Welcome everyone, here is a beginners guide to SEO.
I will be running this guide in chapters, just so you know the importance of SEO and how you can implement in on your website to hit front pages on search engine rankings.
This is series 1.
At the end of this series, I hope to have provided you with the required foundational SEO knowledge and confidence to climb up the ladder of SERP (Search Engine Ranking Pages)
Table of Contents
What Is SEO?
SEO is an acronym meaning Search Engine Optimization
There is no single-generally accepted definition for the word SEO. So, I will be bringing to you explicit definitions of Search Engine Optimization as defined by experts across several fields
I will simply define Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in a layman’s language, as:
“The process of optimizing a website and the content on such website with the primary aim of making it appear amongst the top organic (non-ads) results of search engines”. SEO can therefore be defined as helping a website be easily found across the entire internet and not just focusing on rankings in search engines.
SEO requires an understanding of how search engines work, what people search for, and why and how people search.
A website will be regarded as SEO-Successful, if such website appeals to both web users and search engines.
I simply regard It as a combination of technical and marketing skills.
Here are some definitions given by SEO professionals as discovered on Search Engine Journal.
The answers are all correct. Because, they were defined based on their individual perspectives and wealth of experience in the digital industry.
Expert Definition of SEO?
According to Loren BakerLoren Baker, the Founder of Search Engine Journal:
SEO is the encompassing definition of putting together a three-part strategy which includes:
The ongoing technical optimization of a website to make sure that Google is able to properly read and index the pages which are meant for Google, its desktop and mobile rankings, and other engines. Also, it’s ongoing innovation for search and consumer usability via solutions like AMP, Schema, and rich snippets.
The inclusion of content on the transactional, informational, and publishing level on websites so consumers and engines can easily define a page or section of the site, its importance and relevance to natural search queries and subject matter. Navigation is a part of content strategy, so interlinking plays a big part here.
The ability to promote content which is shareable and supports the above mentioned SEO goals. Sharing content via outreach, PR, link building, and amplification initiatives lead to signals from authority sites in the same topical neighborhood of the site being optimized, which in simple terms means you get great links that Google loves.
I tend to love the apt response given by Seth BesmertnikSeth Besmertnik, the CEO of Conductor. In his words:
There is one simple answer to this: give your customers value. If you know what your customers need/want and give it to them, you will win in SEO tremendously.
There is only one algorithm that matters: Your customers – and their hearts, minds, and souls.
Alan Bleiweiss of Alan Bleiweiss Consulting in is words defines SEO as:
SEO is the process of helping search crawlers and algorithms gain maximized access, understanding, and formulaic confidence that “this page is the best choice for this search query.”
Katya Bovykina of Digital Marketing Manager, Resolver. In his words:
SEO to me is about valuable content and meaningful partnerships. To win the SEO game in 2017, you need to provide useful, relevant, accurate and recent information.
If you combine that with building relationships online, you get a very strong competitive advantage. There is very little room left for “get rich quick” schemes, and that’s a good thing.
Clark Boyd, a Digital Marketing Consultant said:
Searching implies the requirement for an answer. As long as people have questions, those that provide the best, quickest answers will prosper.
Those who keep their eye on the fundamental, enduring truths of SEO while adapting to so much flux will achieve the best results. People still need answers, after all.
Winston Burton, the VP of SEO, Acronym Media said:
SEO is all about providing end users with a positive content experience at the right moment in their user journey across different platforms and devices.
Doc Sheldon Campbell, the Founder, Intrinsic Value SEO, gave a wider perspective to this as well as going ahead to giving recommendations on how a better understanding of one’s audience will make you achieve a good result with SEO. He said:
Understanding what’s effective in SEO today requires a deeper understanding than ever of how search works. Obviously, everyone isn’t a search engineer, so that can be simplified to understanding what the primary goal of the search engines is.
Sure, “relevant results” is true, but it goes much deeper than that. More than ever before, we need to know the audience:
Questions to Ask for Effective SEO
WHO are they.
WHAT are they searching for.
WHEN are they searching.
WHY are they searching.
WHERE are they searching.
HOW are they searching.
Does the site ask and answer questions that the user finds helpful?
Will Google consider this site a high-quality representation of the overall niche as a whole?
If Google didn’t exist, would this site still be easy to discover, navigate, and convert its target audience?
We used to be able to achieve results focusing on just one or two of these. Now we need to nail them all.
Christine Churchill, th President & CEO of KeyRelevance in his words:
SEO is the science of getting eyeballs to the page through search. It’s a multi-discipline approach to helping web pages get found by humans and search engines.
