How to improve SEO rankings?

What is optimizing in SEO?

SEO means Search marketing. It merely describes improving a website for more traffic by improving its search visibility in Google, Yahoo or Bing.

What does SEO stand for?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.

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Why is SEO important?

SEO can help bring more traffic to your web page and make your business more visible on search engines.  Keep in mind, there are many pieces and parts to how search engines understand the content you create and how it will serve your site to a visitor over other websites. Things like internal links to other pages on your site, external links back to your own site, meta descriptions, how responsive your site displays on mobile devices, whether you have any broken links or not, are all key factors to consider when you’re working to improve SEO rankings.

Monthly SEO

What are the two different kinds of Search Engine Optimization?

Paid and Organic search engine results.

There are two different kinds of SEO: Organic searches and paid searches. Organic searches are unpaid rankings in search results and paid searches are paid SEO that puts your business towards the top of search results.

Organic Traffic illustration

What are the advantages of organic searches?

  • Costs nothing, and allows you to take advantage of evergreen content as well. Organic content marketing is one of the most fundamental components of a
  • Boosts credibility, and makes you a subject-area expert.
  • Attracts relevant users who are actively searching for the information.

What are the 3 most important components of SEO optimization?

1. Keyword Analysis

1.     Generating Keywords is one of the most important parts of SEO. These are the terms that your customers will be searching for on Google, and the goal is to have your website pop up early in their search results. This is why it’s so important to think like a customer when you create your keyword list (and in all other things marketing-related as well)!


Here are the major objectives of keyword analysis:

1.     Select specific keywords to target specific customers. Think niche, or for customers who really know what they are looking for and just need to find where they can purchase it! You want your page to show up in their search results.

2.     Select general keywords to reach more people. Think of your customer in this instance as a person who has a problem or desire, and they are looking for the right solution.

3.     Put similar keywords into groups. Your customers want information that is easy to find and they don’t want to hunt around, and neither does Google!

4. As you’re researching keywords and phrases, pay attention to search volume. We all make assumptions as to how people search for content, but let the keyword tools be your guide and choose content that has a higher search volume.

What is keyword analysis?

Exact Match Keywords. How much traffic is going to be driven to your site’s pages because they typed in a particular keyword?

Phrase Match Keywords. Humans usually think, type, and read in phrases, so make sure to do your keyword research that includes common phrases.

Broad Keywords are going to be those included on a search engine results page that are relevant, if not an exact match.

Negative Keywords in your search results are words that might confuse your customer or lead them in the wrong direction, and so these are keywords that you want to exclude.

2. Backlink (or just “link”) Building.

What is link building?  

Link building is the process of acquiring new links to your own website, to help boost your SEO. A backlink is when another website links back to your homepage or to a specific page on your website.

How backlinks work

Why is link building important?

Backlinks help a search engine view your content as relevant and can help to improve your SEO rankings. Chances are, there are several to even hundreds of other pieces of digital content on your website that your customers will be interested in learning more about! Having other web pages link to you shows legitimacy to search engines and will improve SEO rankings.

Make sure that your web pages don’t include any broken links, and update your existing content often.

3. Content Creation

What is content creation?

Blog post (written, and formatted correctly, including header tags, meta tags, title tags, and more) It’s important to create content that is high-quality and publish it on your website, but it must also be easy for your potential customers to read and enjoy too! Blog posts are perfect for this.


Be sure to use a keyword research tool when you’re starting to create content. It’s better to know what your intended audience is actually searching for before you start writing than to just assume. Use semantically related keywords that come naturally in the writing and don’t sound forced. Make sure your intention is to help solve a problem and don’t come off as sounding like you’re just trying to make a sale.

Webpage text includes the content on each webpage, that describes your offerings, talks about your company or organization, or explains a process, special offer, and more.

Meta descriptions and the page title need to include the keyword or phrase you’re trying to optimize for.

Images are very important to improving search results. Consider your own search habits. How often do you hop on Google images looking for a specific product? Make sure the images you load to your site are sized small enough to display well on both a desktop and mobile device.

Infographics are very useful for establishing the value of your product or service, as an overall part of your digital marketing strategy.

Videos are becoming more popular every year when it comes to marketing, and they should not be overlooked as a part of your digital marketing. Ever notice how the first few search results are typically YouTube videos? That’s not by accident. Google search knows how much video people consume and it’s only increasing each year!

Social media posts can also show up on Google’s search results, and it’s a great way to repurpose high-quality content too!

Podcasts can include show notes and other content that can drive SEO traffic.

Newsletters or a guest post can be a great way to use content marketing, and create new backlinks too!

FAQs (think voice search engine optimization) are a great way to help your customers solve their problems fast, by providing them with the solution!


How do you optimize content for SEO?

Now that we understand a little more about SEO optimization, how can you tweak your existing content and create an SEO strategy that will drive traffic to your site, is easy to read, takes organic traffic into consideration, and will help supercharge your existing site?

