About 65% of businesses struggle to generate website traffic and fresh leads. Even with an existing search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you could struggle. By going back to the basics, you can refresh your SEO plans in time for the new year.

Here are the six SEO fundamentals you need to keep in mind. By utilizing these basics of SEO, you can strengthen your current strategy.

As you improve your search engine ranking, you can reach more customers, attract fresh leads, and generate more business!

Ready to boost your business in 2021? Get started with these SEO fundamentals today!

1. Know Your Audience

Before you can start optimizing your content, take the time to learn as much as you can about your customers. After all, they’re the ones you’re creating SEO-optimized content for!

What do you know about your customers? Who are they? What problems do they face every day that you can help solve?

People want to read content that can help their daily lives. By understanding what problems your customers face, you can provide them with the content they need.

Once they see you have the expertise they’re looking for, they’ll trust you to provide solutions to their problems in the future. Over time, you can start generating brand trust and loyalty. As you retain customers, you’ll generate repeat business, improving your ROI!

First, take the time to break your broad target audience into smaller groups.

You can segment customers based on demographics like:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Buying behaviors
  • Household income

Do you offer a range of different products and services? You can even segment your customers based on their needs.

Once you understand your customers, you can use the rest of these SEO fundamentals to appeal to search intent.

Search Intent

Why did your customers start a Google search? Were they looking for a product or service? Do they want a specific answer to a question?

Understanding search intent is important if you want to master the basics of SEO. Otherwise, you’ll fail to create content that appeals to the customer’s needs.

Understanding search intent will also ensure you appear for the right search queries.

For example, let’s say a customer searches for “how to fix my HVAC.” Chances are, they’re looking for a guide, not a contractor. Once you determine the search intent, you can create the right content for that keyword!

2. Gather Your Keywords

Now that you understand your target audience, you can start working on your content marketing strategy.

First, make sure you have a fresh list of keywords to target. You should refresh your keyword list every few months to remain up-to-date with search trends. Don’t forget to check in on your competitors, too.

To determine what your customers are searching for online, use tools such as:

  • Google Trends
  • Keyword Planner
  • SEMRush
  • Ahrefs

Prioritize keywords with a high search volume and low competition.

Have one target keyword in mind as you start creating content. Then, optimize your content for search engines by placing the keyword in the:

  • Post title
  • URL
  • Opening paragraph
  • Closing paragraph
  • Body text
  • Image alt text

Understanding how to optimize your content is one of the basics of SEO you need to succeed!

3. Improve the User Experience

It’s not enough to create content your customers want. You also need to provide them with a top-notch user experience. Otherwise, visitors might become frustrated with your website.

If they leave without clicking around, it can increase your bounce rate. A high bounce and low clickthrough rate can hurt your ranking.

You can improve the user experience (UX) by keeping minimalistic design trends in mind.

First, utilize white space. White space makes your content easier to read. Break down large paragraphs with headings, sub-headings, and bullet points, too.

Make sure your website loads quickly and is easy to navigate. After all, about 40% of site visitors will leave if a website loads too slowly.

Make Sure You’re Mobile

Google uses mobile-first indexing to determine where your site ranks on search engine results pages. As part of your digital marketing strategy, don’t forget to optimize your site for mobile devices. Otherwise, people will struggle to read your content on smaller screens.

You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to make sure your site is optimized.

4. Experiment With Content

As you start using these basics of SEO, take the time to experiment with different forms of content. These can include:

  • Blog posts
  • Case studies
  • Videos (company culture, how-to/tutorials, product demos, etc.)
  • Infographics
  • Quizzes
  • Polls

Interactive content is a great way to boost your clickthrough rate. As you start improving your content marketing strategy, make sure to share your content. You can send out an email blast of your latest posts or share your content on social media.

You can also reformat one piece of content into another. For example, you can turn a long, research-oriented blog post into an eye-catching infographic.

Don’t forget to consider EAT (expertise, authority, trustworthiness). You can improve brand trust by using research from high-authority websites. Show off your own expertise as well.

Adding social proof to your blog with testimonials from happy customers can boost brand trust, too.

Google changes its algorithm throughout the year. As you improve your content marketing strategy, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the latest trends.

For example, more companies are focusing on creating video content. Videos are easy to consume and fun to watch.

Don’t forget voice search, too. Optimizing your content for voice search will help you appeal to a wider audience.

You can read these articles to remain up-to-date with your content marketing strategy.

6. Love the Locals

As you update your SEO strategy, it’s important to keep local SEO in mind as well. Local SEO allows you to attract nearby customers to your business.

First, make sure your Google My Business listing is up-to-date. You should also:

  • Update your listing on other directories
  • Add reviews to your website
  • Create location-based content
  • Use location-based keywords

Ask customers to post their reviews on your Google My Business listing to improve brand trust and your online authority!

The Basics of SEO: 6 Tips for SEO Success in 2021

Ready to give your SEO strategy a boost in the new year? With these six basics of SEO, you can set yourself up for success! Get started by mastering these SEO fundamentals today.

Looking for more ways to improve your content marketing strategy?

We can help. Explore our latest posts today for more helpful business guides.

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