What Is SEO

If you don’t have a clue about SEO and you’ve just recently learned about it, but you understand that you will be needing it, then learning more about this subject is essential. This not an area where you can wander alone, without any knowledge and hope to learn as you go, because early mistakes in SEO can be quite costly and fixing them might require a lot of time and effort.

Do you actually know what SEO means and how great of an impact it can really have on your website? When I first heard about it, it sounded like something that only a few digital marketing gurus could understand and something that would probably take me a long time to learn how to do.

In this post, I will talk all about of SEO that will help you get good starting knowledge, which you can later use to successfully market your organization, no matter what it’s nature is or what industry you are in. If you plan on creating a strong online presence, then it’s essential to learn more about SEO, as it can make or break your online efforts.

SEO is a discipline that is dynamic and it changes often, the rules are never static, so don’t be surprised if in a year from now, some of the things I will talk about today no longer stand. However, I will mostly focus on the things that haven’t changed often in the past and are likely to remain the same in the future. Still, if you want to be up-to-date, you should always look to read and learn more.

What Is This “SEO”?

The acronym SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is a marketing technique which has been widely adopted over the web by both marketers, influencers, companies and other organizations that need to rely on their visibility online to get the results they want. To be more specific, the core of their online presence is their website, and improving its SEO means that it will get more organic traffic. But what does all of this really mean?

Organic traffic are people who come to your site through web searches. They don’t see any ads that lead them to your site, but instead your site appears in their searches on search engines and they click on it. When a person types certain words in the search bar, those websites which have the best SEO keyword optimization for those keywords will appear at the top of the search results pages.

This means that the chance of someone landing on your site naturally are far greater. There are various paid ad methods where you can push traffic to your site, but this will not make your site stable and you will have to spend a lot of money to get traffic constantly. On top of that, the chance of those people performing some action on your website are significantly lower.

SEO optimized website that has been worked on over a period of time is also more stable, your site will not disappear when you stop doing direct actions that support your SEO and your site will remain visible for a long time.

This marketing technique combines both creative skills and technical skills in order to improve website ranking, drive traffic, increase domain authority, and generally promote an organization around the web. With good optimization and a long campaign, a website can grow on its own and bring great results, even when the SEO efforts stop, and keep a business stable for a long time.

“Google” is the one who is in charge of all the rules that surround SEO and they are the ones that make changes and rank sites. They change their algorithms based on which sites are ranked every couple of years and this is why keeping yourself updated is essential if you want your SEO strategy to remain effective.

SEO revolves around many things, including keywords, content quality, linking, and the tagging strategy that’s being used while optimizing a website. If you are able to perform well all-around, you can guarantee that search engines will recognize your work and that Google’s algorithm will rank you fairly.

Reasons Why You Need An SEO Strategy

Most of the traffic that a website can attract today comes from various search engines. Some of these include Bing, Mozilla, Yahoo, Google etc. Despite the fact that there is an opportunity for driving traffic through social media, most of the web traffic that websites create comes directly through searches.

Simply put, people mostly click on websites they discover when searching for something in their web browser and this is how their web research works. The same trend applies to all websites, no matter if they represent a single person, a whole business organization, non-profit organization, or an educational institution. On top of that, websites can acquire more visitors through targeted searches and this brings a lot of value.

When a certain site is optimized for some keywords that are related to the content, services or products that the site offers to people who find it through organic search will be important visitors that genuinely have interest in what the site has to offer. This means that there are higher chances of conversion and someone making an action while on your site.

On the other hand, if your website is optimized for keywords which have nothing to do with its content, you will be able to attract organic traffic, but it will not be meaningful, given the fact that your site is not related to your optimization whatsoever. People will simply end up confused and go somewhere else to find what they are looking for.

Simply put, when web users type searches in their browser, they are also typing search queries that are highly valuable when talking about SEO. In the long history of online business and marketing there is solid proof that organic traffic that high SEO ranking provides can be very valuable and bring direct profit and exposure to organizations. The return of investment for this type of marketing is quite higher than other marketing techniques and this is a clear indicator of how valuable SEO is.

Why Do You Really Need SEO?

Perhaps you’re thinking that you don’t really need to bother with all this SEO mumbo-jumbo when your social media accounts count lots of followers who are constantly visiting your site in search for the products or services that you offer. If that is the case, then your social media marketing strategy must be effective, but how would you like to go even further than that and pull in even more people looking to buy what you are trying to sell?

While social media and other sources of traffic are certainly great at helping you generate leads and conversions, the majority of traffic comes from search engines. There are certainly a lot of people who are looking for what you have to offer and they have no idea that your business even exists. Search engine optimization will enable you to spread the word about your business and reach all those people who will be genuinely interested in what you do.

In a way, search engines are like yellow pages. Therefore, by placing your website in those yellow pages, you will help your target audience find you easily. All they need to do is type in their search queries in the search box and your website will pop up.

Therefore, if you don’t optimize your website for search engines, you miss out on a great deal of opportunities to expand your customer base and grow your business. Without SEO, your website would be buried deep in SERPs where no one would be able to actually see it and where not even web crawlers could find it and evaluate whether or not it is relevant to the searchers’ queries.

