Guide to SEO in 2021

What You Need to Know

Welcome to a special edition of our SEO spot. Our Marketing Predictor team is going to deliver a short guide to SEO today. You will learn, in just a couple of minutes, the fundamentals of the practice and how to be smarter at choosing a great SEO firm to work with and hiring SEO people as such, whether you need them in your team or not.

If you are already into SEO you might pick up some tips and tactics that you didn’t hear before or considered so far. Although you are sort of intermediate or advanced level, we invite you to read the article because our hope is that it will be valuable to you to send to your clients, either your potential customers or people who join your team and work with you. It will be helpful if you want them to understand the fundamentals of SEO as well.

We’ll get into things like keyword research, technical SEO, link building and all that good stuff that might help.

What About SEO

First of all, SEO is search engine optimization. It is essentially the practice of influencing or being able to control some of the results that Google shows when someone types a query to its system.

You can influence other search engines, not only Google, like Bing and Yahoo. We are primarily focused on Google because it has more than a 90% market share in the United States.

SEO is a tactic, it’s a way to control things. It is not a business goal: no one gets into a new company trying to rank for all of the available keywords in the world.

Your Business Goals

What you should do is defining business goals. Let’s say you are an online e-commerce shop and you sell customized mugs. Growing your online mugs sales is a business goal.

You’re trying to build a bigger audience, because you want to sell more of these mugs, in order to achieve marketing goals.

You want to build brand awareness, you want more people to know who you are, to have heard of your particular brand, because people who have heard of you, are going to be more likely to buy from you the first time. SEO can help with that! We’ll talk about that in a second.

Top Funnel and SEO

You might want to grow top of funnel traffic, you want more people coming to the site overall. Doing a better job, figuring out who’s the right audience for you and converting, retargeting as well, some of those people part of your audience.

Capturing emails marketing from some of your potential customers, get them to know your mugs is a clear strategy. SEO is essentially a set of tactics, things that you will do in the digital world to rank for different keywords in the search engines or control and influence what already ranks in there, so that you can achieve your marketing goals.

If you are an SEO specialist or practitioner, or you’re joining a consulting firm, you should always have an excellent idea of what these strategies are and why the SEO tactics that you are undertaking fit into them.

Clear Ideas: Your Aim

If you don’t, you should be asking some questions before you begin any SEO work, otherwise you’re going to accomplish things and do things that don’t have the impact they might have.

Don’t tie directly to the impact that the business owners care about. You won’t get picked up for another contract or you won’t accomplish the goals if you don’t have a clear idea about what to do.

Here is the thing: you’re valuable to the team or you do things that people don’t necessarily need and want in the business and therefore you’re seen as a less valuable part of it, but if you’re accomplishing things that can clearly tie to these, the opposite right people will really value what you do.

You Cannot Do Anything

SEO can do things like rank for low demand things, that don’t have a lot of searches per month, but they are high converting, like looking for a customized Chicago mug with a specific color.

There’s not a lot of search demand for that exact phrase, but if you’re searching for it, you’re very likely to convert.

You could try and earn traffic from high demand competition keywords, that are less focused directly on e-commerce, so it could be things like Chicago best coffee shop as such.

SEO Can Do Things

You might be trying to do things like building content that attracts links and influencer engagement, so that in the future you can rank for more competitive keywords. We’ll talk about that soon.

SEO can do some amazing things but there are also things that it cannot do. If you put things in an SEO pitch, to your marketing team or your business owners, that SEO can do things that it can’t, you’re going to be in trouble.

When you compose an SEO strategy, a set of tactics that tries to accomplish gold marketing goals that tie to business goals, SEO can do things like attract searchers that are seeking your content.

… and It Cannot

It can control how your brand is seen in search results when someone searches for your particular name, it can nudge searchers toward queries right by influencing what gets suggested in the auto-suggest or by suggesting related searches.

SEO cannot grow or create search demand by itself. If someone says that it wants us to get more traffic for a specific keyword, if you’re already ranking number one, you have some videos showing in the results, you also are in the image results and you’ve got maybe a secondary page that links off to you from the results you might say “there’s just not more demand and SEO by itself can’t create that additional demand”.

The Feedback of Searchers

SEO also can’t build brand, at least not by itself, it can certainly be a helpful part of that structure, but if someone says “I want us to be better known among this audience”, you can say “SEO can help a little, but it can’t build a brand on its own, and it certainly can’t build brand perception on its own”.

People are going to go and visit your website, they’re going to go and experience it, have an interaction with what you’ve created on the web that is going to be far more of a brand builder, brand indicator, more than just what appears in the search results.

Something can happen though. When visitors reach the website they can be unsatisfied by the search, which, by the way, is one of the reasons why this guide is going to include a section on searcher satisfaction.

When Google sees that kind of feedback over time, that searchers are unsatisfied by a result, it will push that result down in the rankings and find someone who does a great job of satisfying searchers. Google will rank them instead of your content because probably your competitors know how to write the best blog post for Google and searchers.

Your website has to do this, answering search intent properly. It is part of SEO, certainly part of the equation, but SEO can’t influence it, or control it on its own.

It’s Also About People

Last but not least, SEO cannot work overnight. It just won’t happen. SEO is a long-term investment and it is very different from paid search ads and SEM.

Buying from Google Ads, or from Bing Ads, appearing in the sponsored results that is a tactics where you can spend money in, optimize and get results out in 24 hours, is not like SEO.

SEO is more like a 24-months long process. We’ve tried to show that the fundamental concept is that when you have a new website and you need to earn these things, links as such, and engagement, historical performance in the ranking and as you earn those things other people are linking to you from around the web. It’s a loop.

People are talking about you, people are engaging with your pages and your brand, people start searching for your brand specifically, people are clicking you more in the search results and then having good experiences on your website.

Take Your Time to Master SEO

As all those great things happen you will grow, you might be able to rank for a few keywords in the long tail of search demand and, after you know more, six to nine months you may be able to rank for more and more, competitive keywords as such and, as you truly grow, you will become a brand that is well known.

From twelve to eighteen months, maybe longer, you may be able to compete for tougher and tougher keywords. In google anything is for free, you need to gain it.

Earn that brand equity that trusts that relationship with the search engines, those links and that engagement, and you will be able to rock.

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