a business to understand SEO better – Mr Xavier runs a website development company based in Chennai, and now wants to increase his business visibility from just Chennai to the entire country, but doesn’t want to pay for ADs. In this case he may be required to devise a SEO strategy to increase his visibility on Google. 

Now SEO is slow, and it takes time to deliver value, unlike ADs. The work that has to go into optimising for SEO requires a series of steps, and it can be said that SEO is an amalgamation of different sets of processes such as – 

  • Identifying business use-case or business requirements
  • Mapping relevant keywords that suit the business use-case 
  • Identifying keywords – Performing Keyword research 
  • Auditing competitive landscape, and competitors digital strategies 
  • Outlining blog headlines with the shortlisted keywords
  • Generating high-quality blogs, and guest blogs on the decided headlines 
  • Creating backlinks, and internal linking 
  • Optimising media files, and other files for speed, and algorithms
  • Creating sitemaps, and robots.txt files for better crawlability
  • Optimising content, and landing pages for SEO 

Above mentioned are just a series of steps that one can follow in order to get their SEO work started, and in reality the task of SEO involves running the above mentioned processes parallely for 100s and 1000s of keywords. 

In easy going words, everything about SEO begins with “Generating High Quality Content”. This content can be in the form of Blogs, Videos(YouTube, Vimeo), or Audio(podcasts), or a mixture. 

Everything about SEO begins after you’ve generated content. Therefore, first we will discuss generating content, and different forms of content, and then we will go on to discuss other aspects like generating backlinks, optimising, etc. 

To generate content, one has to decide the topics, and categorize them as per their respective business goals, so let’s start with researching content. 

Researching for Content Ideas – 

  1. To get started with researching for content ideas, one needs to identify what their brand does, and identify keywords that people search on the internet. To perform content research, one must come up with such Root keywords, to perform Content research on the internet.

    For example – If Mr Alpa wants to go to a vegetarian restaurant, in such cases he will search for “vegetarian restaurants” near me, and Google will suggest ideas, therefore a restaurant owner should ideally look for terms, and keywords the owner would be searching, and using those ideas to initiate the trail of research.
  2. Once the desired keywords are in place, one should start using those keywords to perform search on platforms like – Google Search, YouTube, Quora, Amazon, Instagram, Twitter, and perform a deep research with all the relevant content that one can find with the desired keywords.

    Example – If your desired keyword is “Shopify”, in such cases you may search for Shopify on Google, and note the other keyword suggestions that come up, for example – “Shopify experts”, “Hire Shopify Experts”, “Shopify theme”, etc.

    One should note that the keywords one chooses for their work should be aligned based on the business goal.
  3. Once the desired keywords have been shortlisted, and mapped along with the desired business case, one can start to generate blogs that are in line with the overall SEO Strategy.

    For example, Using “Shopify Developer” as the root keyword, some of the possible topics for SEO, and their intent are as follows –
(Buy Intent)Hire Shopify Developers
Cost of Hiring Shopify Developers
Questions to ask Shopify Developers 
(Awareness Intent)How to become Shopify Developer
Prerequisites to becoming a Shopify Developer
Example of Intent for term “Shopify Developers”

Generating Content for SEO

Researching is one part of the SEO(Seach engine optimization) strategy, and the other part is creating content based on the insights offered. In this section we will learn about generating different types of content with the motive to increase SEO, and drive organic traffic to the website. 

Let’s get started. 

  1. Blogs & Guest Posts – One of the most reliable ways to build Domain Authority, and optimise for SEO is to generate high-quality content on the website.

    As discussed above, before starting to write a blog, it’s important to perform keyword research to understand search intent, and forecast search volume, and based on that one can identify the opportunities, and work towards it.

    Writing blogs happens to be one of the oldest forms of content marketing, where SEO experts, and content marketers have written high-quality content, and generated backlinks through guest posts to increase the online presence of their websites.