Why Do Websites Without SEO Get Ruled Out?

Search engines are complex things and there is serious programming behind them. There is a huge amount of content that gets uploaded online on a regular basis and it is so big that search engines need help to provide people the right content they are looking for.

All of those web browsers mentioned before constantly crawl the web and get updated regularly so that they can be efficient at finding the right information for the right users. This is how they are able to work properly and get better results, but there are still limitations. A well optimized website with an ongoing SEO campaign has the potential to drive hundreds or thousands of new visitors every day.

However, when you make mistakes in your SEO strategy, it’s possible to bury a website so deep that repairing the damages can be a long and costly process, just to be back at square one. When it comes to business, you have to put in a lot of effort to stay relevant online and a proper SEO strategy can provide your business with great benefits such as new leads, readers, community, sales etc.

The reason for this is that Google wants order online, and it expects businesses and other organizations to put in an effort if they want to be visible. Google doesn’t want to be tricked by anyone and people who tried this got their sites penalized so hard that they were never able to recover from it.

Is It Possible To Learn How To Do SEO By Yourself?

SEO marketing and optimization can be quite complex, however, if you put in enough effort, you will be able to do it solidly over time. By acquiring just the basic SEO knowledge, you will be able to improve the ranking of your site slowly. On top of that, there is a lot of valuable information about SEO you can find online from experts who do this for a living.

For many people who now do SEO for a living and create whole campaigns, their career started this way. All of them started learning from the basics, and over the years they improved their skills and found their way into marketing, where they were able to make a living. It’s possible to do SEO on your own from scratch, but you will have to create a solid plan and be determined to stick with it.

Doing some basic SEO can get you solid results and you will be able to rank a website so that it starts generating organic traffic. However, if you have need for advanced strategies and you don’t have the understanding to perform them, it’s better to find someone who does this professionally and pay for quality SEO services.

If not, you will spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do and in the end you will probably do the wrong things that will only create negative results. Figuring out the right strategy needed for a certain website is a complex analytic process and it requires a lot of knowledge. Figuring out what needs fixing in order to get the best results can be difficult, but acting quickly is crucial to minimize the damages and start repairing everything.

However, if you don’t have the time to do all of this by yourself, you can hire a digital marketing agency that has a lot of specialists and writers who will be able to do this better and, more importantly, they will be able to get the necessary results much quicker.

UX And SEO Are Now Closely Tied Together

As I’ve said before, Google likes to change algorithms every couple of years. One of the most recent changes they’ve made revolves around ranking sites, based on the user experience they provide to their visitors and to make sure that people do, in fact, land on a site that is relevant to them when they enter certain keywords into a search engine.

Simply put, if a person is looking for scientific work, relevant websites that contain valid studies or research need to pop up on the first page of their search results. When a person opens a site on the first page of the search results, finds the right topic and sees that there is plenty of quality content that interests them, it’s called a good user experience. On top of that, the quality of the content itself is becoming an increasingly important factor.

Websites that produce honest, relevant, original, and digestible content that has valuable and fresh information will be ranked better than those who are misleading or offer false information. In the past, SEO was all about keywords, but now user experience is also very important, including website design, images, videos, content etc. Because of this, people can no longer trick Google and spam keywords instead of giving relevant, quality experience to users.

On top of that, in the past people used to stack short blog posts filled with keywords and improve the speed of their campaign. However, the most effective blog posts now, apart from being well-written and relevant, need to be around 1500 words and include good formatting, bullets, images, videos and quality links. These are some of the most important changes in SEO, and many marketers and businesses had to change their strategies drastically.

These are the fundamentals of SEO you must learn and comprehend before you start doing anything to optimize your website. There is a lot more to learn, and you will have to put in a lot of work and time into developing your marketing skills. Don’t be discouraged, when you learn important things you will have no problem creating campaigns and making good results. Good luck!

Essential SEO Ranking Factors

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the first and most important step that you need to take when starting to optimize your website for search engines. It can really make or break your website, so it is of utmost importance that you do it right. Not only can this activity give you a clear insight into which terms and phrases people are typing in their search boxes in order to find something that you provide, so that you can implement them into your content and help them find you easily, but it can also help you learn more about your target audience and get to know them better.

Why is it important to get to know your audience? It’s because it’s not all about getting more traffic to your site – it’s about getting the right kind of traffic. That is why you need to learn everything about your target market, so that you can get an insight into its keyword demand.

The key is to figure out which keywords have a high search volume (the number of people who are searching for particular keywords), but you also need to make sure that they have low competition, because your chances of getting higher rankings will be much better when particular keywords produce fewer results.

One of the best tools that you can use to find the right keywords for your website is Google’s Keyword Planner. You can search for various keyword ideas and see how well they would perform and, by creating an AdWords account and logging into it, this tool can even provide you with ideas for keywords based on the content on your site.

