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The Basics of SEO

by Debbie Arata

While search engine optimization (SEO) strategies have become integral to online content and digital marketing, a recent Harvard Business Review study found that nearly half of all business owners do not fully understand SEO or its value. If you’re one of these owners, you are obviously not alone, and it can be a confusing topic. Let’s take a look at some of the SEO basics.

In their simplest form, SEO keywords are words and phrases used by people with online search engines looking for specific topics, information categories, and (as it pertains to you and your business) products and services. For example, all of the blog content on your website should include a keyword strategy to help attract prospects who are searching for your products and services to your website.

These keywords are important to use throughout all of your digital content – anything you produce that leads potential customers to your website. To get started, begin by targeting relevant primary and secondary keywords as a foundation for your SEO strategy. Online tools such as Semrush, Moz, and Keyword Surfer can help steer you in the right direction.

Once you have your list of primary and secondary keywords, be sure to include them in your content campaigns, landing pages, and email blasts. This is a great opportunity to align your content with what your prospects are searching for online. Your online keyword generators can also provide information regarding the key topics your audiences are interested in. Use this to your advantage when creating content.

But don’t stop there. The page titles and meta descriptions that accompany your content on search engines may be the first thing your audience sees when looking for a topic. These are the brief titles, links, and descriptions that pop up when you Google something. Including keywords within these descriptions can mean the difference between your audience finding your website . . . or your competitors.

Whenever possible, use the simplest possible URL addresses for your website and landing pages – the addresses in the navigation bar people will use to get to your site. Easy to remember URLs are easier for your audience to remember (and access). An additional benefit is that SEO-friendly and short URLs appeal to search engines, and they tend to rank shorter URLs higher than longer, more complex web addresses.

Finally, keep up with the website content and digital marketing your competitors are producing. What do they feel are the most important topics, and how can you counter this with content and keywords that lead prospects to your website as the true solution? The possibilities are virtually endless.

The best use of your time and resources is to partner with a marketing firm that specializes in SEO-supported content strategies. Once you find one you are comfortable with, they will help implement a sound SEO plan that attracts more customers – and revenue.

Debbie Arata is Creative Director, Account Manager, at Spoke Marketing. Spoke Marketing ( provides fully-integrated marketing and sales programs that define and activate the customer buyer journey.


Submitted 191 days ago
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