    Guest Posting is when you’re writing blogs but that is for other blogs hosted by other people. One of the major factors to rank for SEO is having an array of high quality backlinks that point to your website or blog thereby increasing the trust factor for your website by leaps and bounds. One should be able to generate high quality backlinks by contacting other blog owners, and helping them create high quality content in exchange of a backlink. While writing guest posts, focus on getting links from highly relevant sites. For example, if you were doing SEO for a law firm, you should write guest posts related to finding a lawyer on law-related blogs. Relevance is an essential factor many sites ignore as a result their SEO suffers. Besides, a quicker and easier way to generate white-hat backlinks is to produce high-quality content for your blog and start doing 2 or 3-way link exchanges. You can reach out to blog editors manually or hire an expert B2B link building agency for that.
  2. Generating Videos – If YouTube were a search engine it’d be the world’s second largest search engine after Google. Therefore we can assume that creating videos and posting them on YouTube increases the chances of your business being discovered potentially leading to increased sales, and brand awareness.

    By far one of the most engaging forms of content out there is video content. The good thing about video content is that one can create video content, and distribute it very effectively using platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, IGTV, etc.

    The video content can also be rehashed, and converted into smaller clips that can be further posted on platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

    How to create videos –
    1. Identify opportunities to create video content by performing a research on topics that are relevant to your desired audience. For this one can use Google, YouTube, and other platforms to do research.
    2. Creating videos does not necessarily mean shooting with a person in the frame, one can choose to create videos using text, and cool tools
    3. Publish content on all video platforms, and remember to break down the video into smaller bits such that they can be posted on other social media channels. Be sure to have a simple banner that can be created using an online YouTube banner maker.
  1. Podcasts – Spotify signed Joe Rogan for a $100M deal where his podcasts will now be exclusively available on Spotify. This is one example of audio formats of content becoming increasingly important.

    With audio powered devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri being actively used, something that offers a spike in search visibility is Audio i.e Podcasts. Another interesting thing brands can do is rehash their video content to create podcasts, and launch them on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, etc

    Creating podcasts is optimising for audio, and preparing for the future.
  2. Customer Testimonials –  Customer testimonials are perhaps one of the most under-rated strategies used to grow your customer base, but often the most checked out by people before they make a purchase.

    This is perhaps the best, and most guaranteed ways to generate user trust, and it can be leveraged by a brand to grow their brand authority. Mainstream marketing involves using text based testimonials, but if a brand or business can leverage videos to create customer testimonials, it can be re-populated on Youtube, and all other video networks, and this is a great way to build brand authority.
  3. Infographics, Images & Memes – With the rise of visual content, brands are constantly leveraging the power of images, infographics and memes to grab attention, and believe it or not but memes are a great way to build brand authority.

    Generating rich media content allows users to rank for images, and it’s super easy to generate high quality backlinks because of images. To ensure high loading time, you can use a WordPress image compressor to turn heavy files into more SEO-friendly media conten rt. These image-first websites are underlying gold mines for opportunities to rank on Google, and other search engines for desired keywords, since the amount of competition here is very less. Hire Graphic Designers to create high quality images.
  4. Ebooks, Whitepaper, Research Paper, etc – These forms of content are generally employed by B2B companies where they generate high-quality material to attract potential customers. Example – Hubspot is one of the most famous CRMs out there, and they are known for their content where they generate high-quality, well-researched business reports that are actively downloaded by brand managers, marketing heads, and founders to learn ways, and tricks to grow and improve their businesses.

    Although this is a time-taking process, businesses should spend their time to hire Freelancers, or expert content writers to generate these forms of content, thereby increasing their chances of landing high-intent leads. 

Tools to use to work on SEO 

Although there are many software’s that are readily available to assist in the process of creating an SEO and keyword strategy

  1. Google Keyword Planner to get keyword ideas, and insights such as volume, average CPC, etc
  2. Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that helps website owners monitor their organic traffic, and provides a lot of other key insights that helps companies shape their SEO strategies.
  3. Google Analytics is another free tool by Google that gives you insights on website traffic, demographics, website search analytics, behaviors, etc.
  4. UberSuggest is a free tool that provides insights on several aspects of SEO such as Keyword insights, Content ideas, competitive insights etc. There are other paid tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc that advanced digital marketers use to perform keyword research
  5. Yoast SEO is a very powerful SEO tool that you can use on WordPress websites, and use it to edit meta tags, add attributes to images, create sitemaps, and a lot more. 

There are many other tools that are out there which can be used by people to perform an audit of your website, and research into the potential to achieve maximum results, but the above-mentioned tools are good enough for someone to get started with. 

To summarize, we can understand that SEO is a time taking process, and it takes time to develop, and realize an idea into execution that starts driving results. 

Be patient, and do the right thing, and you will reap the benefits of your efforts.