In this article, I’ll let you know about the best Holistic SEO Approach that you can use improve to every aspect of your website. And, one way to stay afloat is by using a good link-building approach. Unfortunately, link building alone isn’t easy. But, that doesn’t mean it’s rocket science — it takes a lot of work if you do it right.
One thing is for sure, link building done the wrong way can backfire very tremendously. Whilst, at times, resulting even in a ban from a SERP such as Google, Bing, Yandex, as well as the other main and topmost search engines altogether. Usually, that’s why it’s always a good idea to get more backlinks — but, while link building from a holistic SEO perspective.
Just like Yoast SEO, our Web Tech Experts always try their best to combat the notion that SEO is just a trick. While tricks might get you ranked quickly, they usually don’t work in the long run — they might even backfire in the end. Permanently ranking well in Search Engine Results Page (SERP) like Google, Bing, or Yandex demands an extensive SEO strategy.
With an approach focused on every aspect of your website. Namely; the technical stuff, the user experience, the content on your website and the security of your website all need to be in order. So, to keep going and rank well on the main SERP like Google, you should develop a Holistic SEO Approach to guide you in your website marketing strategy.
What Is A Holistic SEO Approach?
A Holistic SEO Approach in Search Engine Optimization refers to improving all important aspects of a website in order to make it rank higher in the search engines. The ultimate goal is to make a website fulfill its users’ needs on all levels. Particularly, by providing the right information at the right time, as well as making it easy and safe to use.
Simply put, when you choose to use this strategy, you are putting keywords and rankings to the side and targeting the person doing his or her internet search. Your strategy is all about the user, their needs, their experience with your website, and good customer service. It helps you solve that problem and lets you design your content seamlessly.
Resource Reference: Holistic SEO: How To Improve Your Website
As well as to hold your visitors and convert them into customers. In other words, Holistic SEO means that you’ll do everything to make your website the best. For instance, you should show high-quality information, provide an excellent user experience, have the fastest website, and so on. Furthermore, link building will only get easier with time.
That’s if your website offers a great experience — just like your products and/or services. It’s far more likely that people are willing to write about and link to such a site. To reach this goal, website owners should, at least, focus on a variety of key aspects of their websites.
Such aspects include:
- good technical SEO
- writing quality content
- structuring web content well
- a great user experience
- keeping a site secure, etc.
Link building should feel like a normal marketing activity and not like a trick. Do remember that link building should generate links that get your target audience to your site. Those are the people that will read your posts, subscribe to your newsletter, or buy your products. Those people will make your business thrive among other benefits as follows.
Why Consider A Holistic SEO Approach?
Google’s mission is to build the perfect search engine that helps people find what they are looking for, whether that’s the answer to “Where is Wijchen?”, a recipe for apple pie, or the best toaster. Making your website and your marketing strategy fit this goal is the way to go. Which doesn’t mean that if Google says jump, you ask, how high?
While Google has changed its algorithm numerous times, most of our advice has remained the same ever since we started. This advice is simple (which doesn’t mean it’s easy though!). You’ve to make sure your site is exceptionally good. Having a website with high-quality content, offering a great user experience and up-to-date security is very great.
When Google entered the SEO scene, it was a game-changer. Obviously, because their algorithm didn’t just look at the content on a web page. Rather, it also took backlinks into consideration. If you have a backlink, that means another website is linking to your website.
The holistic method provides better content, looks after your visitor’s needs, and makes them feel that they are valuable to you. You provide them with an atmosphere that is not insulting, doesn’t treat their needs as frivolous or irrelevant, and helps them use their time more effectively.
Using the Holistic SEO Approach is helping you provide a better shopping experience for those people visiting your website. One of the keys to converting visitors to customers is to treat them right from the moment they enter your website. Let’s consider the following significant facts between a traditional SEO strategy and a holistic SEO approach.
Traditional SEO Strategy:
- Uses a technical SEO checklist to land on the first page.