Six Tips for Maximizing SEO in your Content Creation: 

1.     Define Your Website Goals. This will help you identify the purpose behind your content. Is it an eCommerce SEO strategy? Local SEO? An online store? Domain authority you are looking for? Establish your goals first.

2.     Establish your target market. This will help you provide the right keyword strategy, and increase search traffic to your site.

3.     Make sure you’re using relevant keywords. Just because it’s relevant content to you, doesn’t mean that search engines or your customers will agree!

4.     Make a calendar for content creation. This keeps your digital marketing strategy on course, and helps you identify what’s working, and what’s not! Google Analytics will help you identify areas for improvement as well!

5.     Make your content useful for your audience. Customers use search engines to solve their problems, so make sure you engage in content creation with this in mind!

6.     Format content that is easily readable. Content that is user-friendly, and that mobile users will enjoy as well is incredibly important not only when it comes to your search engine ranking, but customer ranking as well!

BONUS: Your content’s intent needs to be to solve an issue, genuinely! Consider writing a blog post that helps your customers or potential customers solve something on their own. That quality content will go a long way in establishing you as an expert and the next time that visitor needs help, they’ll likely think of you first.

Are SEO and SEM the same?

The best way to think about SEO and SEM is that one is paid, the other is organic traffic. SEO is the practice of optimizing your content to rank higher with search engines. SEM (search engine marketing) is paid traffic. Advertising. Let’s discuss.


What’s the difference between Google Search ads and Google Display ads? 

Google Search ads can take your SEO strategy to the next level. Here are the basics!

The Three Components of a Google Search ad: 


Display URL

Description text

google search ads vs display ads

What are the different types of ad extensions for Google?







Lead form

What are Google Display ads?

Google Display Ads are ads that show up on the Google Display Network.

What is the Google Display Network? 

GDN is a group of more than two million websites, videos, and apps where your Google Ads can appear. Now that’s a lot of opportunities to get your product or service in front of your target audience!

How do Google Display Ads target your audience?

Interest Targeting. Chances are, if you are interested in purchasing something, you have likely searched for it online before. Google remembers and takes advantage of this.

Affinity Audiences are created by Google to help tie your customer’s browser history to your products and services!

Custom Affinity Audiences take this a step further, perfect for more specific products or services.

In-Market Audiences are for those who are already looking for a particular item, usually in apparel or accessories.

Demographic Targeting: 

Age. Depending on the product or service you offer, age can be a very important demographic factor.

Gender. There are just so many products and services that one gender may find more appealing than the other, so make sure you are getting in front of the right one!

Parental status. Empty nesters aren’t likely to be wanting to purchase the same time of things a new parent might!

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Now what?

Now that we’ve had a crash course in search engine optimization, you might be feeling ready to take it on yourself. But if you are like most of us, these answers may have created additional lists of questions for you, and that’s when you know you are ready to take the next step!

There are many great SEO and keyword research tools out there to help you guide or improve your SEO rankings, but if you are looking for a really comprehensive and robust SEO and keyword tool, we recommend SurferSEO. In fact, it’s the tool we use and did use to write this article! Thanks to a referral from our friend Travis over at SharpCommerce, we’re using Surfer to write content that helps solve problems for our readers and ranks well with search engines.

Surfer has some incredibly powerful tools built in. Things like running an audit on your site, keyword research, content planner and content editor act as your guide to creating content that ranks well in organic search results.

Here’s a great example of how the content editor works in Surfer. Let’s say you want to write a blog post about starting a backyard orchard. Backyard orchard is the key phrase you want to build this content around. By doing some initial keyword research in Surfer, you’ll find related phrases, how often they’re searched for and whether they have a high enough density worth including in your content.

Next, you’ll set up a content editor based on the key phrase of “backyard orchard.” Surfer will analyze, scrape the web for related content and give you a great starting point with suggested titles, keywords to include as you’re writing, how many paragraphs, headings, images, words, etc. you should be including to fully optimize the blog post you’re writing. As you write, you’ll be ranked with a fun little meter on the right side. Obviously, us achiever types want to get to 100, but just getting your content into the green is a great start.

When you’ve written to your heart’s content and just can’t write anymore, export the copy, images and meta descriptions to your web editor. The H tags, alt tags, images, etc. will stay in tact, just as you arranged them in the content editor in Surfer and you’ll be off and running with your new blog post. Tidy it up on your site, ensure the post has a quality meta description that includes your key phrase and publish!

If you’re using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you should start seeing more organic traffic to that newly optimized piece of content in about a month. Follow the guides in Surfer and you’ll go far in this life of content marketing, SEO ranking, web page building madness.

If you’re thoroughly overwhelmed and not interested in creating your own content, we have one more solution for you. Hire Peppershock! We act as an extension of your marketing and creative department with our staff of marketing strategists, media planners/buyers, video producers, copywriters and graphic designers. We’ll start the partnership with a marketing audit, create plans and strategies from our findings and get to work building your brand and bottom line.

Are you ready to see how you can start creating better content?

Get in touch today!

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