The Essential SEO Guide for Beginners

This article is originally posted on Galactic Fed.

If everyone has a calling, then one of Galactic Fed’s is SEO. Along with Paid Media, SEO is the bread and butter of Galactic Fed, and some of what we do best. Our SEO teams are filled with self-proclaimed nerds who are obsessed with backlinks, content strategy, and above all, white hat practices. We like to think we have some of the best of the best when it comes to SEO gurus, and have put the time and effort into understanding the ins and outs of SEO, and how you can use it to see amazing success for your business. We have the results to prove it.

We’re compiling our expertise to provide the perfect tutorial for SEO beginners. Whether you’re a small startup or big business, this information can drastically change the visibility and ultimately the success of your brand. We’ll be going over some foundational knowledge and key concepts that will put you in position to become your own SEO pro.

What is SEO?

Let’s start from the top. SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and in its most concise form, is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search results. The best SEO allows people who are searching for your product to be able to find it easily, and provide the most appropriate information. One of the best ways to do this is to implement white hat SEO tactics that result in your website ranking high on the SERP. White hat SEO refers to SEO strategies that are in line with the terms and conditions of the major search engines, including Google.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Search engine results pages or SERPs are web pages served to users when they search for something online using a search engine, such as Google. The user enters their search query (often using specific terms and phrases known as keywords), upon which the search engine presents them with a SERP. The appearance of SERPs is constantly in flux due to experiments conducted by Google, Bing, and other search engine providers to offer their users a more intuitive, responsive experience.

SERPs contain two types of content – “organic” results and paid results. Organic results are listings of web pages that appear as a result of the search engine’s algorithm. In contrast to organic results, paid results are those that have been paid to be displayed by an advertiser. This leads to the importance of organic results and the role of SEO in ranking higher in organic search results.

According to an article from Search Engine Watch, the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33% of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position, and the traffic only degrades from there. Being the number one result on a Google search results page is obviously important, these numbers show just how big of an advantage websites of this type have over any competitors listed below them. The importance of SEO for an online business is seemingly quantified by these latest statistics.

Google’s SEO Best Practices

As stated, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic, as well as exposure to your brand, through non-paid (also known as “organic”) search engine results.

SEO is about understanding what people are searching for online, the answers they are seeking, the words they’re using, and the type of content they wish to consume. Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to connect to the people who are searching online for the solutions you offer. These answers are delivered by search engines, for example, Google, which scours billions of pieces of content and evaluates thousands of factors to determine which content is most likely to answer your query. The answers are then listed on a web page called Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs, as discussed above.

SEO is so important because, while other forms of advertising (paid ads, social media) can generate traffic, traffic from optimal SEO comes from search engines. When executed correctly, SEO can continue to provide a ROI and dividends over time, continuously and consistently directing traffic to your site. Optimizing your site for best SEO practices will help search engines identify who needs the information or products you have.

Since Google shares about 87% and 95% of desktop/laptop and mobile search traffic, respectively, it’s important to focus on the information about SEO straight from the Google Search Quality team, following their best practices to achieve the best ranking.

On-Page SEO Optimization: What is on-page optimization and why is it important?

On-page optimization is the practice of using SEO strategies, techniques, and tactics on all aspects of your webpage to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines like Google. It means optimizing both the content and HTML source code of a page, as opposed to off-page, which involves things like backlinks and other external factors.

While backlinks are the primary factor in getting your page to rank on the first page of search results, on-page factors are the most important for reaching the top 3 positions. Click-through-rate (from having appealing titles and descriptions), engagement (from having genuinely helpful content), and relevance (from having targeted keywords) are the main signals to Google as to how your page should rank, and on-page SEO is all about improving these signals.

On-Page Ranking Factors

On-page ranking factors are the elements on your pages that can have a big impact on your page’s ability to rank if optimized properly. Here are the biggest ones that affect your search engine rankings:

Title Tag

Title tags specify the title of a web page. They are displayed on search engine results pages as the clickable headline for a given result. Title tags are a major factor in helping search engines understand what your page is about, and they are the first impression many people have of your page, and often what makes them click.

