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Beginners Guide to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing website traffic and visibility in search engine results pages. SEO helps consumers find your business, which is especially important given that 88% of consumers begin their buying journey online. In this guide, we’ll discuss why SEO is essential for your business and how it works so you can start optimizing your site today.


Beginner’s Guide to SEO


What is SEO

So you're asking what is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Google defines SEO as "the process of optimizing your web pages based on things like content, keywords, links and structure so that you can rank higher in search engines."


The term encompasses a number of strategies and techniques to make sure your website appears higher in organic search results. It's important to know that Google does not want you to pay for your rankings, so if you do see something suspicious, report it.


In the end, SEO brings your ideal customer to your website to help drive sales or leads. BY using the words of your customer you can help them find you more easily.


SEO Basics

Let's break down the basics of SEO. The first thing to know is search engines like Google don’t rank websites, they rank web pages. And to be sure all of your web pages are ranking for relevant searches; you should focus on 5 key areas. I'll speak about each step in more detail but for now, your should know your strategy should focus on:

  1. Review Your Site Speed: make sure your site loads fast, especially on mobile

  2. Build an SEO Strategy: thinking of ways to create high-quality content that has the potential to rank well

  3. Conduct Keyword Research: research relevant keywords for each of your landing pages based on search intent

  4. Create Rich Valuable Content: create strong relevant content that users want to consume

  5. Focus on Promotion / Link Building: aim to get links from other web pages and link internally to build authority

Are SEO efforts really worth it?

With over 40,000 search queries conducted every second, and 3.5 billion searches a day, you can see that if you don’t set your web pages up in a way that search engines can read them, you could get lost in the shuffle.


There are many benefits to SEO:

  1. It can help you to improve your online presence.

  2. It can help you to generate more leads and increase sales.

  3. It helps you to get higher rankings on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and others.

  4. Last but not least, it helps you to get more traffic to your website


person typing on computer -Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Your Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

Search engines are designed to match up search queries with the best possible results.

As Google continues to update its algorithms and search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, it’s important for businesses to keep up with the latest SEO practices.


With the right SEO strategy, businesses can ensure their website content is optimized for maximum visibility and search engine rankings.



Here are the latest SEO know-how that businesses should keep in mind.


Focus on User Experience:

User experience (UX) is a critical component of SEO. Google’s algorithms are designed to reward websites that provide a positive user experience. This means that websites should be easy to navigate, load quickly, and provide relevant content. To improve user experience, businesses should create a user-centered design with clear navigation, optimized page speed, and a mobile-friendly design.


Shopify SEO

For Shopify SEO, we recommend using the latest theme version to optimize your website's loading speed. A slow-loading site can negatively affect its overall performance.


WordPress SEO

When it comes to WordPress SEO, be mindful of the number of plugins you use as too many can slow down your site's speed and negatively impact your search engine optimization efforts.


Wix SEO

If you're using Wix, ensure that you're optimizing your website's SEO settings and limiting the use of apps that could slow down your site's performance.


Weebly SEO

For Weebly SEO, it's important to note that the platform's interface may not be as intuitive when it comes to keyword placement, so be sure to navigate to the SEO portion of each page for optimization.


Optimize for Voice Search

Voice search is becoming increasingly popular, so businesses should make sure their content is optimized for voice search. To do this, businesses should use natural language and include long-tail keywords in their content. This will help improve their visibility when users search for content using voice commands.


You can use the power of voice search to answer all kinds of questions, from "Where is the nearest pizza place?" to "How tall is Mount Everest?" You can also use it to get an idea of what's happening in the world right now. In fact, it's estimated that 40% of people use voice search to find businesses in their area.

In fact, it's estimated that 40% of people use voice search to find businesses in their area.

When we refer to "natural language," it means using everyday language that your customers use and understand. It's important to avoid using industry jargon or technical terms unless those are the exact words your customers commonly use. The goal is to make it easy for your target audience to find you without having to guess which words or phrases to search for. When writing content, think about how someone would naturally speak and incorporate that conversational tone to connect with your audience effectively.


In addition to asking direct questions, voice search can also be used to set reminders and create lists.


Voice Search and SEO Tips

To optimize for voice search on your site you should find and use conversational keywords, identify key questions by asking yourself Who, What, When, Where Why? and set up your FAQ page properly.


 

Discover How I Can Help You Reach Your Ideal Client!

  • SEO: Attract more traffic and transform your website into a lead magnet.

  • Content & Social Marketing: Engage your target audience with captivating content.

  • Email Marketing: Drive results and nurture valuable customer relationships.

