Understanding the SEO Basics and How to Get Started
Are you a new business owner needing to find a way to reach potential customers? Don’t focus on mailing out flyers. Instead, spend time promoting your business online.
How many searches do you think are performed on Google every day? Would you guess somewhere in the millions, tens of millions?
The answer is closer to 9,022,000,000, and that doesn’t even count searches from engines like Yahoo or Bing.
The proof is in the numbers. If you want to advertise your small business, you need start with the SEO basics.
The SEO Basics You Should Know
The digital marketing industry may only be a few decades old, but it’s still an important part of marketing. Search engine optimization (commonly known as SEO) has helped businesses of all sizes reach new customers.
When you follow the best practices for SEO, you’ll help improve the ranking of your website. Your website ranking affects where you appear in search engines.
A website with a high rank would be on the first page of search results, and websites with a very low rank may not even appear in the first ten pages.
It’s one of the cheapest forms of marketing you can do. When you have the right combination of keywords, links, headers, and tags, you don’t need to spend much to make customers come to you.
Before we talk about SEO tips, let’s take some time to talk about what search engines view as high quality and low-quality websites.
Know What Search Engines Look For
If you want to learn SEO basics, you need to understand what search engines are looking for.
In order to rank high in a search, you need to meet certain criteria. As long as you focus on these aspects of your website, you’ll develop a great basis for a solid SEO plan.
Your website needs to work well for the user. It shouldn’t take long to load, it should look great on mobile, and the links and pictures should load.
Your content doesn’t just need to be well written, it should also be relevant and appropriate for each individual page. There should be relevant keywords to help people find each page.
People shouldn’t have a hard time navigating through your website. The content and flow should make sense, and different pages should be easy to find.
Do people frequently share your links on social media or in their own site content? Mentions from other people make you an authority in Google’s eyes.
Know What Not to Do
Knowing what search engines are looking for is important, but knowing what they don’t want to see can be helpful when you’re learning about SEO basics.
In the past, some people would put as many keywords in their website content as possible to boost their ranking. Sometimes they would put popular but irrelevant keywords in their content to get more website visitors.
Practices like that are known as keyword stuffing, and they can really hurt your SEO efforts. Instead of positively ranking your website, you’ll get penalized by Google and your rankings will plummet.
People would also buy links in directories and other websites to boost their authority. Google has changed their ranking practices so that they only recognize high-quality links.
Remember, just any link won’t do. They have to be from other important websites that Google already sees as having authority.
Once you learn what search engines are looking for, you may be eager to follow tips to the extreme. But it’s important to know that a lot of SEO tips need a light touch.
Don’t overuse one technique. Give equal attention to all aspects of SEO and don’t try any black hat SEO techniques.
Basic Tips For Starting SEO
Now that you know what search engines are (and aren’t) looking for, you know enough SEO basics to start using it on your own.
If you really want to get the most out of SEO, you should hire an agency to handle your digital marketing. But for now, we’re going to teach you some SEO basics so you can start promoting your business online the right way.
Do a Website Audit
You may not be a master of SEO, but you can easily learn what you should start improving in order to boost your ranking.
There are plenty of places you can go for a website audit. These tools can analyze your website and let you know where your weak points are.
A great tool can help assess your keyword density, point out broken links, and more. The report can also let you know which issues are the most pressing and should be given attention right away.
Internally Link Your Pages
We mentioned that Google will penalize people that have a lot of low-quality links to their website. A great way to start building up high-quality links is to internally link to pages on your own site.
Do you have the words “contact us” somewhere on your website? Link the text to your contact us page.
Have you mentioned other products and services on your website? Be sure to include links to them in the text.
Linking like this doesn’t just improve the number of links you have, it can also help improve the user experience by giving them easier access to better information.
Improve Your Keywords
If you want to make sure that people can find you online, you need to use the right keywords.
Think of keywords as tools that help Google bots rank content relevancy in relation to user search terms.
Think about what the average customer would search for if they were looking for your products or services. Be sure to be as detailed as possible when you do research, don’t go for simple or vague keywords.
Also be sure to add your location to your keywords to help target local customers. Simply adding your city or town to the end of the keyword can help attract better customers.
If you want to get started, use our keyword ranking tool.
Now that you know some SEO basics, it’s time to take your knowledge to the next level.
We have plenty of informative posts on the site that can help you learn more about digital marketing and SEO. Check out our post on affiliate marketing so you can learn how to make more money with your website.
If you want to focus on SEO, look at our landing page for all of our SEO content.