URL

The URL clearly shows the hierarchy of the information on the page. This information is used to determine the relevancy of a given web page by the search engines. A good example of an SEO-friendly URL is this: http://www.example.org/games/video-game-history – search engines can tell that this page likely doesn’t pertain to history in general but rather to that of the history of video games, which makes it an ideal candidate for search results related to video game history.

Meta Tags

Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content. They are short content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page is about.

Content

The content of a page is what makes it worthy of a search result position. It is what the user came to see and is thus extremely important to the search engines, so you have to always aim to create quality content. And while Google has no direct way of determining the quality of content, metrics like time spent on site, repeat visitors, bookmarks, and shares improves your ranking.

Alt Text

“Alt text” is short for “alternative text”. It’s what gets displayed in the event of a broken image, gets read by screen-readers, and serves as an indicator to search engines as to the content of the image. Alt text is important both for accessibility and for ranking in image search results.

Off-Page SEO Optimization: What is off-page SEO?

Unlike on-page SEO techniques, off-page SEO refers to strategies that affect the site as a whole. Common off-page SEO techniques include link building and exchange, social bookmarking, content marketing, submissions to directories and search engine indexes, and the creation of online communities on social media. Generally, off-page SEO really comes down to one major factor, which is high-quality backlinks to your site. All these will be discussed later in the training and we’ll go over the different types of off-page SEO techniques we execute at Galactic Fed.

SEO Tools

Staying up to date with the tools that will help your SEO be the most effective is important. Here are some are the most useful ones, with a link to a detailed guide about it:

  1. Google Search Console 
  2. Google Analytics 
  3. Ahrefs
  4. Moz 
  5. SEMRush 
  6. Google Optimize 
  7. Crazy Egg 

Familiarizing yourself with these SEO terms is the first step to becoming your own SEO guru. The path to becoming an expert is one step at a time – and you’re well on your way. Stay tuned for more guides, tutorials, and industry tips as we continue our SEO series.

5 Ways to Get Your Brand’s Voice Out There

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Your brand identity is important for reaching out to the right customers. Brand authenticity and consistency are crucial to creating a trustworthy image for your business. Your brand identity goes beyond your logo and visual content. Your language and tone of voice are part of it as well. In order to get your brand’s voice out there, you’ll need to define the personality of your brand, along with your story, mission statement, and core values. Once you’ve outlined these you can ensure they align with the interests and values of your target audience.

Define your brand’s personality

Firstly, you need to define your brand’s personality.  A digital marketing agency such as ceosocialmarketing.com can help you do that. You need to express the qualities, expressions, and emotions your brand embodies. Define the characteristics that appeal to your target market. You can then match your brand’s voice to its personality. Consistency is very important so keep your language the same across all content and platforms. 

Get your brand’s story out there

One of the benefits of social media marketing is that it’s another means to get your story out there. This is a great way to appeal to your audience’s emotions. It will also add more depth to your brand’s personality. Your story should include a challenge and how you overcame this ideally, or perhaps how you helped a particular customer solve a problem. If you want to reach out to your audience, your story should also be inspiring, engaging, and empowering. A humanitarian or environmental angle, for example, will boost your brand’s credibility and values.

Figure out your mission statement

Your mission statement gives your company purpose and communicates this to your target audience. Explain clearly what exactly you plan to accomplish and how you plan to do it. You can follow the example of inspiring company vision statements online. Find a way to use your mission statement to intrigue, inspire, and motivate both your customers and employees.

Unique selling point (USP)

In order to create a ferocious USP, you need to brainstorm what makes your business stand out above the rest. Think of a feature or benefit your business can offer that others can’t. This doesn’t necessarily need to be something radical, just focus on a feature of your brand that you can use to appeal to your target audience. 

Align your business with core values

To be able to get your brand’s voice out there, you need to align your business with your core values. Your values represent what your company stands for and these also need to align with those of your customers. These are key principles that define your business which include your message, identity, customer experience, buying journey, policies, and more. 

