HOW TO GET STARTED WITH SEO: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE
Updated: Jan 5
If you're a business owner and you want to increase your website traffic, you may have heard of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the process of making your site more visible to search engines, which can result in increased traffic and leads. While SEO can be complex, there are some simple steps you can take to get started. This beginner's guide will teach you the basics of SEO so you can start driving more traffic to your website.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
The Fundamentals of Search Engines
What are “Organic” Search Results?
What Is The Significance Of SEO?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard of the term SEO. Also commonly referred to as Search Engine Optimization. If you somehow have managed to escape this phrase until now, it is time we catch you up a little.
SEO is arguably the most critical step in launching and maintaining a successful website. SEO can be pretty complex, but in this article, we aim to break it down into some pretty easy-to-understand concepts. So if you’re ready to up your SEO game, let’s get started!
1. WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)?
First, let’s start with the basics. SEO is the abbreviation for search engine optimization. This is the process of using non-paid search engine results to increase the quality and quantity of website visitors. This is a popular tactic brands use to increase brand exposure.
Despite what the term makes you think, SEO is about people just as much as it is about search engines. It’s all about figuring out what people are looking for on the internet; what answers they’re looking for, what language they’re using, what kind of information they want to consume, etc. Knowing the answers to these questions will be key to helping you connect with those who are looking your content.
If understanding your audience’s needs/wishes is one side of the SEO coin. The other side is presenting the information in a form that search engine crawlers can locate and comprehend. In order to master SEO, you must learn how to do both sides.
2. THE FUNDAMENTALS OF SEARCH ENGINES
Search engines are the lifeblood of the internet. They are how users find the websites they are looking for and access the information they need. Search engines use a variety of methods to index and rank websites so that they can be easily found by users. The most important thing for website owners to understand is how search engines work and what they can do to improve their website's ranking.
In laymen’s terms, search engines simply automated response systems. They sift through billions of pieces of content and apply thousands of factors to determine which ones are most likely to answer your question.
This is all accomplished by search engines identifying and cataloging all available content on the Internet (think of web pages, PDFs, photos, videos, and so on) through a process known as “crawling and indexing.” Then they rank each page/result based on how well it fits the query.
A search engine is a web-based tool that helps people find information on the World Wide Web. Search engines use algorithms to match relevant websites with user queries. The three most popular search engines are Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website in a search engine's unpaid results-often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results.
3. WHAT ARE “ORGANIC” SEARCH RESULTS?
As discussed above, organic search results are those that result through efficient SEO, rather to ones who are bought. This used to be pretty easy to recognize since advertising was plainly labeled as such, and the remaining results were often listed below them as “10 blue links.” But now, given how search has evolved, the question becomes “how can we now identify organic results?”
Today’s search engine results pages contain more advertising and dynamic organic results formats than ever before. Featured snippets (or response boxes), People Also Ask boxes, image carousels, and other page results features are just a few examples of variations you may see. New page features continue to appear, mostly as a result of what consumers are looking for.
For example, if you search “Denver weather” you’ll get a forecast for Denver, rather than a link to a site that could offer that information. In addition, if you search for “pizza Denver,” you’ll get a “local pack” of Denver pizza joints. Isn’t it convenient?
Keep in mind that search engines rely on advertising to make money. Their goal is to better answer searchers’ questions, keep them coming back, and keep them on the results for longer.
It’s worth mentioning that, despite the fact that they aren’t paid advertisements, many other search elements aren’t often controlled by SEO. Data from proprietary data sources such as Wikipedia, WebMD, and IMDb is used frequently in these services.
4. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SEO?
To keep it simple, paid advertising, social media, and other online channels can help drive visitors to websites, search engines account for the vast bulk of online traffic.
Organic search results take up more digital real estate, appear more trustworthy to savvy searchers, and get a lot more hits than paid ads. Only 2.8 percent of consumers in the United States click on paid adverts!
In a nutshell, on both mobile and desktop, SEO has a 20X higher traffic potential than PPC.
SEO is also one of the few online marketing strategies that, when done effectively, may pay off in the long run. Your traffic can snowball over time if you give quality content that deserves to rank for the relevant keywords, whereas advertising requires ongoing spending to send users to your site.
One thing’s for sure though, although search engines are becoming more intelligent, they still require our assistance. Optimizing your site will assist search engines in receiving better information, allowing your material to be correctly indexed and presented inside search results.
In conclusion, if you own a business and have yet to focus on SEO, then you should make it a priority. Search Engine Optimization can no longer be an afterthought if you want your business to succeed. By following the tips in this article, you can begin to improve your website's ranking and start to draw in more organic traffic. Don't wait to invest in SEO - the sooner you start, the better your chances of success will be.
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