A Beginner’s guide to SEO in Layman Terms

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will help your business stand out from among all the other businesses out there. On the internet, you are competing against thousands of businesses like yours from across the world. You don’t want to get stuck on page 100 of a search engine. Most people will never browse that far meaning your business will be hard for potential customers to find.

You want to be one of the first websites on a search engine results page. You don’t have to pay for advertising to have this privilege – you can achieve this for free. Whether you create your own SEO strategy or hire SEO consultants to do it for you, don’t ignore this opportunity to make your business more searchable.

How does it work?

Search engine marketing is a big part of online marketing. When a user types words associated with your product or service into a search engine (making a search query), you want your business website to show up. They are a potential customer. SEO strategy is about being relevant. A search engine wants to show users what will best meet their needs so the more relevant your website appears, the higher it will be ranked in the search results. If users couldn’t find what they were looking for when they made a search query on Google, no one would use Google. 

You need to let Google know that, out of the thousands of websites out there, you can solve customers’ queries. How useful your website is to the search query will be decided by a bot, not a person, so you need to make it clear and simple. You are working to satisfy algorithms which are constantly changing which is why employing a SEO consultant could be helpful. There are a few things you can do that will appeal to search engine algorithms and get your website ranked high.

How to optimize your website

Keywords

Keywords are words or phrases your customers will use in their search query when looking for your product or service. Think about what a customer would type into a search engine when looking for your business and include that in your site so search engines can see that you are relevant to that search query. Doing some keyword research is advised. Keywords come in short-tail and long-tail forms. 

Short-tail keywords

A short-tail keyword is a short phrase that is relevant to your business but is not specific so will get many results. For example, coffee. This could mean someone is searching for a coffee shop or a coffee maker or coffee granules. Just because it is relevant to your business doesn’t mean you are what they are looking for when they type it in and you could have a lot of competition with other businesses that are also relevant to that keyword. 

Long-tail keywords

A long-tail keyword is a longer and often more specific phrase. For example, coffee shop in London. This specifies the type of coffee product the user is looking for and a location. You will have less competition when using this keyword and can be sure it’s your type of business the user is looking for.

Consider both short-tail and long-tail keywords when curating your website content. 

Titles and subtitles

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Ensure the title, pages and any subheadings within your site are relevant to your product or service and what customers will be searching for. This makes it a lot easier for search engines to identify what your website is about and who it will appeal to.

Original content

Avoid copy and pasting content even if it has been provided by one of your suppliers. Search engines won’t display multiple websites with the exact same content high on its ranking. That’s not useful to the user. Write everything you put on your website yourself so you know its unique and it will be more likely to be picked up by search engine bots.

Images

Translate any images used on your website into something search engine bots can understand. Giving images descriptive names will help the bots to understand what it is, making your website seem even more useful to users and potential customers.

Links

Another way to raise your ranking on the search results page is to have other websites link to yours. If other websites are referencing your content, Google will see you as a useful website and value you higher. This is where networking comes in handy. Building relationships with other sites where they will link your pages in a natural way will attract visitors of their site and improve your ranking.

Don’t overdo it

It’s been mentioned many times that SEO involves appealing to bots but don’t forget that you are trying to appeal to humans too. Your content needs to be written well. It needs to be engaging not just stuffed with keywords. What’s the point of working hard on your SEO strategy if what’s on your website isn’t going to entice visitors to become customers?

Check your progress

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You don’t have to work blindly on your SEO strategy. You can see whether it is working or not by looking at your analytics. You can see how many clicks you are getting on your website and how many visitors are turning into paying customers. You can research what keywords to use to attract your customers. If you are ranking high and getting lots of clicks but visitors aren’t actually buying anything, you can see that and experiment with adapting your website and its content. Creating and developing your strategy is not a guessing game.

Search engine optimization means you can stand out from among your competitors and the thousands of other websites online. You can specify when you want to stand out to ensure you are appealing to users who are actually looking for your product or service so have more chance of turning into paying customers. It’s not enough to create a quality website, you need to make that website seen by appealing to the search engine algorithms and potential customers alike.

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