A Quick Guide to SEO for Beginners
Have you heard SEO being called out but have no idea what it even is? Or maybe you know a little but have no idea of the technical side?
Here is a quick, four-minute guide to help you learn just enough to get you some new friends.
SEO is the process of getting traffic to your website from free or organic search engine results on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. So ultimately you want to drive traffic to your site when people search in a search query.
You have paid SEO and free SEO or organic.
Search engines use spiders to crawl or search the whole world wide web for content related to a user’s search query.
An example of how it works is here is a search query for credit cards. When a user types in credit cards, the spiders will crawl the web for sites related to credit cards.
Each search engine as its own set of ranking listing criteria. Usually, search engines use ranking algorithms to determine the quality relevance of a web page.
The search engine will then decide whether or not to add the page to its search index. Google, the most-used search engine here in the U.S., use a term called Page Rank.
As a website owner, it’s a goal to get the website on the first page, mainly at the top spot. Many users don’t go past the second page, so it’s important if you want more traffic to your site, you end up on the first page of a search engine results page, or SERP.
Paid SEO is paying a certain amount of dollars for ads in which those ads are automatically at the top of the page on a SERP. There are easily seen at the top and bottom of a SERP with the word ad next to the website URL.
With organic SEO, these are the results that do not have the word ad next to the title.
Organic SEO is unpaid and depends on the multiple factors. Two of the most common factors are on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is controlled by you and HTML coding. That includes web content in the HTML code, URLs, content quality, meta tags, and description. So, ultimately, you are structuring the site in a way the search engine understands.
With on-page, one success factor is meta tags. Meta tags are the unseen data in HTML code that gives the spiders key information about websites. These are meta tags below:
The title tag is where the user will click (“Credit Cards from Capital One | What’s In Your Wallet”) and the description tag is where the page tells the user what the site is about.
Off-page factors are what’s done off site and what other websites say about your page which is related to credibility, cross-linking with inbound and outbound links, age reputation, and social media shares. And I’ll talk about a couple of on-page and off-page SEO
For a search engine to understand what the site is about, you’ll need to write a good description. When Google’s algorithm decides a description is written badly, it will replace it with content from the pages.
Off-page SEO is one of the key factors is building quality backlinks to your site. It’s about using quality links and not how many links you have. Having many links in low in quality won’t help your site as much as having a few reputable links.
With social media sharing, it helps drive traffic to your website. Getting engagement with your audience increases awareness along with backlinks on your social media to your website.
This is important in a marketing aspect of your business.
Keep in mind your audience on each social media platform.
SEO is more thank likely a requirement for any company. A company without a website might not be a credible company.
And if that website or anything related to it doesn’t show up when a customer searches for it, that can be a major business flaw.