By expressing your values you’ll be able to appeal to more customers. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of where their products come from and brands need to communicate this. Consumers and investors look for transparency and key values when choosing a brand. 

Get Noticed at a Trade Show With Unique Promotional Gifts

One of the most difficult things about trade shows is getting noticed. Even if you’ve rented out a space and have a booth set up, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to get much attention unless you make a name for yourself before your appearance. The reality is that most people won’t really care about your business unless you have something to draw them in.

In many cases, that “thing” to draw you in could be a unique promotional gift.

But is a gift all it takes to make a successful appearance at a trade show? No. In fact, far from it. However, a promotional item can get you noticed more often and can help people remember your brand name, especially if you do something unique or wacky enough to go viral.

So in this post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most unique promotional gifts that you can hand out to people at your trade show booth.

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/bzdhc5b3Bxs (CC0)

Wearable items are also good, provided your audience can wear them immediately

Handing out shirts used to be one of the most common things to do at a trade show. Unfortunately, it’s become a little impractical since people aren’t usually willing to change a shirt mid-show by going back to their hotel or into a bathroom. Free shirts can easily be abandoned since they’re not the most convenient thing to wear.

Instead, why not give out some accessories? A great example of this is a cap from a reputable manufacturer such as Cap America. Caps are practical because they can help shield from sunlight and they can also keep the wearer warm. They can easily be branded if needed and there are many unique designs and patterns to pick from. Other accessories you can give out include socks. These would be perfect for your guests to change in to after a long day of walking around the entire event.

Give them something useful

A good promotional gift is one that is actually useful. Focus on things that your audience might want during their visit to the trade show event floor. You can pick something general such as pens and pencil, but they’re not exactly significant and look a little boring. Plus, almost anyone could give you a pen or pencil–it’s hardly special.

Instead, why not consider branded USB chargers or battery banks? These are a great option for tech-focused trade shows, especially if they come pre-charged by you. This gives your audience a little device they can use to keep their phone charged up and ready to go.

Getting noticed at a trade show can be challenging, especially if you’re looking to wow your audience and get them to pay attention to your products and services. However, promotional gifts can give you a little edge on the competition and is a great way to get started. If you choose something unique that stays with your audience, they’ll have a much easier time remembering you and your brand.

5 Benefits Of Video Marketing For Your Brand

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Companies all across the globe are taking their branding to the next level, with compelling video marketing campaigns. There are plenty of benefits of video marketing for your brand, so let’s take a look.

1. Improve your SEO

Video content can help you to improve your SEO in a number of ways. Video content improves click-through rates, and also increases organic traffic. As well as this, using video content means reduced bounce rates, this is because visitors spend more time on pages that include video. As long as your video content is high quality you’ll also find that you’ll get quality backlinks. 

1 . Conversion rates 

According to Forbes, ‘Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.’ What’s more, WordStream reported that, ‘Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.’ When consumers experience a compelling video, they might share it on social media, or be willing to invest in your services. Visually striking content can support your company with brand storytelling, and entertain your viewers along the way.

2. Better email marketing campaigns

Video content can even support your company to create better video marketing campaigns. It can sometimes be challenging to persuade people to open up emails, yet if you include video you can boost your open rates! Simply put, most will agree that watching a video is far easier than reading copy (especially a long piece). One video marketing study showed that, ‘viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.’

3. Generate trust

According to Business 2 Community, ‘trust has very clear ties to loyalty, with 62% of consumers stating they are loyal to brands they can trust.’ Video content is a great way to boost your brand credibility and build consumer trust. Videos allow you to establish a deeper connection with your consumers. When compared with copy, video is more engaging, visual, and even personal. Using videos, you can offer informational content and  tell your story.

4. Educational content

Marketing in 2020 requires you to educate your audience, without putting all your efforts into the sales process alone. To stay competitive, brands should seek thought leadership, providing their audiences with fresh education insights. Offering educational content can be much easier in video format. The most important thing is to get the right video production team. WSPR Creative provides top quality creative video campaigns, they understand that unique storytelling by video is the best way to communicate your values and message.

