You’ve probably heard the term “SEO” quite a lot, either as someone who works in Marketing or simply watches YouTube videos on business topics in their pajamas. It is a part of the life of everyone who uses search engines like Google or Bing, whether they know it or not.
In fact, SEO was used when you found this article by searching for it on Google. Either way, it is not as complicated as many people think it is.
If you have absolutely no idea what SEO is, but want to know about it, you’re at the right place.
In this article, we’re offering you a comprehensive guide to SEO, helping you understand why it’s important, and how to get started with it.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is a digital marketing strategy employed to improve the rankings of a website in search results on search engines like Google and increase organic (non-paid) traffic.
It does not include PPC optimization. PPC optimization has the same goal as SEO. The key difference is that PPC is paid for, and the person who is using the search engine will know that your website is using PPC.
Both SEO and PPC are part of Search Engine Marketing.
In simple words - SEO is everything you need to do to make Google believe that your website is one of high quality and rank it higher in your desired search queries.
Key Components of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There are a ton of technical factors associated with SEO that are hard to comprehend at times. But you need to understand the key components of SEO to successfully implement them.
Three of the key components of SEO are:
- Quality Backlinks - A backlink is a link that is created when one website is linked through another. This is a very important aspect of SEO since search engines consider backlinks as ‘votes’ for a specific page and rank it higher as it is seen to be a trusted & reliable source.
- Technical aspect - This includes all the technical aspects you need to concern yourself about when it comes to SEO.
- Content - If you do not have quality content on your website, then you will not be ranked higher on search results.
Important SEO Terminologies You Need To Understand
There are a few terms you will need to know to navigate through basic SEO fundamentals. These include:
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- White hat SEO
- Black Hat SEO
On-Page SEO is also known as “Technical” SEO. It refers to all the steps you can take to improve your rankings by focusing on aspects of your website itself.
On-page SEO includes:
- Content Optimization
- Research of Keywords
- Page performance Optimization
- Internal linking
- Title tag Optimization
The goal of On-Page SEO is to provide a good User Experience with quality content while making it apparent to search engines what the website is about.
Off-Page SEO refers to all strategies you use to improve search results ranking off your website. It mostly involves getting quality backlinks to infer that your website is trusted, and has authority and valuable content.
Off-Page SEO strategies include:
- Broken link building
- Email outreach
- Guest blogging
Off-Page SEO also involves other aspects of marketing such as branding & social media marketing. These have an indirect impact on the reliability and authority of your website.
A successful & comprehensive SEO strategy includes both On-Page & Off-Page activities.
SEO Techniques: The Good and The Bad
When it comes to SEO techniques, there are good ones, and there are bad ones (quite evil ones). The terms White Hat and Black Hat SEO are used to differentiate between good and bad SEO practices.
It is crucial for you to understand the difference between White Hat and Black Hat SEO. Getting yourself intentionally or unintentionally involved in Black Hat SEO can land you a penalty from Google or Bing, or even get your site banned from search engines.
White Hat SEO
White Hat SEO is a long-term strategy through which good rankings are a result of quality content, a good UX, & good optimization across the board.
White Hat SEO sticks to the regulations and guidelines set forth by Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
The features of White Hat SEO are:
- Useful content
- Natural links
- On-Page Optimization
- Research of Keywords
- Brand Building
- Content Strategy
- Focus on Quality
Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO refers to unethical practices one may use to improve the rankings of their website(s).
Using Black Hat SEO strategies will likely get your website a high ranking in a short time, but that will be short-lived. This is because the search engine you are using will soon recognize that you are using an underhanded method to gain an advantage and will penalize and ban your site.
The features of Black Hat SEO are:
- Manipulation of links
- Irrelevant backlinks
- Comment spams
- Keyword stuffing
- Hidden text
- Link Farms
While Black Hat SEO strategies will let you enjoy short-term results, it is not a recommended course of action as it is not a constructive approach to Search Engine Marketing.
Whereas White Hat strategies legitimately improve your rankings and give visitors a good experience when they find your website. This ultimately helps your website have a better ranking and helps your business grow.
Why Is SEO Important For Your Website?
SEO is an important aspect of the modern-day marketing strategy. If you are still not convinced, let’s go over a few reasons to illustrate its importance.
Rankings & Visibility
Consumers today use search engines for everyday facets of their lives - from buying products to researching on what to feed their pets. This is why Google is the most visited website on the planet.
Even if your site has quality content and/or you are selling a valuable product, it is very easy to get lost in translation amongst countless other websites.
Visibility is directly proportional to your rankings. In fact, 62% of consumers use search engines when they research a product and 41% of consumers use search engines when they are ready to buy. T
his is why you need to implement SEO strategies to rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP).
