SEO for Dummies: An Easy to Understand SEO Guide for Business Owners
Are you new to SEO? If so, check out this easy to understand SEO for dummies guide for business owners.
Everyone keeps talking about “SEO.” In fact, they’ve been talking about it for a few years.
There’s a good reason for all the talk, too. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential tool for any business that seeks to have a good reputation online. It’s also essential in the modern age for any business who’s looking to generate sales from a web presence.
Read our guide to SEO for dummies in order to get a better grasp on what search engine optimization is and how it can help you boost your site.
SEO for Dummies
First things first, here’s a rough definition of SEO: the process of tailoring a site to rank well in search engine results pages.
There’s a lot that goes into SEO, and it would be impossible to cover everything here, but there are a few essentials that every website owner should understand. Let’s get started.
Understanding Search Engines
Search engines, primarily Google, are the medium between users who want information and the information itself. This means that they get to determine which websites come up first in results pages.
In that respect, they’re the gatekeepers for two things. First, the vast ocean of information online and, second, the success of all those who want to have a good web presence.
A web presence is becoming more important, too. SEO is clearly important for sites that exist entirely online, but local businesses are also taking a hit when they don’t optimize their sites; people often make ‘near me’ searches that determine which local business they’ll go to.
It’s becoming more and more important for everyone to optimize their site in order to compete. This means optimizing a site to meet the needs of the search engine algorithm.
The Search Engine Algorithm
Search engines have a vested interest in providing their users with information that best matches a set of keywords. When a person makes a search on Google, the words they type into the search are the “keywords.”
Those words are entered into Google’s algorithm which sifts through billions upon billions of sites, only to find the ones that are most relevant to the user. If the search engine doesn’t come up with relevant information, users will likely try out other search engines.
As a result, engines use algorithms that hold your keywords up against roughly 200 factors to narrow down the sites online that you want to find. While it would be hard to optimize for 200 factors, it’s possible to have success by sticking to the ones that we know are most important.
One of the few factors that are essential to SEO is keyword optimization. This is essentially the process of creating content that is laden with the words your user is likely to be searching.
So, if you have a sandwich shop, you might create content that’s optimized for the word “sandwich shop.” That way, when a user is looking for a sandwich shop, you’re likely to show up in the results.
The thing is, there are millions of other sandwich shops, each one more specific and unique than the next. That’s why it isn’t enough to just have a page or two that optimizes for very specific keywords in your niche. You have to create regular content that follows keyword trends.
Keyword research tools allow you to see what users in your niche are searching. Maybe a looming disaster is approaching so users are searching a lot of things pertaining to survival.
You could notice this as a content creator and identify the most common keywords that users are searching. Let’s just say that those keywords are “fallout shelters,” “non-perishable foods,” and “how long can you stay in a shelter?”
With that knowledge, it would be wise to create three blog posts, one for each of those keywords. Each post should answer a question or address an issue posed by the keyword, all while angling the content to lead the user back to your site.
This is the difficult part, and it might require some practice to get good at it. It’s essential to end your article with a call to action that draws users back toward the pages on your site that lead to sales.
Solving problems in your content is another thing that’s essential for a couple of reasons. One, users aren’t going to read it if it doesn’t help them at all. Two, others aren’t going to link to your site if they don’t think their users would benefit.
It’s essential that other websites link to you, too. Having content that prompts others to link to you is one way to rise to the top of the search engine results pages.
If you think of Google’s search results as a sort of democratic election, think of each link to your site as a vote in your favor. The more people that vote for you, the better.
Additionally, the more powerful people that vote for you, the more likely you’ll be to get elected. In other words, the high-powered sites online have a great deal of power in the eyes of the search engines. If you’re linked to by The New York Times or BuzzFeed, Google will see that as a sign that your content is extremely valuable.
We can’t all get those links, however, and we need to take different means to get linked to. There are a number of ways that people do this.
One way is offering to contribute to a site that you would like to link to you. Tell them that you would write a blog post for their site in exchange for the opportunity to insert a link back to your site.
You may also have luck by presenting some of your content to a site that you think would benefit from it and asking them to link to it. This is less likely to work but you can always give it a shot!
Talk With the Professionals
If you’re looking to see significant results from your web presence, it would be beneficial to talk with the pros. SEO professionals can optimize your site in a number of ways that your competition has never even heard of.
Contact us to learn more.