Curious minds may wonder: what is SEO? It’s a topic that’s popping up all over social media, various search engines, and even in meetings. So what’s the big deal about it? Well, it turns out that SEO, when used correctly, can help anyone grow their business and make money online. It’s a practice that puts you in front of the right customers at the right time, but it’s not all that simple.
By the time you finish this article, you’ll know what SEO is and have an understanding of the many components that make it work for business owners, freelancers, and more.
Let’s learn about it…
- What is SEO?
- Keyword Research
- On Page Optimization
- Link Buiding & Content Marketing
- Local Business Listings
What is SEO?
Before we define SEO, you should first know that SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization. By implementing SEO, you can increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Keep in mind that organic means FREE!
Major search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google all have search engine results pages that display various web pages, videos, and other content that’s relevant to the user. Have you ever considered how those search results got there? It’s due to SEO. When users type in certain keywords, then multiple listings will display material that’s been deemed interesting, authoritative, and relevant. Those listings that land on the first page are considered authority pages and they meet the criteria previously mentioned.
Before you can start making stellar content and implementing SEO, you must first do some keyword research. Keyword research is probably the most important part of SEO, so it’s imperative that you choose words that are valuable.
What are your customers looking for? What words do they use when searching for your product or service? Individuals will get poor results if they think they can choose just any words and rank high on Google. It doesn’t work like that.
After you’ve established what keywords your audience uses when searching for what you offer, then it’s time to develop web pages that are search engine friendly. Or in other words, answer’s searchers questions. Search engines will determine this by assessing the following:
- Title of your webpage
- Meta description
- URLs – website internal linking is very important!
- And more!
On Page Optimization is very powerful when done properly. It is a must to optimize each page or your site and make sure you don’t have the same keyword in more than one page.
Link Building and Content Marketing
In short, link building and content marketing is a strategy that involves getting links to your website from other websites. When it comes to link building, content matters. Having great content and backlinks on relevant websites will result in higher rankings on major search engines.
Local Business Listings
Never underestimate the power of local business listings in SEO. Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and more are great tools for helping your ideal customer find you. Online marketing is a necessity for all local businesses, but having inconsistent information across those platforms could do harm.
While a lot of people may have heard about the aforementioned items, many do not know about technical SEO. In a nutshell, technical SEO focuses on how well the search engine spiders can crawl your website and index your content. It’s basically the behind the scenes work that’s done aside from the content. In fact, if you have a great piece of content but your website doesn’t function well, you’ll miss out on valuable traffic.
To be successful, one will want to ensure that their crawl budget is optimized and internal links are working. In addition, ensure your website is mobile friendly, doesn’t take forever to load, and doesn’t have duplicate content. You can actually be penalized for these things.
Be proactive and audit your website. Do you have any broken links? What about redirects? These all can negatively impact your technical SEO.
In short, schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) and a type of microdata. Unlike SEO, which tells search engines what your website says, schema tells SERPs what the data on your website actually means. It’s like a virtual business card. The data on your website should have an associated itemtype, itemprop, and itemscope. Taking this extra step will help you rank better than those who simply implement SEO.
Schema markup is most often used for:
Social Media and SEO
Social media has been a complete game changer. Never before have we been able to interact with customers like we can today. If an organization doesn’t have and use social media, then some may assume the business is closed, nonexistent, or untrustworthy. However, outside of interacting with customers, social media also has a relationship with SEO.
Without a doubt, Google is the preferred search engine for most, but Bing is popular too. In fact, in 2017, Bing handled about 24 percent of search queries. That’s a pretty nice chunk isn’t it? However, so many people neglect other search engines, which means they’re missing out on potential customers.
If you want to up your rank on Bing, then you’ll need to optimize your social media presence. Social shares and likes are a direct ranking factor for Bing, so if you’re killing it on social media, then you’re more likely to show up.
Make sure you’re doing the following so you can be found by your target market:
- Optimize your social media profiles
- Post regularly
- Create call to actions on your website that encourage people to share your content
- Engage with others
There are certainly SEO benefits that come along with social media marketing and you don’t want to miss out!
SEO In A Nutshell
Now that you’ve completed this article, you should be able to answer the question: what is SEO? You should also be able to name several of the components that make SEO successful. If you haven’t implemented SEO yet, are you ready to start now? You should consider doing so if you haven’t already. Making the switch can make a world of difference in your business.