Search engine optimisation is, in itself, a complex phrase. But, believe it or not, SEO can be stripped back to basics – and we’re here to show you how.
There’s no denying SEO is a hot topic. In the online marketing world, most of the brands you search for wouldn’t be so accessible without it.
By getting your head around SEO for beginners, you will create a wider audience for your product or service.
We know it’s important and useful – but what actually is it? We’ve broken down the basics so you can feel confident carrying out SEO for your business.
SEO Basics: What is SEO?
Ultimately, SEO is responsible for giving people what they want. If a person Googles: ‘best hairdresser near me’, then Google will continuously re-evaluate its result pages to ensure they are providing the searcher with exactly what they’re looking for.
This therefore benefits everyone – Google for fulfilling their role as a reliable source, the customer for having their query answered, and the business for gaining recognition and traction.
The more valuable your website and its content is, the higher you will rank on the search engine results page (SERP).
This is why it’s important to put time and effort into optimising your website’s content. So that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches when users type in a certain phrase or keyword.
It’s not just five star reviews and popularity contests as you may have thought. SEO follows a specific, technical algorithm. Luckily for you – we’ve got the cheat sheet you need to crack the code.
SEO Basics: What are the Benefits?
Getting to grips with SEO basics will bring you many benefits. From enhancing your online positioning to encouraging repeat customers.
In fact, if you run an online business, SEO is one of the best areas to invest in. Any web-based company is essentially dependent on maximising traffic.
The cheaper this is, the better.
Luckily, organic search has about the best ROI of any customer acquisition channel.
The upshot of this is that SEO is the most cost effective way to find new customers for your business online. This is true for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at some more specific benefits of SEO.
Create a Better User Experience
Good SEO leads to good user experiences. This can be achieved in a number of ways, such as providing your audience with useful, insightful information, high quality imagery and videos, easy-to-navigate web pages and seamless mobile-friendly website configuration.
This may seem like a long checklist, but once you refine each of these components, your website will see a return on investment. These appeal to website visitors in a variety of ways. For example: the sleeker your website, the more people will trust you as a source of information, products and/or services. This is more likely to encourage lead generation and repeat customers.
Build Brand Credibility
If Google has ranked you on the first result page, it is like the ultimate seal of approval.
Usually, searchers will believe and trust Google’s recommendations. A massive 75% of searchers never click past the first page of results, as Google works hard to ensure they are answering questions as quickly and accurately as possible to surpass other competitive search engines.
Therefore, the harder you work to achieve that first page Google status – visitors will instantly think highly of not just your website, but also your business.
In turn, this brings a multitude of benefits, such as higher click-through rates and more tangible sales.
Enhance your Presence Online
The better your SEO game, the better your chances are of being seen.
Boosting your online presence means searchers will become more familiar with your brand name. This leads to heightened brand awareness and therefore, higher levels of trust.
The more you are searched for, clicked on, shared or recommended – this puts you in a much stronger position online compared to your competitors.
SEO is what helps people dominate and succeed.
However, this is not an overnight fix – you need to make sure you are making yourself as searchable as possible. This involves using basic SEO techniques, which we will delve into further in this blog.
Good SEO basics lead to improved visibility and accessibility, which are key to making profit. When you think about the most lucrative phone brands, you instantly think of the company names, like Apple or Samsung.
Not only has their definitive technology got them there, but also their brand awareness through strategic marketing and clever SEO for beginners.
Dedication to even the most basic SEO heightens your chances are of being seen, recognised and therefore trusted. The more people see your business’s name, they become more familiar with you.
Combine this with Google’s stamp of approval with a high ranking, you will undoubtedly boost your profitability with SEO.
SEO for Beginners: How do I Rank Better?
SEO is complex to understand, yet the tactics are simple to incorporate into your strategy.
There are a few tips and tricks to help you improve your SEO, starting with the words you use.
Keywords are fundamental to SEO basics. They are specific words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for.
This is where SEO for beginners can be a steep learning curve.
By using the correct keywords in your website content, whether this be informational pages or blogs, this will help make you more relevant and appear to be answering multiple queries associated with your business.
This makes you more valuable, which will help you rank higher.
Normally, people focus on primary and secondary keywords. Primary keywords are the main word people search for. For example: a primary keyword would be ‘clock’.
Secondary keywords add more detail and provide a better insight into a searcher’s intentions, which helps refine results. For example: the secondary keyword to ‘clock’ might be ‘alarm’, ‘digital’ or ‘wall’.
There are also other variations of keywords that you can include. These are semantic and longtail keywords.
Semantic relates to the meaning behind language and logic. Semantic keywords therefore try to determine what users mean when they type a certain word or short phrase into a search engine.
For example: if you were to type in ‘burger’, Google would try to work out your intent behind your search. It would likely give you options for burger recipes, a local burger restaurant, or options for takeaway or delivery.
Therefore, to rank more highly, you should include semantic phrases of a particular keyword, to match as many intentions as possible.
Longtail keywords are keyword combinations that are longer than two words. These usually link to and support the main keyword, but in different variations.
This means that they meet the needs of multiple searches, depending on word selection. For example, longtail keywords could be: ‘listen to music online’, ‘free online music’ or ‘free music playlist’.
Although they each have lower search volumes, this makes them easier to rank for, meaning you are more likely to rank for a specific query.
Content that is easy to read is essential for better SEO results. Search engines will privilege pieces of content where users spend longer on the page, as it indicates to their crawlers that the article has provided value to the searcher. If your content flows well and is digestible for the reader, then they will likely spend more time reading the full page.
Good readability can be achieved in a number of ways. Short sentences, words with shorter syllables and simple language all help in making a web page or a blog more SEO friendly. This way, you can attract readers of all ages – helping you to expand your customer base.
This might sound basic and like a no-brainer, but formatting plays a huge factor in SEO for beginners.
Ever been on a website where the content is lengthy, filled with clunky paragraphs, non-cohesive heading styles and irrelevant imagery? These all contribute to high bounce rates, which means people will take one look at a page, see its fault and close the site.
Formatting goes alongside readability. The top tips to remember are to keep paragraphs short (usually three sentences), keep your website style uniform (use the same font throughout your site) and include high quality images, graphics or videos to break up text.
We hope by providing you with these SEO basics, tips and tricks, that you will start to see more success for your business online.
If you want further advice or assistance with your SEO practice, simply contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
Technical SEO for Beginners
This is where many SEO newbies get frightened. It’s pretty common to hear the word technical and be intimidated, especially if you’re not the most computer savvy person around.
In reality, technical SEO is not that complicated.
Essentially, technical SEO is all about ensuring that your site is fast, secure and easy to navigate.
While there are plenty of free auditing tools out there, you may be just as well speaking to professionals about your technical SEO needs.