Let's Start With What Is SEO?Search engine optimization, or "SEO" for short, is improving your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). It's what you can do to ensure people will see your website when they type relevant keywords into a search engine like Google.
Sought-after as it may be, SEO can be somewhat of a mystery. The rules are always changing, and it can take time to keep up with the latest best practices.
However, there are some basic principles of SEO that are relatively constant and easy to understand. The topics that we will cover are:
- How Does SEO Work?
- Customer And Keywords
- SEO Friendly Content
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Intent And Emerging trends
How Does SEO Work?To understand how SEO works, we need to understand how search engines work.
When you type a query into a search engine, it uses algorithms to scour the internet and find the best results for you. These algorithms are constantly changing and evolving, so SEO is an ongoing process, not a one-time fix.
The basics of SEO are not that complicated. At its most basic level, SEO is about ensuring your website is visible to people searching for the products or services you offer.
That might seem like a pretty straightforward concept, but there's a lot that goes into making it happen.
Google has 200+ ranking factors but no worries; by the end, you will know what you need to do.
SEO agencies use various techniques to improve their client's online visibility. We won't bore you with all the details (that's what we're here for), but some common methods include keyword research, backlinking, and optimizing website speed and mobile friendliness.
Keywords Aren't Everything; Folks Remember CustomersIn SEO, it's easy to get caught up in the weeds. We're constantly chasing after the next big thing, whether it's a new algorithm or the perfect keyword. But at the end of the day, only one thing matters to the customer.
Sure, keywords are essential. They help us figure out what our customers are looking for and guide our content strategy.
But if we're not careful, they can also lead us down a rabbit hole of SEO rules and regulations that have nothing to do with helping our customers.
Why do Customers Come First?Think about it this way: when customers come to your website, they're not looking for flawless grammar or keyword-rich copy.
They're looking for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. If you can give them what they're looking for—and do it in a way that's easy for them to understand—then you're well on your way to earning their trust—and their business.
Of course, this isn't to say that keywords don't matter. They do! But instead of thinking of keywords as some magical ingredient that will automatically rank your site higher in search results.
SEO Friendly ContentContent is King, but SEO is the Prince Charming Your King Deserves. Optimizing your content for search engines can increase your chances of ranking highly in SERPs.
It means more people will see your content and (hopefully) take the desired action. But how do you make sure your content is SEO friendly? Here are a few tips:
1. Do your keyword research.Keywords are the foundation of good SEO. With them, you will be able to rank for something!
So before you start writing, take some time to do some research and find out which keywords you should be targeting.
Once you have a solid list of keywords, you can start incorporating them into your content.
2. Structure your pages correctly.The way you structure your web pages can have a big impact on your SEO.
For example, using header tags (H1, H2, H3) can help break up your content and make it easier for users and search engines to read. In addition, using descriptive titles and file names can also help improve your SEO.
On-Page SEO FactorsOne of the most important aspects of SEO is on-page optimization. This refers to all the factors you can control on your website.
For example, if you want people to find your site when they search for "red shoes," you'll want to ensure that those exact words appear on your web pages (preferably in the title tag and heading tags).
That way, when the search engine crawlers visit your site, they'll know what your pages are about and index them accordingly.
Use Relevant Keywords NaturallyYou'll also want to include relevant keywords throughout the body of your content in a way that sounds natural—stuffing in too many keywords will not only turn off readers but also get you penalized by Google.
In addition to carefully choosing your keywords, you'll also want to ensure that your website's structure is easy for users and search engine crawlers to understand. A good rule of thumb is to keep your most important content above the fold (i.e., visible without scrolling down).
Off-Page SEO FactorsWhile on-page optimization is undoubtedly important, it's only half the battle—you also need to focus on off-page optimization factors.
You can only control these elements, such as inbound links from other websites and social media signals like shares and Likes. In general, the more high-quality websites linking to yours, the better.
Google sees these links as votes of confidence for your content, which helps boost your ranking in SERPs.
Social media signals work the same way; sharing counts and engagement metrics (likes, comments, etc.) tell Google that people like what they see on your site and are likely to share it with their friends and followers—helping improve your ranking.
Intro To Technical SEO!Technical SEO is optimizing your website for the crawling and indexing phase of the SEO lifecycle.
In other words, it's all about ensuring your site is accessible for search engine crawlers to find and understand. It's quite a broad topic, but here are a few most important aspects of technical SEO:
- Crawlability: You can improve your site's crawl ability by ensuring that your URLs are clean and easy to understand and by creating a sitemap that includes all your website's pages.
- Indexability: You can improve by using unique and relevant title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags.
- Mobile-friendliness: You can improve your site's mobile-friendliness by using responsive design and ensuring that your pages load quickly on mobile devices.
Intent And Emerging trendsSearch intent, also known as user intent, is why someone searches for something on the internet. There are four main types of search intent:
- Navigational: The user is looking for a specific website or page.
- Informational: The user is looking for information on a topic.
- Transactional: The user is looking to buy something.
- Commercial: The user is looking to compare shops or find deals.
But we quit. Let's talk about SEO trends! The thing is, they are ever-changing, and what worked today may not work tomorrow. Google makes over 500 algorithm changes every year, and while most of them are small, there's a major update that can shake up the SERPs every now and then.
Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, and Fred are some of the most well-known algorithm updates, but there are many others.
To stay on top of the latest SEO trends, you need to keep up with the latest news and updates from the SEO community.