October 13, 2023

Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in 2023


With the advent of technology and an increase in the availability of smartphones as well as cheap data, especially in markets such as India, it would be safe to say that the way businesses operate as well as market to potential customers is a landscape that is altering rapidly. 

Businesses are investing heavily in the development of a sustained and impactful outreach on digital mediums as well as social networking platforms to ensure that they are easily accessible to potential customers with just a click! One such arena that has gained prominence, as well as significant investment in the massive spectrum of digital marketing, is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

With a history of over two decades, Search Engine Optimization was merely a buzzword a few years ago and garnered little interest among the marketing community. However, the internet revolution that we have witnessed over the last decade has brought it to the Centre stage and is now an integral part of a business’s marketing and branding strategies. 

Businesses are appointing SEO consultants and hiring “SEO-friendly” content writers who can develop content that is not just engaging but also effective in improving Search Engine Rankings! While earlier this technique had few takers, now there is a frenzy to ensure that businesses are ahead of their competition. 

If you are just getting started with Digital Marketing and its intricacies, it is logical to have a few questions! 

So are you someone who is looking to acquaint yourself with Search Engine Optimization? Social Sherpa is here to help!

The first and foremost question is:

What is Search Engine Optimization?

  • Loosely defined, SEO is a collection of techniques that when applied, leads to increased traffic on a website organically. The primary objective of this exercise is to increase the visibility of a website and thereby improve its rankings on popular search engines.
  • Leading search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo have a variety of factors that they analyze and methodologies that they apply to determine the ranking of a particular website. By modifying the structure of your website as well as the content published on it following these factors, it becomes easier for a search engine to increase your site’s rankings.
  • When it comes to SEO, there are three key stakeholders: the person searching, the search engine, and lastly, you, a business looking for a customer. Let us break it down with an example. A customer searches on Google for something that you can provide. SEO is the combination of techniques that you must apply to your website’s structure as well as content such that it is easier for the search engine to display it first to your customer.

Now that we have developed a functional understanding of SEO, let us examine

Why a business must invest in SEO?

While conventional mediums of advertising such as radio, television, or newspapers are effective, they have some pitfalls:

  • There is a significantly higher cost.
  • They are unidirectional in their communication approach.
  • They are not highly targeted: An advertisement might reach out to millions of people through radio, TV, or newspapers, but will not necessarily be relevant for all of them.
  • Customer engagement is severely restricted.  

How does advertising on Digital Media, more specifically SEO, address these concerns?

  • Depending on a business’ budget, they can incorporate the simplest of techniques to increase the visibility of their websites. Companies can start carrying out SEO even for free!
  • While in conventional mediums of marketing, it is a business that initiates a conversation, when it comes to search engines, it is the customer who does that. For example, nearly 81% of online shoppers, as well as 89% of B2B Buyers, turn to Google when looking for something new. Further, it is also observed that B2B buyers conduct up to 12 searches before engaging with a brand. Some studies show that nearly 81% of potential shoppers are more likely to visit a physical store after looking up it online.
  • Further, it is also possible to increase engagement with highly relevant and targeted people who are more likely to be your potential customers. With specialized keyword research and geographical optimizations, it becomes straightforward for businesses to reach out to their customers.
  • While the primary objective of carrying out SEO is to improve a brand’s visibility on Search Engines, if leveraged to its fullest potential, it can also enable an increase in qualitative leads as well as the conversion of customers.
  • Studies show that the first five search results on Google get 70% of the clicks, making it essential that your business appears in those results to generate positive results.
  • Given the way SEO techniques are designed, they also lead to improved performance of a website, helping businesses provide potential customers with an enhanced User Experience. A website’s performance has a direct impact on consumer behavior. According to Hubspot, “the first five seconds of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time.”
  • Lastly, by using SEO, you can surge ahead of your competitors on Search Engines, literally.

How to Start Optimizing my Website?

