This SEO Guide For Beginners Gives You The Fundamentals Needed To Enhance Your Web Presence
SEO STANDS FOR “SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION.”
SEO is the process of improving your website’s chances to rank higher, when someone is searching for services or products that you may provide with commonly used search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Though it may sound intimidating, you don’t need to be a web guru to apply a few simple techniques that can increase the web traffic to your website. In this beginners guide to SEO we will briefly cover a few SEO essentials to get you started, including:
- What are website keywords
- How to use keywords in your website
- Different link types and what they mean
- The value of content marketing
***SEO is something that should be considered as your building your website. Often, i’m contacted by businesses who have built a website and months later begin to learn the benefits of these tactics. While we can still help in that scenario, if you are looking to building a website, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation early in the process.***
Keywords for websites
What are keywords for websites? Well, keywords are like breadcrumbs for your potential customers, leading them to find you when they are typing in specific search terms or phrases. They need to be implemented throughout your website. There are two main categories of keywords: singular keywords and long-tail keywords.
What are singular keywords? These are single words someone may type into a search engine when looking for something. For example, if you own a shoe company that sales mostly basketball shoes, then “shoes” would be an obvious keyword. However, the broad context of a singular search term makes these keywords highly competitive and difficult to rank for organically (without paying additional money).
What are long-tail keywords? These are phrases, and often much more specific terms people may type in when seeking a product or service. Long-tail keywords offer a much high conversion rate, although they have much lower web traffic. In this instance, a phrase such as “where to buy new basketball shoes” is not only more specific to the audience you’re targeting, but it will net you a potential customer clearly ready to spend some money.
How to use keywords in your website
Now that you know the difference between singular and long-tail keywords, let’s learn the basics of how to use keywords in your website. When you search for something in Google you will receive a list of results that look like the image below:
Title tags specify the title of your web page. Title tags are the clickable headline in search engine results for a webpage.
Additionally, your title tag will be displayed in the tab of your web browser, and act as the title of any social media posts using the designated link. The optimal length for your title tag is between 50-60 characters.
The URL slug will specify the exact address of the page you are creating. Every new page will be hosted by your homepage, meaning the slug will change to something like:
Meta descriptions are your chance to really grab a prospect’s attention. It is the brief description below your URL in search engine rankings and should it should act as a teaser for what the page is about.
Meta Keyword Tags
Meta tags or “Keyword tags” are words entered into a page or post on your website that are not visible to the user. Although the gold rush of meta tags is over, it can still be a tool that forces you to identify the specific keywords you would like your post to rank for.
Have you ever wondered how search engines return image options for your search queries? Alt attributes are the answer. These are keyword tags that you embed into any images within a page or post. They relay to search engines how they should index the image that you are using and can be another route to lead someone into your page or post.
Inbound links, internal links, outbound links, and broken links
When search engines crawl your site they index the number of links, inbound and outbound, that your site is hosting. The search engines also take note of these links domain authority and how relevant they are to the content on your site.
What are inbound links?
Inbound links are hyperlinks to your website from another website. Inbound links are important in determining how relevant and credible the information on your website may be. If a well established website or business is linking to your website because they believe you offer quality products or information, this will boost your overall web ranking.
Additionally, you can gain inbound links from seeking to place your website into relevant directories. For example, an attorney would greatly benefit from having their website listed in the NOLO directory. Inbound links ultimately give potential clients another path to your website.
What are Internal Links?
Internal links are hyperlinks that direct people to other pages on your website. The pages you direct them to can be relevant blogs that go more in depth about a topic you briefly cover on a page, or embedded into “Call to Action” buttons for “request for information” and “contact” forms. For example, this internal link will take you to a page to learn more about my team and I.
Internal links are important because they create a web of relevant information that is contained within your own site, meaning anyone scanning your site will not need to leave for more info.
What are outbound links?
Outbound links are hyperlinks from your website to another website. Now, the whole point of SEO is to get people coming to your site, not leaving out. However, it may sometimes be necessary to link to relevant information that simply doesn’t fit within the context of your site.
Furthermore, you may want to link to an applicable study, or story in the news when creating a blog post. But just as with inbound links you want to ensure that the sites your linking to are reputable and credible. This outbound link will take you to one of my client’s pages.
What are broken links?
Broken links are, well, broken! These links no longer work properly and most likely are not displaying a web page. These can be internal or outbound. You can take time to check for any broken links lingering within your site with a variety of free link checkers that are available, including:
Additionally, I have a team available that can actively seek out new link opportunities for your business to help you achieve your digital goals.
The Value of Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the best assets any brand or company can use when trying to increase their online presence. while answering questions for their customers. One thing that no robot or App can do is create original content,and contentt can be found in many forms: blogs, videos, photos, whitepapers, infographics, and so much more. Everything you create for your brand can probably be transformed into some type of content for the web.
Blogs are relevant across any industry. A consistent company blog can be invaluable as a way to provide search engines fresh content to index and as a way to stay relevant to your customer base. They can also act as a modern FAQ, answering customers questions BEFORE they’re ever asked and placing it in front of them before they ever go searching for it.
The key to a good company blog is providing value for the reader, not simply having content. If you can identify potential areas where certain information about a topic is lacking in your industry, you may want to consider creating a blog to fill the niche. If you don’t think you have the time, we have professional content marketers that can help you with the process.
The power of social media cannot be understated. Many businesses will scour the internet for “thought leadership” pieces of content to share, but combining your own company blog with a strong social media presence is by far the most effective method of increasing your web relevance.
Think of your website links as fishing bait and social media platforms as lakes filled with fish. If you have more quality content (bait) to offer than your competitor, you’ll increase your chances of landing more fish. Simple as that.
Video has exploded over the last few years and thus become a valuable tool for SEO. If you’re not currently doing any type of video marketing, it’s time to start (we can help with that). Social media platforms have adjusted their algorithms to prioritize video in people’s feeds. Additionally, YouTube is owned by the largest search engine in the world (ever heard of Google?).
This is an example of a great video we produced for a previous client, Babe’s Kitchen, with our partner Full Riot productions.
So that’s it. Now that you’ve got the basics from our SEO guide you should be able to build a solid foundation for your digital presence. Don’t let any person ever promise you immediate results! But by applying these tactics, and with time and effort, you should be well on your way to future success.