SEO Basics: What You Need To Know

Search Engine Optimization popularly known as SEO is simply a process of boosting the quantity and quality of traffic on a website through organic search engine results. SEO increases the visibility of a website or webpage to search engine users, and it’s likely you are reading this article because you want to draw more traffic to your company’s website.

For starters, basic SEO is not rocket science. If you put your mind to it, you can actually learn to run basic SEO without having to pay an expert to do the job for you. This is because there are so many articles and videos put online by the experts that are available for free that will teach you.

In this article, We will be running through simple steps to understanding basic SEO, but before then, it’s important that you understand how search engines determine what content should come up first when users search for related items.

Here are a few things to note:

1. Search engines consider your website users’ engagement. How many users consider your website relevant enough to actually click on it, and how long they stay on your site.

2. How original your web content is. Plagiarism is totally not helpful for successful optimization of your site or page.

3. Search engines also consider the speed at which your website loads. It is said that users hardly wait longer than 3 seconds for a site to load. This could totally defeat the purpose of SEO if it is not considered.

4. When a user sends a search query, the search engine looks for quality and relevant content in response to the query.

5. Through a process called “crawling”, the search engine determines if your web page is relevant to the searchers query. Crawling is the process by which a search engine scans or reads your websites’ content while assessing it to know if it is relevant to a search query. This is mostly determined by evaluating the keywords in your content as related to the information needed by the user.

6. Quality is determined by how many websites are linked to your blue widget site. Your site has to be linked to credible websites that are often linked to, before a search engine considers it, of quality.

7. Not ensuring that your website is also mobile-friendly is like shooting yourself in the foot. It’s most likely that more users want to access your website or webpage through their mobile phone, and if it’s not mobile-friendly, it can be a turn-off.

8. Ensure that your website has an SSL certificate. A secure Sockets Layer or SSL assures your user, that your website is secure. A website with an SSL can be identified by the padlock symbol on the URL bar.

Steps To Learning Basic SEO

1. Identify the right keywords. You want your website to rank high when users search for terms related to your website, so you need to identify what related words users search on the search engine. These words are your keywords. One of the ways to determine this is to ask yourself how users search for what you do, the terminologies they use, the solutions they need, and your most likely competitors. 

The next thing you want to do is measure your keywords against two important metrics. These metrics are: 

a. Search volume. This average number of monthly searches

b. Keyword difficulty. This is how easy or difficult the keyword will appear on the first page when searched for.

There are free SEO tools that you can input the keywords to determine their relevance through the above metrics. Examples of these tools include Google keyword planners, or Uber suggests. With tools like SEM Rush, you can take your search a little further by finding out what keywords give your competitors high rankings.

2. On-site Optimization. The next thing you want to do after identifying the right keywords is using them to your advantage on your web pages or websites. Note that you shouldn’t overuse keywords anyway. Google penalizes websites that stuff too many keywords into their content and trust me, you don’t want to get on their bad side.

Relevant places that you want to input your keywords include your Title tags, Meta descriptions, Body of content, which should include headers and subheaders where necessary, and very importantly, your image names and ALT tags. You can also ramp things up by using short URLs with related keywords.

3. Utilize Schema and Markup. These tools integrate ratings for your site when searched. This gives an added advantage to your website if none of your competitors use a markup tool, and in a situation where other competitors are using it, it becomes a minimum requirement and you don’t want to fall short.

4. Link Building. This is getting other websites to link to your website or web page. Google affirms that building backlinks with other relevant websites is a top-ranking factor. However, there are many link building myths you need to know as some of these myths will only mislead you and make you lose traffic. Sometimes you may even not have to strive to get links, but you can also ask for them as you wish, but make sure that they are from credible sites. Some people also build links through methods that are not encouraged, and you want to steer clear from those.

These are a few things you can do to get build links;

a. Create good content

b. Write guest posts to websites in your industry, this according to the expert is still the best way to build backlinks to your website. And the good thing is that it is sometimes free.

c. Comment on blogs and link back to your own website.

5. Keep Track: The last thing you want to do on this keep track of your SEO performance. You can use tools like Google Analytics, DataForSEO, and Authority Labs to ensure that you are on the right track.

SEO is very helpful for businesses, especially those that need a strong online presence. With today’s society, who doesn’t, really? However, keep in mind that it takes patience and consistent hard work to get real quality traffic. If all else fails, you can hire a company to do the work for you and save you from all the trouble. The best part about it, their services are not at all expensive, and you get the time to focus on other aspects of the business that desperately need your attention.