SEO is complicated, right?
You can spend hours on the internet trying to find SEO advice only to be overwhelmed by all of the conflicting opinions and varying strategies. It’s frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There are a lot of good sources out there that can help you understand how search engines work and how they affect your business. The problem is finding them amidst all of the bad advice and misinformation out there.
Our team has spent years researching these resources so we could save you time in your quest for knowledge about search engine optimization (SEO). We’ve compiled our findings into an easy-to-read guide that includes everything from basic terminology like on-page SEO, off-page SEO, Google Analytics, social media marketing tips, and more! No matter what stage of growth your company is at or what industry you operate in, our comprehensive guide will give you valuable insight into optimizing your website for organic traffic through natural search results as well
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be a bit of a minefield for small businesses. The basic principles are easy to understand, but as your business’ webpage becomes more successful and you begin to get links from other websites out there on the web, you start to think about what other kinds of SEO you could be doing – maybe getting your page higher up in Google rankings? Or use Pay-Per-Click advertising? Ahhh the joys! But before your head starts spinning with too many thoughts about all this, let’s look at the basics that every business needs to employ nowadays.
Let’s Define our Terms Before we Begin There are a few different SEO techniques, methods, and strategies available to use. These fall into two main categories
On-page SEO (optimizing your webpage for search engines) and off-site SEO (everything else).
On-page SEO: In the old days, if you wanted to get more traffic to your website then you’d need to spend time writing articles about things that people, in general, were searching for online.
This is still very much relevant today but it’s not as simple as it used to be due to the huge amount of information now available on the Internet.
Google now even deceives its own users into clicking on pages within their search results, making the whole process of ranking higher a lot more complicated.
So, what is now important in terms of on-page SEO? – Title tag: Make sure you use the most relevant keywords for your page here. Google will look at this and it’s a very good indicator for them to determine what your page is about.
Meta Description: This is also used by people searching for things online, so make sure that if you’re not going to write a full article here then some kind of key phrase should be included in the description to entice your readers onwards.
Keywords: Here’s a list of some key phrases that you should be thinking about when you’re writing your articles for the website.
Images: If you can get a relevant image on your page, either as the title or in an article then this is great because it gives Google another factor to look at when determining what to rank your webpage for.
Keyword density: Typically, anything above 5% these days will not be seen as natural and won’t please Google, so stick to 1-2% maximum. – H1 Tags: Again, make sure that any key phrase here is relevant and actively being used in that article! – Article length: longer articles are better from a search engine perspective as they’re usually more comprehensive of their subject matter.
Keyword placement: Keywords in the title are obviously good but what about the rest of your writing? You should aim to vary it up a bit. – Content quality: It’s no use just having 500 words when they’re all gibberish! Make sure there’s structure and that everything is readable for people. If you can make it funny or interesting, then all the better!
Keyword stuffing: If you go overboard on this then Google will see it as spammy and penalize you, so don’t cram in too many keywords here – or anywhere on your website for that matter!
Text links: Links are one of the most important parts of any SEO campaign, so make sure they get shown off within each article if possible – Google looks at how much effort a business is putting into linking to other sites
Internal links: Make sure there are relevant internal links within the article to other pages on your site. This gives the search engines another thing they can look at when determining which page to rank higher in their listings.
External Links: If you have something to say about one of your competitors and you want people to know more about what they do, simply link them in! Also, if it’s relevant then link back to your own website! For example, I could talk about my favorite local restaurant
That’s really all there is to on-page SEO from a practical perspective, so let’s look at off-site SEO. – Social Media presence: Whether you’re using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social platform, it’s a great idea to try and get presence going for your company.
Twitter has the most active SEO community out there, so I’d recommend spending time getting to know it. You can also use hashtags here but be wary of using too many – you still want people to see yours!
For Facebook page owners (and anyone else), make sure that anything you post has some relevance to what you’re trying to rank for – people won’t bother pressing Share if they don’t think it’ll be useful for them in any way!
Backlinks: Building relevant backlinks is currently one of the best ways of improving your search engine ranking. Ensure that you build quality links, not spammy ones!
Blog commenting: As I said earlier, people will value your work more if they know you’ve put a lot of effort into it so why not leave some comments on other blogs to show how much you loved what their author has written. This is a great way of getting the community talking and means that someone else can get involved too! You should always aim to comment with an interesting question or opinion as this will make it worthwhile for the blog owner who might even link back to your own website in response.
People love reading blogs with good comments because they know there’s been effort put in – but don’t overdo it with a long monologue either!
Link dropping: There are plenty of places where you can get your own links back (which is important) but it’s a good idea to add in as many relevant external links as possible as well. This just makes the page seem like more useful content for people and will please Google by showing that you have an interest in other sites meaning they’re likely to rank higher too! Plus, if the blog owner/commenter has linked back to you then this gives you another thing to build on also.
If all else fails… – Guest Blogging: I mentioned this before so let me go into a little more depth.
If you’ve written an article which is amazing and it’s just not getting traction, then why not look to guest post on another relevant site? This way people get exposed to your great content without you having to put the effort in of keeping that traffic all for yourself. Please don’t spam out links and make sure the sites you choose are relevant – nobody wants to see a page full of nothing but self-promotion!
Search Engine Optimization is an Art and a Science
Ranking organically for targeted keywords will drive the right traffic to your site and increase your companies bottom line. Each time you rank above your competitors, you not only gain market share, but they lose market share.
Send us an email and we will give you a FREE market evaluation to improve your online presence.