Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short has revolutionized the internet. If you are new to the world of SEO, this Beginners Guide to SEO will help you learn the basics so that you can utilize the potential of SEO to your advantage. Having a strong understanding of SEO is crucial in the world of today. It allows you to take your business to the next level.
So What Is SEO And What Makes It Important?
Chances are that you might have come across the word SEO but might not know what it actually means. Instead of checking the definition of the term on Wikipedia, it is crucial to understand it. SEO is the process that impacts the visibility of a website or web page in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). However, you need to know the answer to the following questions.
- What is Social Bookmarking?
- How can you optimize your company website for search engines?
- How much should you spend on SEO?
- What is the difference between good SEO advice and harmful SEO advice?
What makes SEO interesting is how you can leverage it to drive traffic and boost sales.
Why Is SEO Important?
Everyone is always searching for something. It is that traffic that can prove extremely useful for your business. Your goal should be to target high-intent traffic. For instance, if you sell furniture, would you consider getting a billboard for anyone to see it while driving by or for it to only appear when someone searches for “furniture”? Obviously, you would want the latter. SEO allows you to target people that have commercial intent. It means that you get to target people that want to buy what you have to offer. Thus, you have great opportunity with SEO.
How Can You Drive Traffic from Search Engines?
The first thing that you need to keep in mind when proceeding with SEO is the fact that Google generates most of the search engine traffic in the entire world. That makes Google a dominant player that you need to focus on and understand. If you want to generate the highest online traffic, you need to understand what Google looks for when ranking a website or webpage. However, search engines are always changing. There are new updates all the time. Hence, you need to keep up with the latest SEO trends.
Google has an extremely complex algorithm that relies on different ranking factors. Let’s take a look at what it truly values.
- Highly relevant and high-quality content.
- The relevance of your website’s content is evaluated through crawling and algorithmically. It allows Google to determine if your content is even relevant to what searchers are looking for based on the keywords you have included.
- One of the ways through which quality is determined is by finding out how many other websites have linked to your web page and website.
- The way people engage with your website. Do people go through the site for information or do they keep coming back and click on other links?
- The loading speed and mobile-friendliness of your website.
- The amount of unique content on your website instead of duplicate content.
Although there are many other ranking factors, the ones mentioned above of critical importance.
Keyword Research Strategy
When it comes to search engine optimization, the first thing that you need to do is determine what you want to optimize. It means identifying which terms are searched by people (also called keywords). It might sound simple but when you think of it, how many pages appear when you type in “purchase furniture”? You would come across about 1,340,000,000 results in 0.53 seconds. That number has grown since the time this post was written. Thus, you should understand that there are certain key factors that should be considered when determining which keywords you should target. These are mentioned below.
- Search Volume: Find out how many people search for the keyword. Remember, the more people that search for the keyword, the bigger your audience. However, if no one has search for the keyword, it means that it has no audience.
- Relevance: It refers to keywords that people search for rather intuitively and mostly consist of long-tail keywords such as “what things should one do when in Alexandria?” Although relevance might seem straightforward, there is a lot that goes on into finding out what is relevant and what is not.
- Competition: You need to understand what your competition is all about. Find out what SEO trends and practices they follow and how you can outsmart them.
To get started with SEO, you first need to gain an understanding of your prospective customers and what they search for. The following questions will help you.
- What are they interested in buying?
- Do they have any problems and what are those problems?
- Which type of language and tools do they use when searching for something?
- Who else do they buy from?
After you have gone over the above questions, you should come up with some keywords. Take these keywords and input them into keyword tools. There are many keyword tools that you can use such as Uber Suggest. Make sure to use competitive keyword tools including SEM Rush.
After you have prepared the keyword list and done some research, you need to implement the targeted keywords into your website. Every page should contain the keywords related that what you have to offer. The following are some of the basic on page elements you should focus on.
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Body Content
- Alt Attributes
- URL Structure
- Schema and Mark-Up
Now that you have a better idea of what SEO is and how you can leverage it, you can get started on optimizing your website. However, since SEO is always changing, it is always better to hire an SEO expert to help you out.