Websites were first launched in 1991, and this quickly became a trend. In time, there was a need for structure and order, and in 1993, Excite changed how information was arranged, leading Alta Vista, Yahoo, and others to do the same in 1994. In 1996, SEO was founded with the birth of BackRub, which was later renamed Google.
Google began working on algorithm updates to reward quality and relevant content and connect users to their search interests to restore structure and order. In time, there have been hundreds of changes to algorithms, and SEO has rapidly evolved. However, the constant thing about SEO is that it still encourages the use of ethical optimization techniques and publishes content that holds actual value for your visitors.
WHAT IS SEO ?
Search Engine Optimization means optimizing your site and content for search to increase rankings when specific keywords are used to search for products or services related to your business using search engines. The purpose of SEO is to improve the quantity and quality of the traffic that is earned through organic search via search engines.
The three pillars of SEO include;
Technical Optimization: This is the process of carrying out technical activities on your site to improve SEO. These technical activities are just limited to the site and not content. It often happens behind the scenes.
On-Page Optimization: This is content-related and ensures that the content on your site is relevant and engaging. It includes using the right keywords within your content and is achieved through a content management system.
Off-Page Optimization: This relates to activities outside your website that enhance your site’s search engine rankings. This is driven by backlinks, which helps to build the site’s reputation.
WHY IS SEO IMPORTANT ?
SEO is fundamental to digital marketing because people always search for information about products and services. Higher visibility and search rankings than your competition can positively impact your bottom line. Some reasons why SEO is important include;
Visibility and Rankings
A primary function of SEO is to increase visibility, which affects your ranking. The higher you are on a search engine result page (SERP), the more likely prospects will see you and click to visit your site. This means more organic visits with a higher rate of conversions.
Increased web traffic is another goal of SEO, you can only increase traffic when you increase visibility and rankings. Also, if you want people to find your website through a search engine, then use SEO strategies that will help you rank among the top five positions, preferably number one.
Page Authority (PA) is becoming increasingly important to search engines as it means that your website is trustworthy, high quality, relevant, and has something to offer.
You can find your PA rating by using specific tools, and many SEO experts believe PA rating has to do with getting external links from credible and well-visited sources.
Creating a Better Visitor Experience
Another reason SEO is crucial is that the effort put into generating great content and on-page SEO optimization, enhances your site’s usability. This creates positive engagement and enhances the customer experience. Optimizing sites for mobile, taking steps to reduce bounce rates and reducing loading time for the website makes visitors spend longer time on the site, which pays off in the long run.
HOW WAS SEO FIRST USED ?
In the early ’90s, there were a lot of SEO practices that were used. Most of them are now unethical and counter-productive to SEO goals. They include;
Publishing plagiarized content that is not original is bad for SEO. This is because if search engines already have the same content in their index, there is no reason to recognize your web page since it is not offering anything new.
This is using exact keywords repeatedly to be recognised by the machine but is not necessarily user-friendly. It discourages visitors from interacting or reading the content and sends a wrong cue to search engines that their algorithms will be manipulated.
Accepting low-quality guest posts
Featuring new writers on your website and publishing content written by others that is original, relevant and useful for your audience is good. However, if the content is not authentic or relevant, it is better not to publish anything.
Cloaking / Invisible Text
Cloaking, which hides the actual destination of a link and shows variations of a page to crawlers and users, is a very bad SEO practice.
Other bad SEO practices include too many ads above the fold, using all kinds of paid links and having a lot of outgoing links.
With time, these bad SEO practices have been blocked by search engines, and new and forward-thinking strategies have been adopted. In 2022 and with the growth of technology, certain SEO practices have become acclaimed as effective for driving organic growth.
What SEO Techniques To Use in 2022?
1. Voice Search Optimisation
With the advent of voice-driven technology Alexa and Bixby, about 40 per cent of internet users use voice prompts. This trend is likely to grow in 2022. Also, location-based keywords and a conversational tone on the website help optimise voice search.
2. Using keywords in meta titles
Meta titles and descriptive wording on the website is a good place to input keywords as this helps in ranking higher on SERPs. Meta titles are usually 60 characters long, and descriptions can take up to 160 characters. This strategy allows Google to understand the content of the webpage.
3. Quality and Original content
Long-form content comprising 3,000 and above number of words gets more traffic than short-form content, but it has to be engaging enough to keep the reader’s attention. Also, mentioning stats and sources makes the content more authentic.
4. Video Content
Video optimization is a sure way to use SEO to increase traffic. Adding relevant keywords and hashtags will help the content reach the targeted audience by creating viable visibility for it. Using a user-friendly introduction in your video can also help to gain organic traffic and traction.
5. Improving Technical SEO
Apart from original and unique content, there will be more emphasis on the technical aspects of SEO in 2022. Using technical SEO intelligently will improve the crawl rate and reduce the website’s bounce rate. It will also mean that backlinks and URLs are put in place to boost organic traffic in 2022.
6. Focus on Local SEO
Using local keywords while writing the meta descriptions, such as terms and colloquial words relevant to your product or market, can boost your page during a local search. It is also advised that name, contact, address on the website should be added to increase authenticity and attract people to your local business.
7. Have a mobile-friendly website
Smartphones are essential in today’s digital marketing space! It is preferable to have a mobile-first website version and then align with other platforms.
Websites that are not optimised for the mobile-first index will have issues ranking on search engines such as Google. However, to help your website rank on Google without any mobile-first index challenges, it is best to make sure the webserver is reliable enough to handle many requests simultaneously. It is best to remove anything that could cause errors to the mobile page and create a page with adequate and correct information while avoiding thin pages.
Robot meta directives such as “disallow” and “no follow” should also be dissuaded. It is also best to ensure your mobile pages are presented for viewing in mobile versions while serving your primary content on the mobile and desktop versions. Other rules of thumb include adding meta titles and meta descriptions to mobile pages and adding the same data to your mobile and desktop versions of your pages.
8. Enhanced User Experience
You have to ensure your users have a good experience on your site from start to finish. This will reflect on the time spent on the website, which Google takes notice. Research has shown that the first 5 seconds of a website page loading has the most significant impact on overall conversion rates. Each additional second results in a drop in conversion rate.
9. Include Multiple Media Types
Another way to improve rankings for your website is to use multiple media types across your blog or website. These include images, audio files, videos, ebooks, and GIFs. These will increase engagement and dwell time on your website while enhancing the user experience.
According to HubSpot, 86 per cent of businesses use video marketing as a tool to grow their business, while 84 per cent of people were convinced to buy a product after watching a brand’s video.
10. Create Thought-Leadership and Strategic Content
Content marketing’s aims is not just to be informative but also to build authority. You can do so with thought-leadership and strategic content. Research shows that 54 per cent of decision-makers spend more than one hour per week reading thought leadership content relevant to their business. Also, 71 per cent opine that less than half of what they read offers any valuable insights. This means unique, original and well-thought-out content is a winner any day.
In conclusion, having a winning SEO strategy is a sure way to rank highly on search engines.
If you want to see your site’s organic traffic grow in the future, you’ll need to go beyond the fundamentals and delve into SEO tactics that will propel your site forward.
Take the time to explore beyond the fundamentals for chances that your competitors are overlooking, develop a strategy, and watch your website grow.
We at The METO DIGMA have a proven track record in supporting the referencing of our clients’ websites.
Our team will work with you throughout the whole process. Reach out to us for a chat on how we can help you.