Another important thing about keywords is the fact that search engine bots that read your site cannot exactly look at your images and videos and see whether or not they are relevant. You need to describe them using proper keywords, so that bots can actually understand them and determine your SEO ranking accordingly.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are phrases consisting of three or four words that very specifically describe what you offer. They can be incredibly valuable, but you need to know how to use them.

When someone searches for a very specific phrase, they usually already know exactly what they are looking for so, by implementing long-tail keywords into your content, you will help those people find you almost instantly. This is because those keywords have low competition and, more importantly, they are much more relevant. When search engines see that relevance, they will direct people to your site, as they will evaluate that you are the right source for the kind of information that people need.

For instance, if you are selling furniture, the keyword “furniture” would certainly get you loads of traffic, but most of it would not be the right kind of traffic that you need. The people who need specific pieces of furniture may not need the pieces that you are selling, so you will not be able to generate quality leads with this keyword.

On the other hand, if you implement keywords such as “home office wood furniture”, “wicker patio chairs” or “contemporary Art Deco lounge”, you would drive quality leads that you can easily convert. You would pull in less traffic, but it would be the right kind of traffic that will lead to increased sales and a higher ROI.

Crafting Relevant Content

Content is what sells, so they don’t say that content is king for nothing. The content that you present on your website is precisely what will help people learn more about the products or services that you offer, so you need to make sure that your content is informative and relevant.

What’s more, your content, together with your targeted keywords, is what will help search engines learn more about you and evaluate whether or not your website is a relevant source of information.

When you know which keywords you should use in order to help your target audience find you quickly, creating your content should be easy. However, you shouldn’t focus solely on the keywords, because your content may turn out to be plain and downright boring. Instead, try and create high-quality content that is unique and interesting, so that your target audience will be compelled to stay longer on your website and learn more about you, as well as come back again to see what else you have to say.

You need to update your content on a regular basis, so that you keep your audience engaged with new and fresh information about your business. Moreover, search engines love fresh content and, when they see that you frequently update your website with relevant content, they will rank you higher in SERPs. Also, make sure that your titles are eye-catchy and inviting, so that people will be enticed to actually read the pieces you publish.

Link Building

Link building may just be the most important SEO tactic that can bring you a lot of targeted traffic and increase your website’s ranking value. It is the process of implementing links from other websites into your content, that is, the process of adding hyperlinks from other websites to your own site.

Proper link building and, of course, relevant content will lead to other websites linking to yours. As a result, search engines will see you as a credible and trustworthy source of information, so they will increase your SEO ranking. The higher number of websites that link to your site, the higher your SEO ranking will be.

You need to make sure that you add links that are truly relevant and that can provide your readers with high-quality sources for further reading. The most essential thing to pay close attention to when including hyperlinks is the anchor text. The anchor text is that underlined clickable piece of text that you see in a hyperlink, so it must be relevant to the web page that the link leads to, because generic text will not help you improve your SEO ranking.

The best practice with adding links to your content is to add those that have the highest DA (Domain Authority). It is a search engine ranking score that shows how well a particular website will rank in SERPs. One of the best tools to help you find links with high DA is MozBar, so make sure you use it.

Optimizing Your Website’s Code

Apart from crawling your website to evaluate text, search engine bots also read your website’s code. Therefore, it is crucial that you optimize your code as well.

You need to optimize your title tags, as they show what each page on your website is really about. Make sure you have a unique title tag for every single page, and don’t forget to include your keywords. Heading tags are also vital, so they need to contain your keywords and be relevant, and you need to make sure that the main heading has an H1 tag, while the following ones descend to H2, H3, H4, and so on.

Optimizing your meta descriptions is also very important, not as much for your SEO ranking as for actually prompting your target audience to click through and see what your website is about. Again, your keywords should be included and you need to use full sentences, but be careful as not to make the descriptions too long, because search engines don’t display snippets longer than 160 characters. Also, your every website page should have a unique meta description.

Alt tags are essential for images, as they enable search engine bots to index your images properly. Therefore, along with relevant names and short descriptions of every image that you add on your website, you need to add alt tags. For instance, if a particular image is a shot of a red flower, the alt tag for that image would look something like this:

<img src=”http://mycity-web.com/images/redflower.jpg” alt=“redflower” />

Your URLs are extremely important for SEO as well because, if they are not structured well, search engines will not be able to index your website properly. In order to optimize your URLs for search engines, you should make them short and use only letters and numbers (without other characters, such as “?”, “!” “=”, “%”, “@”), as well as use dashes to separate words.

Final Words

These SEO basics will help you significantly increase your organic traffic, that is, traffic coming from search engines, so make sure you start implementing every piece of advice from this guide as soon as you can. It’s important to note that you won’t see a high peak in traffic immediately, because it takes time for search engines crawl your site, just as it takes time for you to see exactly what works for your website.

Therefore, start by figuring out what your target audience is looking for, so that you can make sure that your website can effectively meet their needs, and then proceed by optimizing your website for search engines, so that your target audience can actually find you quickly and easily. This is ultimately what search engines expect from you, so let the tips above guide you on your way to turning your website into a lead-generation machine.