SEO Made SimpleMay 10, 2021
You may have heard that SEO is complicated, but it doesn't have to be. You can do a lot with just a few simple tools and techniques. This blog post will show you how to get started with SEO for your business's online presence.
What is SEO and why you need it
The phrase "search engine optimization" has become commonplace in today's digital age. But what does it mean and why should you care?
SEO refers to the process of improving your site's ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) through a variety of techniques. With so many websites out there competing for attention, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. SEO is the technique that helps your site to be found (organically) by the right people.
How do search engines work?
Search engine robots, also known as spiders, crawl websites for content. They store and build an index or database out of this information. When you enter a question or a query into a search box, search engines' proprietary algorithms determine what to pull and display from their libraries. The ranking of these results depends on content relevancy and popularity.
The exact ranking formula for the world's most popular search engine is a closely guarded secret. Still, we do know it includes both its user data and that of third parties like YouTube videos, social networks (e.g. Instagram), news articles from credible sources, etc., as well as web-based metrics such as Quantcast ratings on demographics/audience size; Alexa rankings on website traffic levels; page rank by site popularity and authority based off links to your domain linking back to you or referring pages having anchor text pointing at them which says "click this link" to send you elsewhere—all these factors are taken into account when deciding whether or not your site should show up in their results pages.
Parts of SEO
Whether you're just starting online or have been in the game for a while, it's never too late to learn more about the three parts of SEO.
On-page SEO (or on-site SEO): Refers to optimizing the elements of your site to rank higher or get more traffic from search engines. It includes optimizing the content and code of your pages.
Technical SEO: It's a part of on-site SEO. It refers to optimizing your site so the search engines can crawl and index your content. It can include site speed, tags, page redirects, image optimization, link structure, and code.
Off-page SEO: These are the external factors, everything done outside of your site that influences rankings. One of the most critical parts of off-page SEO is link building; this is the practice of getting high-quality links back to your site. When search engines find relevant links that link back to your website, it's a signal that your site is a reliable source. Link building happens through social media, guest posting, interviews, infographics, and commenting.
How to build an SEO friendly website
Building an SEO-friendly website is not a difficult task. However, it can be frustrating because there are many myths surrounding what you need to do to rank well on Google and other search engines.
Here is a nonsense-free checklist of what to focus on to build a solid website foundation.
- MOBILE FIRST: More than 50% of Google search is from a mobile device. It may be even higher, depending on your specific offerings. Your website needs to be mobile-friendly, so it works on all devices.
- SECURITY CERTIFICATE: SSL certificates indicate that your site is secure. Google marks sites without SSL as insecure, which can affect your ranking.
- SPEED: Fast-loading websites matter. Get good hosting, compress your images, and use reliable themes and templates. Speed is more important than fancy design.
- FRIENDLY URLS: You want to use search-friendly URLs such as yourdomain.com/about rather than yourdomain.com/index.php/1234-234
- BOT-FRIENDLY: Make sure the Google bot can visit and index your site. If Google can't crawl your site, then your page won't get found. Make sure you're using an XML site map. If you're using WordPress, you'll need to install a plugin. We like the Yoast SEO plugin to generate your sitemap. Squarespace, Kajabi, and Shopify already have sitemaps built-in. You'll want to verify your sitemap in the Google Search Console. All the pages you want to be indexed by Google should be listed in your sitemap.
Optimizing your website for SEO with keywords
The way you optimize your website for SEO can be the difference between a successful business and one that never gets off the ground. If you want to attract customers and grow your customer base, there are some essential tips to keep in mind.
Research and choose your specific keyword phrases and make sure you target the following areas on your pages and posts:
- Blog post title
- Permalink (the URL where your blog post is located)
- Body copy
- Heading tags
- Image name
- Image alternative text
- Internal link
When it comes to search engine optimization, there are no shortcuts.
I know that it can be hard to keep up with constant search engine optimization (SEO). It's an ongoing process that takes time and effort, but the rewards can be huge when you're doing SEO right. Knowing how your site should look at every stage of its life cycle is vital for any business owner who wants their website to grow with them over time.
I recommend taking the time to understand the basics. By doing this, your site will have a strong foundation and be ready for whatever may come next. Follow @thecreativewebsite on Instagram for more tips, quick tutorials, and in-depth guides about all things website-related.
About the Author
Licia Dantas, the founder of The Creative Website, is a website strategist for ambitious women in business who want to control their sites and generate more sales with fewer clicks.
With over two decades of website design and development experience, she's been around since the start of the digital revolution. Licia's worked with a wide variety of diverse clients, creating hundreds of sites, consulting with business owners, and mentoring aspiring website designers.
These days Licia helps female business owners leverage their online platforms to share and sell their knowledge to the world. And she's devoted to helping female website designers build their sustainable businesses doing work that matters. She regularly shares her insights around design, strategy, and building a business that loves you back through 1:1 consultations, mentoring, and group training programs.
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