So let’s set the scene. You know everything there is to know when it comes to your business. Frome accounts to sales, to customer relationships and more, being a business owner can be tricky. We understand that sometimes, it can be difficult to keep all of those plates spinning at once. For someone who is looking to promote their business, there are a million and one things out there that you need to do in order to be successful online… SEO is one of them.
The idea of SEO can be quite daunting, after all, it isn’t as simple as other forms of marketing such as Social Media and PPC. What is important, is the idea that SEO, although a complicated subject, can be made easier to understand if you just break it down into smaller chunks. Like my Dad used to say, if you want to eat an elephant, you have to eat one bite at a time. The easiest way to understand any new subject is to break it down so you can understand each basic element of what SEO is all about:
At the early stages, the majority of small to large business will seek a marketing professional to carry out their SEO for them. Beware… SEO businesses are 80% a scam where they promise they can get you to the top of the search engines with only a small investment. Unfortunately, in this day and age, nothing is for free and any company that promises to meet your expectations for a small monthly fee will only leave you out of pocket without achieving anything. With this in mind, it is imperative that you understand the basics of SEO so that you can either create a search engine friendly website yourself or find an SEO company that knows what it is doing.
Decide What Search Engines You Care About
The main focus here is improving your authority on the most popular search engine out there which is Google… There are other search engines out there such as Microsoft’s ‘Bing’, but Like Billie Eilish recently said, “Who the **** uses Bing!?” With that in mind, don’t focus solely on just Google. There are now millions of search queries being processed on sites that are not considered search engines, such as Youtube (owned by Google), Amazon and eBay just to name a few. So if you are selling products, then really, you need to understand the science.
Keywords: What SEO is Built On
Keywords form the foundation of any successful SEO campaign: The words that people search when they are looking for a specific answer to a question must relate to the product you are selling or the service you are providing. These are the same words that appear on your website, in the right places, in order for your pages to be properly indexed by Google and regarded as a match for the search queries that match to what you are selling or promoting. They need to appear in the anchor text of links pointing to your site, too.
Simply put, if you use the wrong keywords, Google and other search engines will not match you with your prospects – ‘the people that you want to come from the search engines to your website’.
Now you may be thinking that you know all of the keywords that relate to your business, blog or nonprofit etc. Believe me, you don’t. Some of the keywords that you think are a dead certainty to bring in more traffic to your website are probably not that important. However, on the other side of the coin, you have most likely missed out on really big terms. You must carry out a keywords analysis so that you can figure out what people are searching for. Don’t overlook this phase, it’s extremely important!
Search Engines and Backlinks
Search Engines and Backlinks are a critical concept, and it has changed the way that us, as users, have used Google since the late 1990s. Search Engines effectively have to major functions:
- They index your web pages, so they know, based on the words they find in the text in your site, what is in your site.
- They examine the links pointing from other sites to yours; they regard these as backlinks for your site.
There are effectively two pieces of information that the search engines end up with. They know what is in your site, they know how much the people of the internet care about your site and they know how much authority your site has in comparison to other sites in the same niche.
What we see quite often is that, even if Site A’s content is far better than that of Site B, Site B will tend to rank higher on the search engines simply because it has more/ higher quality links than Site A. Backlinks can range from any sort of price. A link from a directory can be free, whereas, at the top end, a link from the Huffington Post can cost as much as £950!
Something that will give you the edge
The search engines, as I am sure you can appreciate, are a complex mix of different types of content and media. If you focus too much on the more traditional forms of SEO like creating keyworded pages and then finding as many backlinks from other sites back to yours, then sure, you may do quite well in the regular, web page organic results. However, you may still be missing a trick. There are other opportunities where you can find lots of success, have a look at our list below which you may want to take into consideration.
- Sitelinks below the search results: I’m sure you may have seen search results that have two columns of links below the normal result. These are called sitelinks and there are things you can do that will encourage search engines like Google to create these for you. This, in turn, will allow your result to take up more space on the page.
- SERPS: No, this isn’t a made-up word. This refers to the search boxes that sometimes appear under some organic search results. Again this takes up more space on the page and draws more attention to the user’s eye.
- Featured Snippets: These are the small boxes at the top of the search page and have a small line of information that is often related to whatever the user is searching. It can often be a quote of a set of instructions of some kind which will, in short, briefly answer your question.
- Image or Video: Search results often include links to images or Youtube videos. If you get this one right, it can pay dividends in the long run.
Hopefully, you now have a basic understanding of the SEO world. The best way to learn something, of course, is to continually read up about it. There is plenty of information online that should be able to answer any of the questions you may have. Good luck!
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