- Uses short or single keywords for better ranking.
- Ignores the needs of the person doing the internet search.
- Focuses solely on ranking and not content.
A Holistic SEO Approach:
- Focuses on the needs of the person doing the internet search.
- Using longer keywords provides faster results.
- Gives them exact responses to their search question.
- Provides interesting and relevant content.
- You get the right visitors to your website.
Perse, that’s what business is all about. It treats the customer correctly and in turn, that visitor into a repeat customer. This means, that a good holistic SEO approach helps you do your business even better than usual.
But, unfortunately, all this will not instantly improve your ranking. In the long run, though, it will definitely have a positive effect on your SEO! Most Great Websites tend to get more links from other websites and will also receive more social media attention. And, on top of that, a majority of people behave differently on a website that they like.
Particularly, compared to a website they don’t understand. Google uses these kinds of user signals to find out how people experience your site. Awesome websites will also result in higher conversions. If your audience likes and understands your website, the chance of them buying your products or returning to your website is, of course, much higher.
Where Does SEO And UX Site Design Meet?
At jmexclusives, we think SEO doesn’t only work when you use a holistic approach in your SEO strategy. And, for one thing, there are many other driving elements and factors to consider as well. For instance, optimizing your page titles isn’t enough. It’s also about site speed and User Experience (UX), and great content is obviously a huge part of it.
In the 90s, it was possible to show up on search engines, based on the content contained on your web page. That was pretty much the main and only factor for deciding what should be displayed in search results. Yahoo! was the leading search engine, by far. What did they look at? They looked at the content on your website.
Then, Google launched in 1998 and things changed. For an impressive timeline of SEO history, take a look at The History of Search Engines. Google made sense that more credible websites would be linked. Many websites had pages that were loaded with useless text and stuffed with keywords.
Of course, the website owners hoped the text being present would make them rank well. And, that worked until Google came along. Google recognized there were many pages that provided tons of text and no real value. But, when a website has another website linking back to it, that shows a vote of value. This is, especially, true at that time!
More so, when there was no real incentive to hyperlink to someone else. You only linked to someone because there was something worth linking to. In the end, the revelation is that; the quality of search results for Google became much better. Even better than what other search engines were providing, because of their innovative algorithm.
Why Quality Content Is Important In A Holistic SEO Approach
If you have a website, you want it to rank well in search engines. The more website traffic you get, the more business you get. So, optimizing your website for search engines makes a lot of sense. Over the years, there have been two primary factors that were considered of utmost importance for ranking well.
These include quality content and quality backlinks. Meaning, that a Holistic SEO Approach isn’t just about creating content and backlinks. Rather, it’s about creating quality content that meets the users’ needs and addresses their intent. And, this is in accordance with a #JLM #HolisticSEO Tweet.
In a holistic approach, SEO has a lot of “teammates” that have to work together. Come to think of it, in a lot of ways, SEO simply targets the search engines and UX targets the visitor, both with a shared goal: to provide the best experience possible. Realistically, there are so many common page elements that influence both SEO and UX.
If you just look at the basic elements on a page that influence your SEO, you’ll find a close relationship between SEO and UX. I’ll list a few elements that are important for both a successful SEO plan and UX site design below.
1. The Overall Site Structure
When a visitor ends up on any one of your pages, you want to make sure they know where they are on your website. It should be clear to them that there’s more to explore on your site. If you initially fail to answer the user’s question in Google, at least be so polite as to direct them to it.
You want to prevent that click back to the search result pages. That click back to the search result pages is called a bounce. And a high bounce rate can have a negative influence on your SEO. It indicates to Google that you may not be answering your visitors’ search query.
One way to prevent a bounce is to make sure your site structure is clearly reflected on your page. That has to do with an optimized menu, but I think even more with just making sure your website has a good structure. Do keyword research, and set up that site structure the right way. Take our site structure course for more in-depth information on that.
