When it comes to digital marketing, staying ahead in the SEO game is no small feat. It’s all about understanding the pulse of the market, the latest algorithm updates, and the tricks that can get your website ranking at the top of those search results.
So, it follows that SEO isn’t just a one-time set-and-forget task; it’s a continuous effort, an art that requires you to adapt and evolve. And who better to guide you through this landscape than a digital marketing expert with a knack for breaking down complex SEO jargon into actionable insights?
In this piece, we’re bringing you straightforward, effective tips straight from a pro in the industry. Alyssa Pascual is an industry expert who’s worked in digital marketing and SEO for years.
Whether you’re a seasoned marketer looking to refresh your strategy or a startup owner wearing many hats, including that of an SEO novice, this guide is your ticket to understanding SEO in a way that’s both simple and effective.
What are the fundamental pillars of SEO that every beginner should be aware of?
While social media is dominant, 79.8% of Filipinos internet users still go online to research information.
You can Google just about anything and everything under the sun, from recipes to product reviews and tutorials for whatever you want. If you ever need anything, the first thing you do is search on Google.
With that in mind, the five core components of SEO that beginners should know are keyword research, on-page optimization, technical SEO, off-page SEO, and content marketing.
Keyword research is all about learning what kind of keywords people use to search for products or services similar to yours. On-page SEO is making sure your website (its content, images, and user interface) provides relevant information that the audience needs and wants. Technical SEO is all about ensuring that the site’s technical structure meets the search engine’s standards for an accessible site. Off-page SEO works like social networking. The websites linking back to yours tell the search engine that your website is credible and trustworthy. Finally, content marketing is ensuring that your website continues to provide audiences with helpful and relevant content.
You don’t have to learn this all at once, comprehensively.
“Choose key areas where you can make improvements on your website and learn from there.“
Google offers a free certification course on the basics of Digital Marketing. That should be a good place to start if you’re eager to learn SEO.
How do you integrate SEO into your content strategy?
Relevance, timeliness, and being data-driven. These are the three key things I always keep in mind when integrating content into the overall SEO strategy. Relevance and timeliness mean this information is the one my potential audience is looking for. Google Trends and AHREFS content explorer tools are the best ones to use when looking at what potential audiences are looking for when it comes to topics related to my products or services.
Then, I make sure to review my data. What kind of content does my audience keep going back to? What kind of content brings the most conversion? What content did not work and why?
“Data-driven content means admitting that some initiatives work and others don’t. It’s a matter of learning what works best and what doesn’t.”
How do you measure the effectiveness of SEO-focused content?
Depending on your goal, traffic and conversion can be your metrics. When the goal is increasing traffic, I focus on writing content that aims to raise awareness or pique interest about the topic–ones that are designed to bring in more people to the site.
These are typically broad topics. I check if these are the kind of articles that really draw in or contribute to the site’s traffic. When the focus is conversion, I look at content that can reach leads that are already in our database. The best measure of effectiveness is if people actually inquired about the product or service from this content.
To manage expectations, this middle-of-funnel content should really be more about quality than quantity. The quality of response should matter more than the amount of traffic, reach, or eyeballs you get.
Where do you see SEO headed in the next five years?
First and foremost–AI and automation. SEO practitioners need to harness AI tools to their advantage, ethically and honestly, of course.
With all these tools available, SEO experts need to learn the different ways they can automate routine parts of their campaigns. These automations will definitely include social media integrations.
While in some countries–U.S., Australia, and India are some of them–automation is really the norm, there are some countries that are still keeping up with these trends. So, brands need to get on board early.
For someone just starting out in SEO, what pitfalls should they avoid?
Do not get overwhelmed by all the technicalities. It’s easy to be swamped by all the jargon, tools, and processes. But you have to have a good understanding of the core principles first. Then, learn to delve deeper into each principle through practice.
Don’t take for granted all the FREE learning materials and classes available. There are so many available free tools and classes compared to when we were starting out.
The best piece of advice I can give you is to risk responsibly. This means that you can only achieve amazing results when you take risks, but don’t be reckless. The best way to do this is by studying the data that’s available to you and making decisions based on those data.
Is there a particular SEO campaign or project you’re particularly proud of? Can you share some insights on its success?
The best testament to that success is that 70-80% of the new business for these two sites comes from an optimized website. Sharing and transferring what I know, seeing it used correctly to benefit the company
How do you handle situations where SEO efforts don’t yield the desired results?
Admit to what went wrong. You have to be courageous to do that. Not everyone wants to admit it when they make a mistake.
Instead of being worried, take time to look closely at the data and look at what didn’t work. When you see it, you have to admit to yourself that you need to go back to the drawing board and think of things you haven’t tried yet.
Look at what the competitors and the best industry are doing and find inspiration from these things. That’s all. In the end, it goes back to risking responsibly–try to draw from your mistakes and improve.
M2.0 Communications is an SEO agency offering a comprehensive suite of services tailored to boost your digital presence and engage your target audience. Reach out to our team today to amplify your brand’s digital voice.