A Beginner's Guide To Understanding SEO
7 min read
If you've been in the digital space for a while, you would have definitely heard of the word “SEO” and people going on and on about it.
You have probably read really gruesome articles on the topic because you love learning and you also want to implement it in your content marketing strategy, but after reading those articles, now, SEO looks like rocket science.
Well, SEO is not rocket science and this article will give you a basic understanding of what it is and help you start your SEO journey.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization , commonly known as SEO is the process by which brands improve their visibility in organic search results.
As a result of high visibility in organic search, they can drive visitors to their website, increase conversion rate and increase the generation of leads.
It is the process of optimizing a website or existing/new content so it can rank higher on Google.
Now, when you're looking for a new pair of shoes and you type in the search bar, “new pair of shoes”, you'll see that Google returns a thousands of search results back related to your search entry. .
The reason the first article is at the top of the page and another is at the bottom is as a result of SEO.
The ultimate goal of this article is to give you a basic understanding of search engine optimization (SEO), the importance, types and components, keep reading to find out!
Importance of SEO:
As a brand owner, digital marketer, or even, content writer, why should you care about SEO?
As a brand owner in the digital space, good knowledge of SEO will be extremely beneficial to your brand.
Good application of SEO helps you build more visibility in organic search results when people are searching for a product you have - imagine being on the top of the Google search results, sweet!
I don't think I need to talk too much about this aspect, because we all know nobody actually reads the second page of the search results - if you do, you need Jesus and therapy.
Being on top of the search results tells whoever is searching that you actually know what you're doing and you're what they need.
Types of SEO:
There are basically four types of SEO you should be concerned with:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Local SEO
This involves putting together content to improve the way you rank on Google.
It ensures that Search engines, generally, understand what a topic of a page on your website is all about, the keywords you're targeting, and then they match it to relevant searches.
This is concerned with guiding Traffic to your website from other platforms, it is basically the optimization of your website outside your website.
This type of SEO involves building relationships, earning backlinks, social media awareness, guest blogging, basically, creating more exposure for your brand in the digital space.
This is the steps taken to improve user experience and ensure that search engines are able to crawl your website.
Technical SEO is important because without it, you might have issues with search engines crawling your website and a terrible user experience for your visitors.
Now, this one is different from the other types as this one focuses on a specific area, usually your community or rather, where your brand is located.
It is all about increasing brand awareness and promoting your products or services to members of your local community online.
What is an SEO strategy?
An SEO strategy , like every other strategy , is a comprehensive plan just that this one is concerned with increasing leads and getting more visitors to your website through the use of SEO.
Types of SEO strategy:
Black Hat strategy:
You shouldn't let yourself be tempted to use this strategy as an SEO strategy in your business.
Black Hat strategy involves using practices that are aimed at manipulating search engines algorithms and going against their guidelines.
It usually involves practices like: keyword stuffing in one post, buying links, link scraping, etc.
This strategy might work for a while - a short while! - but after a while, Google ends up noticing it and then your website is penalized and more often than not, it becomes blacklisted, too and you'll never rank again.
White Hat Strategy:
This is the right way to go about implementing SEO strategy for your website, you focus on your human audience by creating quality content, and not just link building or ranking.
It involves creating relevant and quality content, relevant links, complete sentences with good Grammar and spelling, etc.
There are various components that come together to make a good SEO strategy, and that's what we'll be discussing now.
Components of SEO:
For your SEO strategy to be good, there are various components that have to come together to make a good SEO strategy:
- MetaTitle/Descriptions(Meta Tags)
To create an effective SEO strategy, you need content, and not just content, you need quality content.
When someone searches for something in the search bar, they're looking for content, either in the form of blog posts, recipes, articles, vidoes, etc.
Now, the more quality content you publish, the more you increase your chance of higher search visibility.
Search engines uses content to decide how to rank your page.
Things to keep in mind when coming up with content for your website:
- Search intent.
- Target audience.
- Up to date information.
- Length of the content - the longer the content, the better.
After creating your website and making content for it, you want to attract people who are in your niche, who will eventually become customers.
The only way to actually get to those people is if your content and website rank for the keywords your target audience are putting in the search bar.
This is where Keyword research and selection come in. Keywords are words or phrases that are common to your niche and target audience, it is what your Target Audience usually puts in the search bar.
Keyword research is done majorly to rank on Google and create content that is relevant to your Target audience.
When coming up with keywords for your website, here's what you should keep in mind:
- A good understanding of how Google works.
- Good competitor analysis.
- Use of tools for keyword research and competitor analysis.
Meta Titles/Meta Descriptions:
Meta title is what's displayed at the top of your browser and it is what you see when your page shows up on the Google search result page.
Meta Description is the area below the Meta title, it supports your Meta title by providing little information about what the article is all about, it is usually no longer than 160 characters.
It's a collection of websites linking to your content on their website, it is basically websites mentioning your website and directing readers to your content.
Backlinks are important for a good SEO strategy as Google measure the quality and quantity of your backlinks to decide on your website's authority.
It's also important to note that, it's not about the number of links you have on your website, it's about the quality of those links.
There are other factors that make up a good SEO strategy, this is not an exhaustive list, and like every other thing you learn in life, there's always so much more you can learn about a particular topic.
There are courses online that teaches you everything you need to know about SEO, this article just told you the basic things you need to know to start your SEO journey.
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