Setting up the right website pages taxonomy structure, means, for starters, just one and one thing only. That you’re clearly making sure that your structure is clear from your breadcrumbs. And, at least, it’s also a reflection of your site menu.
2. Great Website Content Plan
If you want to rank well, you need to produce great content on your website. That’s been true for decades, and it’s still true. The more value your website provides, the more your website visitors will benefit. And search engines want to make sure the people they send your way are benefiting.
You can also think along the lines of related posts and products, for instance. By building a nice, hierarchical site structure, you make sure that Google can efficiently crawl your pages and visitors can easily find what they are looking for. SEO and UX are naturally influenced by this. If you provide quality content, most people would want to link back to you.
Likewise, in the same manner, more visitors would want to read both your blog posts and web content pages as well. And even take more of their precious time to stay on your blog articles and website pages till they finish reading what best interests them. Moreover, these incoming links and the time-on-page are something that even Google will notice.
Google could start to consider your content as the main source of information on a certain topic. Just like we are for WordPress SEO in this case. Images and videos create rich content, which both Google and your users enjoy. All in all, it’s clear that there are many areas where SEO and UX meet, right there on your pages.
3. Utilize The Role Of Quality Backlinks
Aside from having great content, you need other ways to show the value of your website to search engines. One of the most valuable ways to do this is to acquire quality backlinks. There are many ways to generate backlinks. If you aren’t improving your backlink profile, that’s something you should work on.
Over the years, it has mostly been assumed that all you need to do is primarily write content and get backlinks. And that was typically enough. But so much has evolved with SEO, especially as of 2020, till today. So, while content and backlinks matter, there are nuances. These nuances are so significant that they overlap with other realms of digital marketing.
They go beyond what’s typically thought of as SEO. Your typical SEO is called “traditional SEO.” It’s primarily centered around content and backlinks. Holistic SEO, on the other hand, is centered around providing true value to the website visitor. It’s focused on addressing the user’s intent. And that’s where semantic SEO comes in.
That’s a topic for an entirely different blog post. To learn more, check out the article on how to use SEO Semantics in your content strategy in detail.
4. Page Titles And (Sub)Headings
Oftentimes, a well-optimized page title and related, visible
<h1> element will tell SERPs what your page is about. That page title also informs the visitor what that page is about, already on Google’s result page. So does that
<h1> element, obviously. Subheadings like
<h2> help both Google and your visitors scan a page and grasp the general idea.
By all means, headings help users and search engines to read and understand the text. For example, they act as signposts for the readers and make it easier for them to figure out what a post or page is about. Headings also define which parts of your content are important, and show how they’re interconnected.
In other words, we use headings to show both site content, and web text structure, improve accessibility, improve content SEO, etc. Important to realize, that you are limited to using one H1 heading on each page. The H1 heading should be the name/title of the page or post. Like on this page, that’s “How Holistic SEO Approach Can Improve Every Website Aspect”.
You can think of your H1 like you would think of the name of a book. For example, on a category page, your H1 would be the name of that category. Or, on a product page, it should be the product name. And then, as you write your content, you can use H2 and H3 subheadings to introduce other different sections — like the chapters of a book.
5. Top Site Speed Performance
Yes, we also have to address site speed, again and again. It’s one of the things that heavily influence both SEO and UX. Google wants to spend only a certain amount of time each time it’s on your site to crawl it. Visitors don’t like waiting for your content to load. When an SEO recommends lazy loading of images, this improves the user’s and SERP’s experience.
If you defer parsing of JS and CSS files where possible, you make sure there is something to see on your page as soon as possible. Again, for both SERPs like Google, Yandex, or Bing and the site visitors. See! It’s not all rocket science, right? In short, speed is one of the key factors which determines whether you get a good ranking for your site or not.
So, for starters, a fast website provides a much better user experience than a slow one. Research has shown time and again that people don’t buy as much from slower sites, and don’t read or engage as much on slower sites. That in itself should be enough reason to make sure the speed of your site is as good as can be.
