SEO is the foundation of any digital marketing strategy. It enhances your website to increase its ranking, which gives you more organic traffic, leads, and sales. Furthermore, it also increases your reach, brand awareness, and authority
It has many benefits, but what is SEO?
If you’re a beginner to this subject, you may get overwhelmed by how complicated it looks. However, it’s a subject any website has to learn to flourish in search engines.
We can take it step-by-step, but you should know from the start that learning about SEO is neverending. That said, let’s learn about the basics first.
1. What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It refers to the practices used to optimize your whole site for the search engine.
Its main goal is to increase your visibility through high rankings. As the first page of the search engine results receives 92% of all clicks, it’s important to land a spot here. If you can, you should aim for the top three.
SEO encompasses all the elements of your website, from the structure to the content. All these must work together to reach high rankings for the pages and your website as a whole.
It involves knowing how you should design the website for optimization and knowing how users behave on the search engines so they can reach your website.
It’s about understanding your target audience – what their needs are, what they’re using as search terms, and more. In other words, SEO is both for Google’s algorithm and the audience.
White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
This is a good time to learn about black hat SEO. It’s the use of improper techniques to raise the rankings of websites.
For instance, instead of gaining backlinks the proper way, black hat tactics would involve using a link farm of sorts, where websites don’t have to do much effort to get a backlink. In essence, black hat SEO involves easy ways that misuse Google’s rules to fool the search engine.
Of course, Google has measures against such practices. If it finds out you’ve been using black hat SEO, you’ll get penalized or even removed from the search results.
2. Basic Elements of SEO
Now that you know what is SEO, let’s get into its basic components. Understanding these will help you become proficient with search engine optimization.
You could say that keywords are the backbone of SEO. They’re the centre of most SEO strategies, considering you need the right keywords for the page title, content, metadata, file names, and other parts of your site.
As such, you have to learn the right keywords to target.
How do you do that? Well, you have to know what keywords your audience is using to reach your website. These must be relevant to your niche.
You also have to think of the competitiveness of the keyword. General keywords, like “SEO,” will have you competing with a lot of bigger websites. Targeting something like, “local SEO New York,” or other long-tail keywords, however, will give you less competition.
These are the most important factors in SEO for Facebook Ads. Keywords help you target your ads to the relevant groups on Facebook. What’s great about Facebook is that you can make your targeting more accurate with the customizable options available for advertising.
You can look up different keywords in their respective search engines. For general SEO, Google and Bing are the best. For Facebook SEO, consider looking into Facebook’s algorithms to find out what’s best on the platform.
Your keywords will then go into your content, which can be in many forms. For websites, though, the common content is blog posts.
The relevance of your content will play a huge part in your rankings. The higher quality it is, the higher it will go up.
These posts should be informative or entertaining to the audience. They must be well-written with the right structure. The most important, however, is they must answer the question the audience has.
That means your content isn’t only for the search engine. It must serve its purpose for the readers, too.
There are three kinds of links you should keep in mind: internal links, external links, and backlinks.
Internal links are those that lead you to another part of your website. External links lead to another website, while backlinks come from other websites leading to yours.
Google crawlers use links to crawl the internet, so these are like roads to them. As such, they’re useful for making sure that crawlers can reach all pages of your website for indexing.
They also serve purposes for SEO. Backlinks, for example, are something like a vote of confidence from other websites. The more “votes” you get, the more trustworthy you seem to Google.
A lot of factors play into the importance of links in SEO. Make sure to learn more about them.
Metadata is what shows up in the SERP; it includes the title tag and the description. Your keywords will appear here, as well.
Perform a search and take a look at the results. Everything you see in one result is the metadata.
It should be relevant and descriptive enough for the crawler to get a pretty good idea of what the website is about. At the same time, it should also keep in mind the audience. It’s what the audience will use to decide whether to click the page or not.
Technical SEO deals with the technical side of your website, i.e. the things you can’t see. It involves making sure your URL structure, schema markup, website navigation, and so on are all optimized.
It also deals with the mobile responsiveness of your website and its loading speed. Yes, these also affect your rankings.
A mobile responsive website design helps visitors view your site without issues, no matter what device they’re using. Even with smaller or bigger screens, they’ll see the elements they need to see in their correct positions.
Loading speed is a huge issue that not all websites pay attention to. Each page must load fast; otherwise, the visitors will leave.
This will affect your bounce rate. It’s a metric that also affects your website’s credibility and rankings.
Learn More About SEO
As you can see, “what is SEO” is only the first question. There’s more to learn about it before you can use it to boost your business’s website.
But, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Contact us today and let’s discuss your goals and how you can reach them.