The Beginners SEO guide
Search engine optimization or SEO for short is a method to rank high on the search engines. This is important because of consumer searching patterns. Before there was the internet, people searched for reliable businesses through word of mouth or through advertisements that they saw on the streets and on TV. However, with greater internet penetration, the search method has shifted to search engines. Google handles about 3.5 billion searches daily. Ranking high on search engines means that potential customers have a higher chance of patronizing your business. However, the search engines do not exactly tell you how to rank high.
Understanding the Search engines
The success of the search engines comes from reliability. A reliable search engine provides the audience with results that are relevant to their search terms. However, if they do not find what they are looking for on a website or if the result is not relevant to their search terms, they deem the search engine to be bad at providing searches and abandon it.
To provide users with reliable results, the search engines crawl through websites with a criteria list. If websites score high on this list, they rank higher on the result page. The reason they don’t expose this list is so that the search climate does not get affected. If everyone knew the criteria list, we would all be building websites with the search engine as the target audience and when users land on a website that does not answer their questions adequately, they will not convert to paying customers.
The key takeaway is that search engines don’t want you to build websites for them. They want you to build websites with your customers in mind.
However, there are some things that you can do to help the search engines.
When you search for something on a search engine, you use specific terms like “printing services” or “Photobooth services”. The search engine will look for a page on a website that is relevant to the search term and presents it to you. The first step to any SEO plan is to set up your keyword map. Plan out what keywords you want each of your website pages to have and rank for and then plan content around that keyword. Check out the keyword mapping guide here for a more comprehensive look at what your keyword map should look like.
Writing compelling content with appropriate keywords is important. However, this effort is wasted if your website is not developed properly. Besides an elegant design, a website needs to have some important things to retain your audience. Faster load times, good message intent, easy navigation, appropriately places CTA forms and testimonials are some of the things that must be on your website. The main thing is to have user experience in mind. Create a website that has good structure along with all these things and you are sure to score high on the search engines.
Ideally, you want people who come to your website to explore every page of your website. Unfortunately, unlike IKEA, you cannot trap people in your website and force them to go through your entire website. You need to give them a reason to want to visit various pages on your website. Most of your products and services are likely related to one another. You need to find a way to link these things together. When people crawl through your website, it increases the traffic of your website which improves your SEO score and increases your website rank on the search engines. Internal linking can seem like a confusing process; however, it can be made easy.
Social media is a great tool to improve SEO as we have mentioned before. In order to increase the social signals that you send to the search engines, you need to create content that is worth sharing. “Content is king” is a phrase commonly used by marketers. However, understanding what content is popular on social media, involves some research on popular trends in social media.
Article content used to be very popular a few years ago. However, these days, video content has become way more popular, especially how-to videos. Videos, take a long time produce and edit especially if you do not have enough experience in editing. There are many up and coming videographers now that provide their services for a much lower price that you can consider using. Chasing social trends can become a bad idea if you do not relate it back to your business.
SEO is a very complicated topic because of its vagueness. However, if you put in enough effort into improving your SEO, you will begin to see conversions. This guide although not extensive is great for SEO beginners to begin using SEO to improve your business. Understand that this is a very time-consuming process and expensive when done wrong Consult us today to see how we can help supplement your SEO efforts.