Beyond just being better for users, faster websites can be easier for search engines to crawl, process and index. That means that your posts will take less time to show up in the search results, as well as perform and rank better. Site speed is a ranking factor, and its importance keeps growing. In this blog post, learn about the tools to improve site speed.
6. Mobile Devices User Experience
If you aren’t currently working to develop the content on your website, and striving to provide value to your audience, then you’re giving your competition the advantage. What goes for site speed, goes for your mobile website as a whole. Yes, it should be fast! Equally, it should also be well-designed and have killer navigation.
So that both the site users and SERPs can easily find answers. As well as quick access to what they are looking for in a heartbeat. However, that doesn’t involve cramming everything you have into your menu. But, it could mean that you have to think hard about your mobile homepage.
Ask yourself this; does it,
- cover the main areas of your website, for your user?
- set a mood and lure or invite your visitors,
- offer access to search engine bots, into the rest of the website as well?
Even button sizes on your mobile website could be of influence here. I’ve written a post a while back on mobile UX you should read. Every one of those recommendations influences mobile SEO as well, directly or indirectly. And feel free to ask Google’s opinion on your mobile website via their Mobile-friendliness test, for instance.
Steps To Create The Best Holistic SEO Strategy Through An SEO Lens
Notably, many Search Engine Optimizers (SEOs), such as myself, no longer focus just on content and backlinks. There’s so much more strategy that needs to be involved. This strategy overlaps with non-SEO aspects of marketing.
This can be done by creating your website content to help the visitor become more interested in what you are offering, a good SEO consultant will tell you more about this. The better experience they have, the more likely they will travel down the conversion funnel and be converted from a visitor to a customer.
That end goal is why you have the website in the first place. You want to make money and the only way to do that is to convert those visitors into customers. The end goal is achieved through different qualities found on your website. To understand how to use a holistic SEO approach, it is best to understand the concept of the conversion funnel herewith.
The topmost qualities include:
- Easy navigation features.
- How easy is it to find the information they are looking for?
- How relevant that information is.
- The quality of information you share online.
- Does the service or product meet the visitor’s needs at the right price?
To be successful in these qualities, you should also choose your primary project type clearly. From branding + design, website + app to even marketing + SEO/SEM. There are 4 stages or phases in converting a visitor to a customer in this approach while considering the conversion funnel strategy.
- Awareness: this phase is where a person becomes aware of your internet presence and your services or products.
- Interest: hereafter becoming aware of what you do and where you are located, your product or services pique their interest and they want to know more. The person doing the search then visits your website.
- Consideration: your website content is so convincing and interesting that the visitor starts to think about purchasing your product over your competitor’s.
- Conversion: they have liked your website’s content, easy navigation, etc. And, they make the decision to purchase your products or services.
When you turn to the holistic SEO approach to help market your products or services, there are some key questions you need to address. These questions help make your content more interesting and help each visitor take the next step.
Some of the questions to ask are:
- What is your website’s purpose?
- What are your goals for your website and visitors?
- How do you want to attract traffic?
- What type of clientele do you want to attract and target?
- How can you make your customer service better than what you have experienced?
It’s important to realize, in a holistic SEO approach, that it’s not just about ranking on Page #1 anymore. Bearing in mind, that traditional marketing on the internet has always been about landing on page 1 of search engine results. The common thought used to support this thinking is that people are lazy, and they won’t look for websites past page 1.
Basically, the problem isn’t with achieving page #1 rank goals. Rather, it’s what to do with the people after they see you on page 1. And then, as a result, they visit your website to see what you offer. If it isn’t much, they will move on to competitors.
Step #1: Website Development Through An SEO Lens
Many website developers will say they do SEO. But in reality, they only embrace a few SEO factors. For example, including meta titles for each page is an SEO practice, but it’s not all that should be done for website development. On that note, web developers should work with SEO professionals to ensure their websites are as SEO-friendly as possible.
