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The Beginners Guide to SEO
When you hear “SEO” what do you think of? Take a minute to really try to answer that question whether in detail or its simplest form. Okay, now that you’ve concocted your own definition, which probably only includes some form of the statement “It stands for Search Engine Optimization”, remove it from your mind. We’re here to help you simply define SEO and understand why it is useful for you.
It is important to note, that while SEO involves many components, each component of it is really quite simple. Before you get overwhelmed by the idea, take each piece at a time and understand that the fundamentals are all learnable. And of course, if you don’t want to do the work, our team of SEO experts are here to help!
So, what are the fundamentals of the big-bad-SEO world?
The goal of an SEO strategy is to optimize your site. This allows it to rank higher in searches that are relevant to your industry. For those who are reputation focused, this allows your brand to have clout and validity, making it feel like the best choice for someone. And, for those of you competitive in nature, this is one of your biggest tools to get you ranked higher than that “other guy”. Either way you look at it, the point is to make your site the most easily accessible one out there for people to click on.
This is where the terminology starts to get a little fuzzy, but both domain authority and page authority are fundamentals to how your site ranks. While these two pieces are similar, page references the individual pages of your website while domain reads your site as a whole. To put this in layman’s terms; authority is a score given to your website about how useful it is. Moz is the proprietor of all things authority in this area and are the curators of the algorithm that determines this. The number one way to better your score on this front is to include more links from other well-linked sites.
Now that you understand that the most effective way to work the algorithm in your favor is to add links, understanding the basis of link building is essential. Link-building is not a quick fix, but it is along-term strategy and a time consuming part of the process. Once you’ve accepted that it is one of the most cost efficient pieces.
Link-building can be considered a part of the content marketing process. While this is true, we want to highlight the value of high-quality and authoritative content being added to your site. Blogs are the go-to for something like this. We suggest, in addition to an up-to-date blog, that you also encourage guest postings, establishing a personal brand and voice, promotion on social media platforms, and ongoing (and sometimes paid) promotions.
“Keyword” is probably the most understood term in the SEO dictionary. It refers to words that are important to an industry and are commonly searched for. While still important, Google has made keywords less valuable in the scope of things. However, understanding the use and implementation of them is still necessary. There are two types: head and long-tail. Head refers to those words that are a highly searched (for example “furniture” or “sofa”) while long-tail is a longer and more specific term (for example “dark brown leather sofa” or “maple daybed”). You will draw less traffic with the long-tail keywords, but those that you do draw will be more focused, and desirous of your product or service.
If you’ve done all the brunt work, but do not understand how to measure results, it was all futile. The best and most intuitive tool for this is Google Analytics. This dashboard gives you all the needed information to understand what is working, what should be changed, and where to target more efforts. Spend time logged in and understanding what each metric is defining so you are constantly approaching your SEO succes with the best strategy.
Finally, and we believe most importantly, is the virtue of patience. This is not, in any way, going to happen over night. Setting up SEO takes time, dedication, and adjusting. It takes patience to do the work, and patience to see the results. You cannot rush this or expect to see a jump overnight, because if you do you are setting yourself up for failure. We promise it works, but you must give it time!
If you would like to know more, or you would like to speak to our team of experts, CONTACT US!