What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a process that aims to rank a website higher in the search engines. This is done by optimizing the website for specific keywords that are relevant to the site.
There are many different processes to look at. Google apparently has around 200 different factors that affect the search rankings of a website. These include meta tags, content and external factors such as backlinks from other websites and social media.
Our beginners guide is aimed at helping you to understand some of these factors. If you are unsure about applying these to your website then you might want to consider using an SEO agency. If you go down this route I would suggest doing some thorough research before setting on an agency. If possible use an agency that are doing a good job for a company that you know.
There are 3 different meta tags that I am going to mention here. The first and least important is the keyword meta tag. In the past this tag was abused by stuffing lots and lots of keywords into it so now most search engines ignore it.
The second and most important is the meta tag title. Each title should be unique. It should be between 3 and 6 words and should include the most relevant words for that page. So for example if the page you are optimizing sells blue toy cars then the title should be something like “Blue Toy Cars – Buy Online Now”.
The last one is the meta tag description and is also quite important because a good description can improve your click through rate which in turn can also help improve your rankings.
The content on your website is really important but also how you organize the content is essential.
For example having all your services or products on one page is a waste and is much more difficult to optimize. Having separate pages allows you to be more specific with the optimization.
Also make sure that any content that you use is unique content. If the search engines find two pages with the same content on then they are likely to just show one of them. This goes for content across other websites not just on your own website.
News or blogs
This ties in with content above. A news section or blog allows you to add content on a regular basic. Search engines loves this and it also helps you to promote your services or products by writing additional information about them.
Backlinks are an important part of SEO and that goes for both internal and external links. You will have internal links going to your services and products from your menus but adding additional links to main pages from your blog or other pages again helps your rankings improve.
External backlinks are very important and help to improve the authority of your website. Not all backlinks are equal so make sure that if you are creating the external backlink that it is from a reputable site. There are various ways which you can do this. The first is you, would you trust the site? Does it look a reputable site? The second is to use some software such as ahrefs or MOZ to tell you. These tools are explained in the next section.
Using SEO tools is vital if you don’t have much time on your hands and they can also warn you about any issues with your website.
For example setting up a Google webmaster tools account allows you to see if there any html improvements you need to make to your site and if there are any errors.
Rank tracking tools are also a great way to save time. It is likely that you will want to target more than just a few keywords so typing each one into the search engines to see where you are rankings is very time consuming and can give you false hope since search engines show different rankings depending on factors such as your location.
Another good source of information is MOZ. It is packed full of useful tools and resources aimed at helping you with SEO and marketing.
Social media helps to get people viewing your content and allows you to interact with customers and potential customers. There are so many different platforms you can use ranging from Facebook to Linkedin and Twitter to Instagram. It is unlikely that you will need to use them all and the ones that you do use will depend on your target market.