He’s a practical test to see if your website development is done to the fullest possible SEO standards. Go to web.dev and run a test on your URL. Below is a screenshot of what the results will look like. In the screenshot below you’ll see the results for Facebook when I test their website.
As you can see, their results aren’t perfect from an SEO perspective. One of the metrics in the report is called “SEO.” But in reality, the other factors play a role in SEO performance as well. For example, if your website doesn’t load quickly, that has to do with the “Performance” and “Best Practices” metrics. Though, a slow website will also impact SEO performance.
It’s unlikely your website developer will have run the web dev-test on your website prior to going live. But, this is something your SEO person will take a look at, and want to have improved, if possible. Keep in mind, that your website developer probably didn’t estimate your website cost based on having perfect scores on the web.dev.
That would be very difficult to do, so don’t take it out on them. However, once they’re nearing completion, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a test done on the development site. See if there are any major red flags that should be taken care of, prior to going live. And, if you want all 100s, expect to spend some more time on development.
Step #2: Content Strategy Through An SEO Lens
The SEO professional has a fairly unique ability to identify topics your target audience is likely to read. He or she can actually tell you how long a blog post or article should be, and how often people are searching for a particular topic. Of course, a content manager can think of good topics to write about.
But, what if they worked with the SEO person to make sure the topics will result in increased traffic? Also, the SEO professional can look at previously published content, and see how much traffic it currently gets. Then, they can suggest the content be lengthened and republished, to drive greater results.
For example, I can tell you that if you want to rank well for “SEO in 2022” and beyond, you should plan on writing at least 3,172 words and have a Domain Authority (DA) Score of at least 81. All these strategies are easy for a holistic SEO professional to create, though not every company thinks to ask their SEO person to come up with a content strategy.
If you have an editorial calendar but haven’t asked your SEO webmasters to review it, you might be missing out. Also, consider having your topic titles reviewed for SEO-friendliness. If just changing the title can spike your traffic, it’s probably worth doing. Your SEO team will know how to research this.
Step #3: Social Media Through An SEO Lens
In the past, there was a lot of speculation that having a large social media following would be a ranking signal for Google. However, Google made a very clear statement that social media followers and pages aren’t ranking signals. But, there’s a catch; while social media doesn’t directly impact your SEO performance, it does indirectly impact it.
As an example, let’s say you create a fantastic blog post about a trending topic within your industry. Then, you share that blog post on social media. Due to the value of the post, it goes viral within your industry. This in turn results in you generating backlinks from other industry-relevant blogs, that decide to reference your content.
These backlinks from third-party websites do impact your own rankings. Because of this, it’s important that your social media activities and SEO activities work hand-in-hand. They need to work together to help you get the greatest reach possible. Is your social media person keeping your SEO goals and objectives in mind, when they post content?
If so, what are they doing? And if they aren’t, what should they be doing. By the way, there are some great studies out there that show social media activity is correlated to enhanced SEO performance. This goes to correlation, not causality. Just have great content that does well on social media. Probably, it’s great content that helps with SEO performance.
Step #4: Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising Through An SEO Lens
In reality, both SEO and Pay Per Click (PPC) are two different tactics for driving traffic to your website. And, there are advantages and disadvantages to each one of them. However, it’s a good idea to make sure your ads are working in conjunction with your SEO. For instance, paying Google Ads is a great way to show up at the top of search results.
Likewise, if you are running your Google Ads because you don’t currently rank well in the organic search results (non-paid results), that’s fine too. But, is it possible you now do show up at the top of Google and don’t realize it? If so, you may be paying to have an ad, when you’re already ranking organically. That might be a waste of your money.
Then again, it may not. It depends on your strategy. Here’s another example of how SEO and PPC should work together. You want your PPC ads to lead people to a page that converts well. Have you asked your SEO person which pages on the website have the best conversion rates? Someone who considers a holistic SEO approach can do quite a lot of stuff.