5. More consumers are watching 

Plain and simple, more consumers are watching video content than ever before. By creating video content you’re providing your brand with the opportunity to extend your reach. Oberlo recently reported that, ‘54 % of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.’ There are plenty of ways to retain customers with video marketing, from webinars to product demonstrations, live streaming, or even fun TiKTok videos!

How Artificial Intelligence Transforms the Face of Modern Retail Web Design

A lot of people at present still associate AI with science fiction dystopias. Nonetheless, the characterization is fading as AI develops and becomes more commonplace in the daily lives of people all over the world. AI now has become a household name, and at times even a household presence, such as Alexa. 

In business, AI has a huge array of uses. Most people in fact interact with AI in some sort of another on a daily basis. Artificial Intelligence, from the mundane to the breathtaking, already has disrupted and continues disrupting just about every business process in any industry.  As AI technologies continue proliferating, they’ve become imperative for organizations to have a competitive edge and maintain it. 

As AI technologies proliferate, they have become imperative for business organizations to gain and maintain a competitive edge. eCommerce website development nowadays integrates the AI technology to keep up with the evolving needs and trends. While the acceptance of the tech in mainstream society is a new phenomenon, it’s not actually a concept that’s new. 

The modern field of Artificial Intelligence came about in 1956, but it took many years of work to make considerable progress into developing an AI system, making it a technological reality. 

AI in Web Design and Development

The digital revolution has not only changed the face of technology, but the things related to it as well. In short, the light is reflected towards web design, development, which seems to be the center of attention for everyone. Web application development has started growing at a rate that’s faster than predicted. 

The demand of users to acquire an improved experience and unique content has multiplied through the years. This makes us conclude that a user is on the lookout for innovative and smart web apps, which not only provides data-driven content, but gifts them with out-of-the-box ideas as well. Therefore, there’s just one thing that makes fulfilling these requirements possible, and that is Artificial Intelligence. 

In terms of AI and its application, it offers a user a profusion of advantages. An eCommerce web development company like eTatvasoft.com adopts innovative tech, which leverages all solutions. The solutions involve security concerns, as well as integration testing. 

The tools that Artificial Intelligence uses are nothing but a bundle of slang for eCommerce website development providers nowadays. So, constructing AI into a web app from scratch is out of reach to a lot of organizations. Thus, adopting the technology into website development, big tech giants like Google and Facebook came up with AI tools attributed in a web app. 

AI is Transforming the Retail Web Design Industry

It only takes 50 milliseconds for consumers to decide if the website is worth staying on. Therefore, it’s important for websites to be of high quality to make sales. To survive in the ever-evolving digital space, retailers should understand how AI could boost web design

Here are several ways that AI could transform the face of retail web design. 

Chatbots

These bots have revolutionized the way consumers interact with a site through enabling instant communication without human intervention. Bots run on NLP or natural language processing systems as a result of Artificial Intelligence, which imitate human language to produce more meaningful and natural conversations with users. Retail bots could do tasks, such as offering recommendations, completing purchases, and providing customer support. 

By 2023, it’s expected that these services will drive $112 billion in the retail industry, thus websites benefit from factoring AI into their designs. Chatbots could be developed from scratch by a design and development team using complex programming and coding, or automatically built with specialist software, like Flow XO, TARS, and ChatterOn. 

Artificial Design Intelligence

ADI is a tech that builds websites automatically, as well as brand logos and names, for example, websites such as Squarespace and Wix. It enables web design to be more affordable and accessible for huge companies as well as startups. The latter benefits more as web templates cost considerably less compared to a custom-made design. 

Artificial Design Intelligence is easy to set up, often has an in-built functionality and an array of designs and fonts to choose from. Keep in mind, other websites that employ the same technology could have the same web elements, which make it less unique. Also, it removes the human designer’s personal touch. 

However, ADI could be a sufficient solution if you require a website on a tight time-scale. 

Visual Search Tech

Visual search tech lets users take pictures of products they have seen online or in stores and match them to the available items that resemble the uploaded image closely. The AI tech minimizes the time users have to consider in looking for the right keywords to locate a product or scroll via big online inventories. 