Pratik Dholakiya, the Co-Founder of E2M gave more light to this:
To me, today, SEO has two important facets:
A specific branch of inbound marketing: One that is designed to bring in traffic, attract attention, and spread your reach, even in the absence of search engines. But those efforts are made with the search engines in mind and carried out in such a way that they will maximize your potential to bring in long-term organic search traffic.
Technical SEO: Assuring all links are up to date, performing keyword research, setting up redirects when pages are moved, fixing errors, using proper markup, and so on.
These two facets must then be integrated in such a way that they enhance the brand’s overall marketing efforts. It’s a very exciting field and I’m happy to be a part of it.
Casie Gillette, the Senior Director of a Digital Marketing firm named, KoMarketing said:
For me, the goal of SEO hasn’t changed in the 12 years I’ve been doing it. SEO is about getting your website found in search results by your target audience.
I know there’s the whole concept of “search experience optimization” and making sure you are optimizing for platforms beyond search but when it comes down to it, SEO is about being found in search engines. Of course, how we do that and what we actually give customers has changed, but that’s a result of the changing search landscape vs. SEO itself.
Bridget Randolph, Freelance Consultant explains SEO as:
More than ever, SEO today is about understanding your ideal customer and what they search for – and, by extension, identifying and establishing key relevance signals as they relate to that ideal customer.
Chris Sherman, Partner & VP, Third Door Media:
SEO means exactly what it meant in 1997, right about the time I started writing about it. Easily expressed: Creating good, readable, content that people feel compelled to share.
Breaking Down the Definition of SEO
From the definitions given above by experts, I have come to a conclusion that SEO is not as complex as it may sound.
Some vital things to consider are as follow:
The customer is the main element; you need to be sure you are providing them with what they need in that moment?
SEO is about knowing when your site is the right result, and being honest to yourself when it is the wrong result.
It involves making your company and services more accessible to your prospective customers by studying what they need and creating the resources to serve them better than other competitors.
Also, it means helping businesses do everything they can to make more money from people who are visiting their website via organic search.
SEO means greeting the user with the exact information they are looking for at the exact time they are looking for it.
It hasn’t changed so well from what use to be obtainable in the past.
A modern SEO needs to know how to tailor the structure of their website and its content for two things: search bots and humans.
SEO needs to focus on user experience in relation to site speed, as well mobile responsiveness.
You should work at knowing how to do proper outreach and promotion to help increase mentions, referrals, and backlinks.
When these factors are combined and done well, the result is increased organic exposure and traffic from search engines for such website.
As long as content can be searched, its performance can be optimized to help make a company “the best answer” for customers, wherever they look.
Make sure Google can access your content.
That they know what it’s about.
That other people reference it as such.
The Importance of SEO
Visibility and Rankings
Users, when running a product or service search online will most likely click on any of the top 10 results that shows up in a search engine (like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) . SEO helps you rank higher in search results and garner more visibility online, making potential customers more likely to click over to your site and convert.
Traffic to Website
Painting a scenario of a website in existence without potential customers being able to find such website, the implication of this is that sales opportunities are missed. The major importance of SEO is that it increases your organic search engine traffic (i.e. traffic from non-ads on search engines like google).
This will automatically brings you an increase in the number of visitors who sees your website, are aware of the products and/or services you offer.
This directly correlates to an increase in sales because the more relevant people that see your site, the more likely you are to sell to them.
When your SEO scorecard grows higher, surely you will begin to rank high and higher on popular search engines. The higher the ranking goes, the more appealing the brand gets exposed, this is as a result of the increased visibility. Any website that makes a top result on search engine is automatically regarded as credible and trustworthy in user’s mind, most especially when money transaction is involved.
Good User Experience
A well optimized website surely communicates what product or service a company renders while giving attention to details and ensuring web visitors get a good feel and ride. If a user struggles to navigate your website, chances are that search engines do as well.
With this overview of what search engine optimization entails, and its importance, please keep in mind that SEO requires a positive practice and results are not immediate especially if your website is still a new one. You will need to grow through the rankings, and your rankings highly depends on who you are competing with.
Improving your digital presence is an ever-growing task, but these tips on how to improve your SEO should help you get the ball rolling.
If you have any questions or need my help on anything related to this, kindly use the comment box below.
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I’m the CEO of TechieBreed .
My goal is to ensure that technology is optimally utilized at the lowest cost possible to every bloggers and small scale business provider while ensuring the technicality aspect is eased and profit is adequately maximized.