The Basics of SEO
There is no doubt that search engine optimization (SEO) is a key compnent to any digital marketing strategy. In this guide we will cover all of the basics of SEO including the following topics:
- What is SEO
- What are the benefits of SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Local SEO
With that said, let’s get started.
What is SEO?
Before talking about SEO it is important to understand what it is. Simply put, SEO is the process of building relationships with other relevant influencers, businesses and most importantly Google through indicators that increase your websites trust which in turn, positively impacts your search rankings for your desired keywords. Long-story short, it is the process of getting your website ranked to the top search results on Google so that your customers and future clients can easily find you and possibly buy from you over tour competitiors. The main types of SEO include:
- Technical SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
What are the Benefits of SEO?
SEO provides a multitude of benefits to companys who take their SEO marketing efforts seriously. Among the most notable benefits include the following:
- Increased brand visibility: Due to SEO’s ability to target certain keywords and locations you can position yourself infront of the right people and pinpoint your customers so that they can easily access your services. Ultimately, the more you position yourself in a way that is accessible to individuals, the more likely you will generate new leads, acquire new customers and make more sales.
- Increased monthly traffics and revenues: Another benefit of SEO is the increased monthly traffic, revnue and profit potential that is psossible for ranking to the top organically. The more terms you rank for the more potential traffic you can capture which in turn means more money in your pocket.
Now that you know what SEO is and what the benefits are lets take a look at the main components of SEO, starting with on-page SEO. On-page SEO is simply the process of optimizing your content so that the keyword you are looking to rank for is in the right part of your code on your site. Putting your keywords in the right spots on your website allows Google to easily identify what your page and content is about. On-page SEO primarily focuses on optimizing the following factors:
- Meta descriptions
- SEO Page Titles
- H1, H2, H3 Title Tags
- URL Slug
- Creating High Quality Content
- Inputting alt text in your images
- Internally linking between your pages
At the end of the day if you are new to on-page SEO, here are a few tips to consider when trying to optimize your content:
- Write high quality content (1500 words+)
- Include at least 1 internal link and 1 external link in all your pages
- Keep meta descriptions to 155 characters or less
- Keep SEO Page titles to 60 characters or less
- Include your keyword in your H1 tag, SEO Page Title, URL slug, and meta descriptions
Now that you know the basics of On-Page SEO, let’s take a look at Off-Page SEO. Simply put, Off-page SEO is about acquiring backlinks that point to the pages that you are looking to rank. Backlinks are hypertexted phrases that are contextually put on other websites that link back to your website. There are many types of backlink building methods including but not limited to the following:
- Guest Posting
- Niche Edits
- Citations and Local Directories
- Relevant Forums
- Web 2.0 Backlinks
The reality is however, backlinks are useless unless they are from high authority sites, that are relevant to your niche, and are dofollow (meaning that Google actually accounts for the link juice passed from these sites onto yours). When building backlinks avoid falling subject to cheap SEO services that advertise things like: “I will build 10,000 links for you!”. More often than not these links are spammy and built on PBN’s that offer no real value to your website and if anything, is just a sure way of asking for a Google Penalty. If you want good links, take the time to outreach to people in your industry and offer to guest post for them. A great way to find relevant guest posts in your niche is to type some of the following search strings:
- “Niche” + “Write for Us”
- “Niche” + “Submit a Guest Post”
Lastly, now that you have understood the basics of on/off-page SEO, no basics guide would be complete without a mention of local SEO. As the name implies, local SEO means doing SEO for a local business that provides some sort of product or service. Local SEO is a bit different because there are additional features on Google that you can leverage to easily climb the ranks. As a local business here are some things you want to keep in mind:
- Start a Google My Business Listing. If you have ever looked up something like “Restaurants Near Me” chances are you have seen something called a “Map Pack” on Google containing all of the local restaurants in your area. This map pack usually includes key information such as local businesses name, opening/closing hours, reviews, and contact info. If you don’t have a map pack for your business, make sure to set one up by starting a Google My Business account. Not only will you make things easier for your customers, but a map pack can easily help you acquire some search result real-estate in the search engine when someone searches for your product or service.
- Create multilocation Pages. If you are a local business serving multiple areas make sure that you have seperate webpages for each area you serve. Make sure to create unique content and cater your messaging for the appropriate region. An example of multilocation pages can look something like this:
All in all, if you are a business looking to scale online, consider implementing some of these practices to optimize your SEO. Although the SEO process takes time, the sooner you start, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits. Goodluck!