Organic Search Results
Organic search results are very important when it comes to getting users to complete a conversion or engagement into a sale. Therefore it is a critical aspect of a business’s website performance and instrumental to the buyer funnel.
Being visible to relevant search engines like Google is always going to be advantageous for any business or website. A comprehensive SEO strategy and website will take your business to the next level.
One of the main goals of SEO is increased web traffic. 33% of clicks go to the search engine results page, and the top 5 listings get 75% of all clicks.
If you want consumers to find your website using a search engine, then you need an SEO strategy to rank among the top 5 listings, ideally as number 1.
Authority & Reliability
Consumers today have an access to a ton of helpful resources to learn about the products they want to buy. Search engines like Google want to provide them with informational & educational resources in order to help them do their research properly & purchase their products.
This is where SEO steps in. When you create high-quality & relevant content and earn the trust of visitors, you also earn the trust of the search engines and receive a better ranking. You do this by implementing proper SEO practices.
Better User Experience
You may be thinking of ways to maximize your organic search results ranking and increasing your visibility. Before you do all of that, you must realize that creating an optimal user experience should be your first step.
Optimizing your site for all devices (desktops, laptops, and phones) will boost your rankings. Similarly, by increasing your page load speeds you will convince consumers to spend more time on your page and reduce bounce rates.
Nearly 50% of consumers expect a page to load within 2 seconds. The higher the bounce rate, the lower your conversions.
Furthermore, Google has learned how to distinguish between a favorable and unfavorable user experience. This is a key aspect of how the biggest search engine in the world gives out rankings. This is why a seamless user experience is a critical aspect of how successful an SEO strategy is.
SEO is relatively cheap considering all the advantages it provides to your business and/ or website. It can cost you money, but the payoff will greatly benefit the brand and your business’s bottom line.
The implementation of a good SEO strategy will benefit your business in the long term. It will only get better with more attention and investment you provide it with. Realistically speaking, it is more of an investment rather than a business cost.
SEO is a key factor for business growth in the digital landscape. This is because it helps you achieve many of your business goals.
It helps build a community, improves customer experience, increases your authority and brand image, drives more people to your website, increases conversions to sales & gives you an edge over your competition. All of these advantages eventually result in the growth of your business.
How To Get Started With SEO
Focus On The User
Google’s algorithm is impossible to predict since it is constantly updating. However, the algorithm was designed to provide the best results for its users.
So as you improve your site, place importance on the users first. Make your website easy to navigate, put out educational and straightforward content, & choose topics that are relevant to their needs.
This way you will be working in tandem with Google’s core strategy as your common goal of focusing on the consumer will be aligned.
Use Keyword Optimization and Topic Creation
Google’s RankBrain AI has learned how to focus more on user intent than just keywords. As a result, it is now more important t to optimize for specific topics. Even still, keyword research is needed to select which keywords you would want to optimize within your topics.
First, come up with the topics you want to focus on. List as many relevant topics as you can think of. A topic is usually just a few words long, such as “SEO tools” or “Project Management”
Ask yourself the following questions before you get started -
- What are your customers looking for?
- What products/services do you offer?
- What message do you want to get across?
- What topics do you currently write about
- What topics do you want to write about?
After the topics have been decided, it is time to do some research into what you want to optimize your website around. Try to make sure that the topic is associated with about 7-10 target keywords. Choose keywords with a higher search volume.
This helps your website be more comprehensive and increases your visibility within Google’s search engine results page (SERP). This will ultimately contribute to your website receiving a better ranking.
Does this seem like too much work?
Or perhaps you’re a bit intimidated by the complexities involved in keyword selection. As stated above, it is a very important element for any SEO strategy. Use KeywordBin and explore keyword ideas based on real searches generated on Google.
Implement a Pillar Content Strategy
A Pillar Page is a page on your website that codifies your content. What that means is that the pillar page helps organize your content and gives it structure. They’re a lot like chapters in a textbook which makes it easier for readers to navigate through the book, in this case, your website.
There are two reasons why pillar pages are important in an SEO strategy.
First, as stated before, it helps organize your content so that people can have a seamless user experience and easily browse your site.
Secondly, it helps your rankings because it makes your content clutter-free. This is important as Google’s algorithm prefers it when a website has clutter-free content and can specify what each piece of content is about.
The implementation of SEO is a complex process with ever-evolving techniques, tactics & practices. However, it is still very important if you wish your business to be found by consumers and increase web traffic. It is a key part of modern-day marketing and its importance cannot be underestimated.
A good keyword research tool can help you craft a solid SEO strategy that drives results. If you want to find keywords that help you rank higher on search results without breaking the bank, KeywordBin is here for you.
Create a free account on KeywordBin today and start finding revenue-generating keywords now!