Unlock the power of your business today! Take action and start attracting your ideal clients.








 

Optimize for Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are short summaries of content that appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). This can be an answer box or an interactive carousel. Because these snippets are highly visible, businesses should optimize their content for featured snippets.


Up to 80% of all clicks go to the first organic result on the SERP. That means that the majority of people who are searching for something specific are going straight to that result.

The easiest way to rank for Featured Snippets is by making sure your page has great content in general—and not just for SEO purposes.


Tip: A great tactic is to study what content is currently ranking for the featured snippet you want to rank for. Is it a list or a short summary? Now write content to try to outrank it.


woman looking at laptop


SEO - Where to Begin: Search Engine Optimization for Beginners


Where do you begin with SEO? The short answer is, that anyone can start learning SEO and implement some quick wins to get started. If you're struggling with what kind of content will appeal to your users and draw them back again and again, check out my 5 steps below.


What should I learn first in SEO?

You should first learn keyword research in SEO. However, it's not only about identifying the right keywords but also understanding the reasons behind a customer's search and their intent. Consider how you personally search for information versus when you are looking to make a purchase. Pay attention to the specific words you use and the search results that appear. Take a customer-centric approach and think about their motivations and the content they would find valuable at each stage of their purchase journey. By understanding your customers' search behavior and needs, you can optimize your content and provide the information they're seeking.



5 Steps to Getting Started with SEO

Now that you have an understanding of what SEO is and its importance of it for your business, let's get started with key SEO strategies.


Review Site Speed

  • First, it's time to review your site speed. You'll need to run a quick audit on how well-optimized your website is and make sure that it's not slowing down the load times for visitors. If so, find ways to improve these metrics.

Develop SEO strategy

  • Second, you'll need to start creating an SEO content strategy. This means thinking of ways to create high-quality content that has the potential to rank well on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. You can do this by focusing on topics relevant to your industry and making sure that they're well-researched and written in a way that makes sense for readers. If you're stuck - Focus on your customer first and figure out how you're solving their problem in a unique way.

Keyword Research

  • Next is the step of conducting keyword research. This helps you understand which keywords should be used in order to ensure maximum visibility online and attract organic traffic from search engines like Google or Bing. The way I define keyword research - is looking for ways in which your ideal customer searches for solutions to their problems: The words they use in Bing/Google searches.


For example: if you're in eCommerce you'll want to look for keywords for your product pages that have transactional intent, a decent amount of volume, and are easy enough to rank for.


Create Content

  • Finally, you can start to create rich valuable content. The content within each page should then include any relevant related search terms, possibly answer related questions, include valuable video content, etc., and match the similar length of other pages that rank for that keyword. This is a critical step and must be reviewed once live. You can continue to optimize your best-performing pages or update old pages that need a refresh to stay relevant.

Build Internal and External Links

  • Once you're up and running you can then start to look at how you can connect to other sites, blogs, etc, and how they can connect to you. See Google's best practices on link building to be sure you're doing things right.

  • Don't forget to add internal links across your content. This is the most overlooked strategy, but it is vital.

For example: If you need backlinks, you can find sites that have a lot of authority in your industry to reach out for guest blogging purposes. Or you can get in touch with influencers and ask them to review your products. You can also try to connect with journalists to be seen as an industry expert. Just be sure to respond to them quickly when they reach out, as they are working on a deadline.


How long does SEO take?

SEO does take time, at least 3 months to see real results. It’s not a quick fix and you’ll need to optimize and stay on top of updates to search engine algorithms. This post is meant as a starting framework to give you an idea of where to begin.



Don't Forget

Be Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly

Don't forget to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. You can do this by testing it on a mobile device and making sure that the user experience is optimized for people who are browsing with their phones.


Fix Broken Links

Broken links are links on your website that no longer work, leading to an error page or a "404 not found" message. These links can be frustrating for users and impact your website's search engine optimization. To fix broken links, it's important to first identify them. You can use a broken link checker tool that scans your website for broken links and provides a list for you to review. Once you have identified broken links, you can fix them by either updating the URL or removing the link altogether. For external links, reach out to the website owner and ask them to update the link if possible. By regularly checking and fixing broken links on your website, you can improve user experience, maintain website credibility, and boost your SEO efforts.



Promote Your Content

Don't forget to use social media platforms to share your content and engage with your audience. Choose the platforms that align with your target audience and create tailored content that speaks to their interests. Encourage your followers to share your content and engage with it.

 

We hope that this article has helped you to understand the basics of SEO. If you want to get more in-depth information on specific topics, check out our blog or reach out to us for a free 30-minute SEO discovery call.


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