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Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are two completely opposite strategies of driving traffic. Doing PPC is akin to outsourcing, with all the corresponding pros and cons. It brings visitors very quickly, but you have to pay for the flow. SEO, on the other hand, is about hardworking and achieving cost-effective results in the long run.
But ZorbasMedia! SEO requires way too much work, does it really have to be so? It does not, you just have to work smarter, not harder. How? Read this article till the end! We are explaining how to SEO like a pro.
Pay-Per-Click vs. Search Engine Optimization
Before exploring SEO tips and tricks, let us make a head-on comparison:
|Pay-Per-Click||Search Engine Opt.|
|Unmatched Visibility||Long-Term Results|
|Purchase-Oriented Leads||Full Sales Funnel Coverage|
|Exceptional Data||Top Search Results|
|Constant Investment of Cash||Constant Investment of Efforts|
|Creativity Demanding||Full Commitment|
|Skill Demanding||Skill Demanding|
SEO is about improving the quality and quantity of website traffic via non-paid, a.k.a. organic, search results. Nowadays, organic results are carefully intertwined with Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that (in the case of Google) consists of:
- Rich Snippets (Review Stars)
- Paid Ads (Google Ads, Google Shopping)
- Universal Results (Images, Featured Snippets)
- Knowledge Graph (Weather Forecasts)
For the sake of simplicity, let us agree to treat organic search results as SERP-including by default. When we compare organic search results with pay-per-click ads in terms of traffic volume, we notice that SEO overwhelms PPC twentyfold, both for mobile and desktop charts:
Organic traffic is ranked, based on the:
- Website Reputation
- Key Word Optimization
- Behavioral Factors
- Website Layout
Domain reputation, alongside the IP reputation, is important for determining whether your messages are to be received or go to the spam folder unnoticed. Malware or viruses are a major threat to the domain’s reputation. Another thing to consider is the problems with the operating system.
Domain reputation is made of:
- Spam complaints
- Age (check the website age at ICANN Lookup)
- Incoming/outgoing links
There are two routes to obtain a domain: Do-It-Yourself or Buy a Dropped One. The former is practically free of costs, but you are in charge of developing it from scratch to the desired size and visibility. The latter involves expenditures and careful picking since dropped websites differ in terms of quality.
- The quality of drop domains depends on the Citation Flow (CF): Trust Flow (TF) ratio. The drop should be in-between 0.7 and 1.5.
- Another thing to take into account is the anchor list. Everything must be purely organic with no keyword spamming
- Drop indexing is not to be ignored. Use the “site:” operator with the website address to check its indexing. Alternatively, use side services like MegaIndex, Semrush, Serpstat, and Topvisor.
- Website topicality. The content must be relevant to your promotion. Website history can be revealed, after consulting WayBackMachine or some other archive. Make sure to look carefully for any doorways or forbidden posts.
- Number of re-sells. Would you rather prefer a car with a single owner before you, or with a hundred?
Website reputation is backboned by link building. The more your domain is referred to on popular pages, the higher you rank on Google, or anywhere else. Partnering with other website owners requires you either to be generous or creative: pay or create something useful for both sides.
Sometimes partnering is not established, and the affiliates bombard the commentaries section with links to their websites. Be warned though, comments can be deleted, users can be banned, reputation can be hurt, and more importantly, leads are negatively biased towards such tactics due to irrelevancy.
The ideal website for placing links is old, active in terms of posts and visitors, topic-related, and domain authoritative.
In a nutshell, links can be integrated within some content, at forums, submits with personal info, PDF presentations, and website feedback section. Alternatively, this can be labeled as back linking. Strictly speaking, backlinking is a subset of link building, because theoretically, the link mass can be enlarged by other means, e.g., Private Blog Network with multiple minor websites leading to the main one.
Depending on your vertical, the most common keywords will be unique. The core keywords for your vertical are called semantic kernel. Keywords can be researched completely or partially for free using one of the following keyword research tools:
- Google Trends
- Keyword Tool Dominator
- Also Asked
- Keyword Magic Tool
Proper keyword selection can help you with marketing trends insight, traffic growth, customer acquisition, and even topic relevancy, which contributes to even greater precision in keywords and the cycle goes on. Keyword weight is made of relevancy, source authority, and volume (frequency).
Having done that, filter all the keywords, cutting down the most competitive or irrelevant ones. This can be done with the aid of Google Keyword Planner. Then check Monthly Search Volume (MSV) or how frequently the word is searched for. Choose the words, that match the SERP features. Maintain the proportion between head-terms (generic leads) and long-tail keywords (purchase-oriented leads). Finally, check the results of the competitors for the same keywords.
Behavior analytics provide an insight on user’s behavior after reaching your website, that affects search results. It includes:
- Click-Through Rate, which is the percentage of all users, clicking on your link
- Dwell Time, or average time user spends before going back to search results
- Bounce Rate determines the percentage of users who quit the website without scrolling through the content
- Time on Website/High Number of Pages per Session, which means how engaging the website overall
Whenever user’s type in a query, they get SERP results on top of common 10 blue links. SERP includes website titles and meta descriptions. Are yours truly engaging? The description must be brief, laconic, and precise; without unnecessary keywords if they do not fit in.
Google Search Console can help you to determine which pages of your website rank for which keywords. This procedure will help you find out the pages that require more polishing, as well as understand the user’s intent and tailor the titles and meta descriptions.
Nobody is perfect, especially the website. Look for the friction points, that can cause the user to hesitate, before taking an action:
Remove any unnecessary fields, so the users do not feel burdened by your inquires. Last but not the least, the retention time of user can be improved by adding a search bar function or building in “related content” module. This will help to improve some critical metrics, like time on page or number of pages engaged per session.
A website must be simple and easy to navigate. Poor website design includes:
- wrong color combination
- cramming the user’s screen with too many icons or ads
- counter-intuitive navigation
- white spaces
- outdated design with broken features
Avoiding these pitfalls is not enough from a technological perspective, though. Make sure to incorporate the key elements to your website like FAQ and Q&A modules, add some filters, thematic sections. JSON ML can also be of use, as it ranks higher in terms of relevancy. These markups have a great chance of popping up as a featured snippet, because it relates to the user’s experience.
SEO is a long-run game. Once it is done correctly, the traffic will roll in, bringing some hefty dough as a consequence. However, SEO can be tricky more often than not and is akin to art. Try not to rush it and play carefully. Whenever you pick a domain, do your homework and browse for its history, prior keywords, CF:TF formula.
Sometimes less is more. Spamming with keywords will do you no good, because bounce rate will skyrocket and Google will treat your website as irrelevant. At the same time, target some low-hanging fruits. These keywords have to be relevant nonetheless, but competing for the top-queries is generally doomed to fail because of large companies with unlimited budget hunt for them too.
Back links and link building are necessary to reach the wider audience. Yet, your website still has to deliver something. Going gray or black is ill-advised, because once Google catches up with you, the website will be heavily penalized – something that is not simple to get a parole for.
Still, as a long-term investment, SEO outweighs PPC twentyfold. It requires some devotion, but will pay out well in return.
If you want to reach new GEOs and audiences, maybe it is all waiting for you on Telegram? We’ve prepared some material about Telegram audiences. What are the messenger’s users like this year? How old they are, what they do, and what they are interested in!