The very essence of SEO is to answer a few basic questions, that when answered, will lead to the best results:

  • What is my customer looking for?
  • What would they search for that will lead them to my page, that is, what will be a set of effective keywords?
  • How can I optimize my website and web pages to integrate these keywords such that it will make it easier for the search engine to find my website?
  • Is my website easy to navigate for customers?

Once we have an answer to these questions, we must understand the two kinds of SEO campaigns that must go hand in hand for a successful campaign.

On-page Optimization

In this method of Search Engine Optimization, we modify and optimize our website and web pages such that it directly affects its rankings. The rankings are determined through a variety of factors. So what can you do to improve On-page SEO? Let’s find out!

Keyword research

The first thing you must do is to identify the most basic searches that your customers enter in a search engine to find your service. There are a variety of tools such as Google, Keyword Generator, and Keyword Sheeter, that you can use to find the best keywords relevant to your business!

Content modification

After carrying out keyword research, it is crucial to modify the content reflecting on your website such that it incorporates the important keywords. Here are some components that one must modify:

  • Title of an article
  • Inclusion of H1 Tags.
  • Adding captions and alt-texts to images.
  • Adding Tags
  • Adding links to pages of your website as well as outbound links. A good practice is to include 1-3 internal relevant links on a page.
  • While there is no specific word limit for your blogs, pages with more than 500 words of content with nearly 2.5% occurrence of the keywords or keyphrases tend to work better.
  • Ensuring the content is easy to read and parse through.
  • Adding Meta tags and meta descriptions that include the keyword.

Improving on-site experience

  • The pages on your website must be properly indexed and must be easy to navigate. It is crucial to have anchor text; preferably, it must contain the keyword too.
  • Google’s guidelines recommend using structured data in the JSON-LD format. You can check out Google’s guidelines here.
  • User Experience is one of the most important factors for customer retention. To ensure developers follow the best practices, Google has also introduced “Core web vitals”, a common set of signals that they deem “critical” to all users’ web experiences. One of the most important factors for improving on-site experience is Load Time, which can usually refer to the time taken to load a webpage and how soon it conveys all the relevant information to a potential customer. It can be reduced by removing third-party applications, opting for a better web host, and removing large page elements that slow down a page.

Off-page Optimization

Search Engines often deploy a scoring parameter commonly known as “Domain  Authority” that calculates how authoritative your website’s domain is as compared to other websites that are based on how frequently your website’s links are featured on other websites. Off-page SEO is the collection of activities a business must undertake to improve the domain authority of its website. Let us take a look at some practices that one can use to improve off-page SEO

Generate click-worthy content: 

While we do not recommend using click-bait, it is advisable to generate content that your customers would like to share on their websites as well as social media platforms. Your link appearing on different channels leads to better SEO.

Share your content: 

Make sure to share the content you generate through a variety of channels such as your social media, and email newsletters, and share it with influencers.

Guest Blogging:

Through this method, you can ask guest bloggers to include your website’s links in the content they generate.

The aforementioned techniques are merely the tip of the iceberg. 

SEO is a vast discipline where several techniques must be combined to reach the desired results. It is a continuous process where experimentation is a norm and not an exception. However, the best thing about SEO is that starting it is easy! Even the simplest of things and efforts can lead to a positive impact and can take you closer to your goals!

With a fundamental understanding of the nuances of Search Engine Optimization, we, at Social Sherpa- Branding and Creative Design Agency in India, are equipped to lend a helping hand to businesses’ digital marketing efforts. 

We have a team comprising technical as well as content experts who deploy years of experience to design a website that is compliant with the most stringent norms of popular search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!

We carry out comprehensive research and analysis to develop tailor-made and impactful SEO Strategies that help our customers grow their businesses. 

By taking care of all of your SEO-related requirements, we let you focus on your core competencies while adding value! Are you looking for a reliable partner for SEO? 

Contact us today! +91 99780 11666

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Rushi Bhimani

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