Moreover, visual search enables retailers to build product suggestions and answer questions, which may be very difficult over text. Majority of millennials want to use visual search to simplify the search process on eCommerce websites. The features, moving forward could be the main component for landing page web design, especially when it comes to number of images and image size. 

Less text could be used and pages would be more interactive. Retail companies already are using visual search to boost the consumer experience overall, with the market anticipated to hit $28 million in 2027. 

AI, the Web Design Diagnostic Tool

While in general AI is deployed to boost the functionality and web design user experience, it works as a precision diagnostic tool as well. With the new modern web design era, stringent standards of search engines like Google, and the rapidly evolving trends, the quality of the design has become the major determinant in the success of your brand’s digital footprint ultimately. 

However, while you could achieve high quality design, you should also make certain that it will always be maintained through running tests regularly. Tools that are powered by AI could enable users to assess the quality of the design, observe their real-time performance, and gain genuine insights on how to refine them. 

With diagnostic tools that are AI-based, you could now eliminate the need for A/B testing effectively, and have better website design results. Because design software has become more and more complex, often the final product comes with challenges. Here, AI apps and tools could be used in developing and testing various information, check out the scope of their potential without human input, and validate authenticity. 

The right training in AI could get rid of tons of procedures that otherwise you would have to be involved in when you create, diagnose or edit design. With the current technological breakthroughs and present statistics, the imperative role of AI in website design and development is certain. Growing automation requirements, the increasing number of AI specialties, and advanced computing resources have set off an exponential rise in the amount of Artificial Intelligence that we could implement. 

CONCLUSION

These days, the retail industry is at a critical stage. The largest brick and mortar stores now face considerable pressures externally, and customers today are expecting a streamlined Omni-channel shopping experience all the time. AI has and would continue altering the field of retail. 

In the next few years, we would witness continued improvements to the customer experience and operations. Retailers however that aim to completely take advantage of these technologies to keep up with giants still have their work cut out for them. 

Technology Can Improve Employee Performance: Here’s How

When it comes to helping your employees thrive in the workplace it can often mean that you need to consider a lot of aspects of technology. We live in a world that is changing almost daily when it comes to tech and software systems, but they can actually help your employees thrive instead of hindering their performance. Here are some of the ways technology can help your employees feel more successful with their jobs. 

Image source – pixabay – cco license 

Speed

When it comes to technology there is one huge benefit for the employee trying to perform in their job role and that is speed. Thanks to improving devices and new systems, employees can now do things at greater speed. Whether that is data entry, responding to customers and replying to different communications, speed enables more to be done with the time that you have. 

Software systems 

There is no denying that the inclusion of different software systems that can perform a variety of tasks will help an employee. Whether that is for data entry in a huge corporate business or the use of erp software for hospitals it can help employees to stay on task and perform different things. Software systems can also enable you to get specific information at a faster speed, which allows you to do your job more effectively. 

To help improve performance

Another thing that technology can do is help to improve performance. Not only does it give you the speed in which to complete tasks faster, but you can also improve presentation of things, use technology in different ways to present your business to others as well as be on the go with it. Allowing you to be much more flexible with how your business operates. Giving your employee technology that they can work with is not only an investment to help them thrive but also an investment for your business. 

Keeps things flexible

In recent months we have had no choice but to be flexible when it comes to working from home and this is where technology has really come into its own. Devices that can work from home. VPN access and using the internet and even video conferencing to keep those face to face communications alive. It has not only improved performance throughout a global pandemic, but also helps you to give your employees flexibility with their own lives. Which in turn keeps them happy and focused in the workplace. 

Can learn new skills 

Finally, it gives your employees the chance to improve their skills. As technology advances so does the need for new skills on how to use it correctly. However, it can go beyond that as technology gives your employees and staff the chance to enable them to learn more, develop skills, with the flexibility of doing it in their own time or allotted time through work. The more skills your employees have, the better assets they become for you. What’s not to like?

Let’s hope this has made you realise the importance of investing in technology to help your employees and business thrive. 

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