The Basics You Need to Know of SEO
“What Is SEO?” Let’s tackle the basics and the need to know to help you get on the right track for optimizing your website.
So, what is SEO? SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and its function is exactly that – making your website optimized for search engines so that when someone searches or asks a question, your site pops up, without paying for promoting it. Now how do you exactly “optimize”? Well, it depends on the number of optimizable attributes you have on your site. We’ll break them all down short and sweet, but here’s the list:
- Descriptions and Titles including keywords or related keywords
- How long or short people stay on your site
Keywords are one of the most important things you can have on your site for SEO. Google is working on ways to rank that don’t involve people using a keyword every other word in a sentence on their site, but that doesn’t mean you should use them less. But first, you need to find out what the best keywords are for your site.
There are plenty of ways to do this, but the best is by using a keyword search program or working with a qualified agency that specializes in SEO. This will allow you to type in different keywords you believe are best and see related ones that you might also want to use. You can research what are the most popular searches for your industry, or brainstorm with your team what you think people would search for that would lead them to your site. Once you have your list, integrate those keywords into your site as appropriate. For every keyword you have, you will also need a related list of keywords or phrases that can also catch users in a search.
You’ll often hear on many SEO sites and explanations that external links are flagged by google as a “voucher” or a “vote,” making your site more credible. A recent study basically showed that the fewer links you have on your site, the more likely it’s going to be at the bottom of the rankings page. If you write blogs, linking relevant information in them to other sites will help, or linking reviews of your company from different companies, or linking an affiliate company on your home page might also help.
You wouldn’t go to a grocery store that only sells old, not really fresh, or expired food would you? No, you wouldn’t, you’d go with the one that does. The same goes for websites; the more fresh, consistent content you produce and link on your site, the more you’re optimizing for SEO. This is easy for B2C companies that sell products or services and can regularly push out new content, but B2B companies have to think differently. Blogs, how-to’s, videos, case studies, constantly uploading portfolios: this is the stuff that Google will flag and see and ultimately rank you higher. Content is king, especially when it comes to SEO.
Descriptions and Titles
If you’ve ever written a blog and used Yoast before, you might be familiar with the notification saying “your keyword appears X amount of times, but not in your title or at the beginning of your piece. Try using it there too”. Well, there’s a reason for this. If your keyword, say your most important one, is in your title and meta description for either your site or a specific page, the chances of it coming up in a search are way more likely, because it all boils down to relevance. Relevance in a search leads to more clicks on your link, and the more CTR (“click-through rate”) you have, the bigger chance you have of being ranked by higher by google.
How long or short do people stay on your site
This specific term is called bounce rate- how fast people bounce away from your site (literally). This is affected by how fast your site loads if it’s fully fleshed out or not if it looks updated, and if they find the information they’re looking for quickly enough. The longer people stay, the more trustworthy Google flags your site and will recommend it to other people in a search. SEO isn’t just about keywords and links- it’s also about how well your site performs.
If you want more information on SEO, we’ve gathered our favorite beginner’s guides to them below for you to check out:
SEO can be daunting and has so many layers to it, and it might feel like unless you’re a computer or code wiz, you’ll never get the hang of it. But mastering the basics is all you really need unless you’re biz is growing fast and you need to get into the weeds of it. If that’s the case, contact an agency that can help you with SEO (like us!), because it’s definitely something worth spending your time and money on if it means more leads and more sales.