To enumerate, they should be able to easily figure that out, especially if Google Analytics is installed. It may be that your PPC person needs to adjust their ads so they’re driving traffic to a better landing page. Pay-Per-Click Marketing is a great way of using search engine advertising to generate clicks to your website, rather than “earning” those clicks organically.
Step #5: Email Marketing Through An SEO Lens
Generally, Low-Cost Marketing Strategies are an approach to marketing that works best for small businesses with a limited budget. It emphasizes low-cost tactics with a high return on investment and a viral component, like social media and word of mouth. So, promoting the most popular content via emails will likely result in acquiring more backlinks.
Email Marketing is the use of an emailing platform to promote products or services while developing relationships with potential customers or clients. It is essentially direct mail — only that it’s done electronically instead of through the postal service. It’s the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using a digital mailbox.
By the same token, Email Publishing is also one of the best marketing and lead conversion strategies to consider. Particularly, for long-lasting, outstanding, and competitive results. Therefore, SEO knowledge can also be applied to email marketing too. When you send an email, you should try to generate some type of response from the recipient.
That may be to encourage them to read a recent blog post. This goes back to what I said about the content strategy. Make sure the content being promoted is in-line with your target market. You can see this through Google Analytics, which your SEO professional should be paying attention to.
Start Your Own Strategic Plan, In A Simple Way!
The bullets listed above are just some of the ways you can leverage SEO to improve your marketing. But really, you should have a candid conversation with your SEO person. Don’t just think about assigning them a blog post to write in an SEO-friendly way, and encourage them to get backlinks. Rather, have them help you craft the best possible plan for you.
In addition to a strategic way to move your marketing forward on all fronts. In most cases, one marketing channel specialist doesn’t overlap with other marketing practices. For example, a Google ads person probably doesn’t have anything to do with website development. Neither does an email marketer doesn’t do anything with SEO.
Nor does a web developer have anything to do with social media marketing. However, the SEO professionals you choose should be able to provide great value to many aspects of your marketing. In fact, an SEO professional with significant experience should make a great marketing director. This is because they tend to have a good overview to fit everything.
This is what sets a traditional SEO practitioner apart from a holistic SEO approach practitioner like us. In fact, there’s a great blog post that talks about the difference between old SEO and holistic SEO in detail that you can check out.
My final advice for this blog article is to consider your own SEO marketing strategy. Have you had an SEO professional review it? If not, should you? We would be happy to help on this front if it’s something you’re interested in. Just shoot us an email by visiting our contact page, or even scroll down to submit your request through the contact form below.
Sure, you say, but where to start? We understand you might feel overwhelmed by this advice. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve your knowledge about the above-mentioned topics. For starters, there’s a free SEO for beginners course for you — a great starting point to learn how SEO works.
If you really want to put this knowledge to practice, you can also consider trying the All-around SEO training as well. Whereby, you’ll get lots of hands-on tips to start improving many aspects of your own site. It doesn’t just tell you about SEO: it makes sure you know how to put these skills into actual practice!
Other More Relevant Weblog Topics:
- SEO Specialists | What A Web Content Auditing Job Entails
- Content SEO Audit | How To Improve Your Web Presence
- SEO In Digital Marketing | 7 Best Practices To Take Serious
- Why Search Intent In SEO Is An Important Marketing Element
- Social Media SEO | How To Increase Your Brand Web Presence
- Image SEO | 5 Tips To Create An SEO-Friendly Blog Images
- Content Marketing | How It Is Done In Simple Step By Step
Just want to read and learn more? Well, check out these beginners’ guides to help you get started! Likewise, if you want to learn more about link-building strategies and other essential SEO skills, you should also check out our web content SEO audit blogs for free! Otherwise, good luck with your SEO, and by extension, your marketing as a whole.
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