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The ultimate beginner’s guide to Search Engine Optimization

Did you know that there are ways to advertise your business without paying a cent?

That’s right, SEO is the way to go, to increase your website visibility and traffic without blowing your budget on advertisements.

But what exactly is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization; this is the method where the quantity and quality of traffic to a website is increased by the means of (non-paid) organic search engine results.

Simply put, Search Engine Optimization is the key to increase your website traffic and improve the number of high-quality visits. It can help potential customers to find your website when searching online for the kinds of services you offer, without breaking the bank.

It is easy to define what Search Engine Optimization is, but knowing how it works, is where you will truly understand the importance of SEO.

Search Engine Optimization is ever-changing, but understanding the basics can make the biggest difference.

Why is SEO important?

One of the most important functions of Search Engine Optimization is that it drives traffic to your website and increases your visibility, but it also offers other real value.

SEO has the ability to build trust and credibility for your business or brand. Being highly ranked by a search engine works in your business favor. It suggests that you are a trusted resource with high quality content.

Another benefit of Search Engine Optimization, if done right, can lead to a better user experience.

User experience is a key element to a website’s success and to generate conversions. If your site is user-friendly and easy to navigate, you will increase the time customers spend on your site and reduce your bounce rate. This allows a search engine to view your website as trustworthy and it will increase your authority.

Search Engine Optimization isn’t a quick fix, but rather a long-term investment.

SEO has the ability to allow your traffic to snowball over time and keep you a valuable contender.

To reap the benefits of SEO it is important to stay on-top of the latest ranking factors and check that your website adheres to all the best SEO practices.

Knowing which factors of SEO to focus on, it is best to start by fully grasping how Search Engine Optimization works.

How does SEO work?

Search engines (SERP’s) use crawling bots to gather information about your website and pages.

It does this with every single website, and creates an index of all the relevant information. This process is known as “crawling and indexing.”

The search engines try to provide users with the most efficient search experience, so they use algorithms to analyze pages in the index and rank them accordingly.

This allows the search engines to provide you with the best suited content for your query.

There are currently 200+ search engine optimization (SEO) factors to consider if you want your website to rank highly on the search engine results pages.

That is where optimization plays an important role.

Optimizing your website will allow search engines to fully understand your content and will allow them to rank you higher for related search queries.

What do I need for successful SEO?

As mentioned before, there are multiple factors to consider when optimizing your website and content, and it is easy to become overwhelmed.

Much like building a house, it is important to lay the foundation first. Focusing on the basic and most important factors of SEO will allow for a sturdy foundation to build upon.

For a successful SEO strategy there are 4 basic factors to consider:

  • Keyword research

  • On-site optimization

  • Off-site optimization

  • Measuring, adjusting and implementing SEO

Keyword research

Keyword research is usually the first step in any SEO strategy.

Keyword research is the process of finding and analysing key terms that your target audience is searching for.

Knowing what they are searching for, will allow you to gain valuable insights into your target audience’s needs, wants and desires.

Keywords are not solely used for your target audience, but for search engines as well.

Finding the right balance to satisfy both your audience and search engines, is where Search Engine Optimization comes in.

Keywords can be used not only to optimise your content, but to help with crafting the best content strategies and provide key insights to implement in your larger marketing strategy.

On-site optimization

Keyword research is only the start. It is time to put that research into practice.

Implementing and integrating keywords into your content is where the magic happens.

Keyword research allows you to understand what your audience is searching for and now you can start to create content that answers their questions and queries.

On-site optimization (on-page SEO) is much more than just stuffing your content with keywords, but writing original and engaging content that is relevant to your target audience is the best starting point.

In addition to good content, on-site SEO includes optimizing your website in terms of headlines, images and HTML tags. The ultimate goal is to have a website with a high-level of authority and trustworthiness, that is easy to use and navigate.

On-page SEO is of utmost importance when it comes to ranking on a search engine results page because it is what your audience engages with the most.

Taking time to make sure the basics of your website is optimized for your users as well as for search engines, will allow you to start focusing on the more technical aspects that affect your ranking.

Off-site optimization

Off-site optimization (off-page SEO) includes all actions taken outside of your website that will influence your ranking on the search engine results pages.

It is built upon the perceptions users and Google have of your website.

The more reputable websites link or promote your website, the more your content will be seen as valuable and of high-quality.

The key to backlinking is not quantity but quality.

It is important to make sure that only high quality websites link back to your website and that any undesirable links are removed.

Although backlinking is the main focus of off-site SEO, there are other factors to consider as well.

Social media marketing, guest blogging, brand mentions and influencer marketing are all ways to achieve Off-site SEO.

Measuring, adjusting and implementing SEO

SEO isn’t a once-off deal.

Search engine algorithms change constantly and your strategy has to adapt in order to stay relevant.

Measuring your strategy’s success will help you identify key aspects of the strategy, such as rankings and conversions, that are not performing and need improvement.

Doing SEO without data is like driving a car with your eyes closed.

Insights gained through data and continuous refinement can drive your SEO strategies to higher heights.

Not only will you be able to increase your SEO success, but it will allow you to gain a major competitive advantage.

Final Thoughts

Learning the basics of SEO is the first step to success for your business, but with so many factors to keep in mind and industry terms to learn, it can get a bit overwhelming.

Running a business is hard work, and all-consuming, leaving little time for focusing on technical ways to improve your online visibility and traffic.

If you are serious about improving your website visibility and traffic without blowing your budget on advertisements, then hiring a digital marketing company like Frenzii, might be the best option.

We’ll help your business grow by ensuring no marketing efforts are wasted.

Backed up by research, data & insights we deliver razor-sharp work that cuts through the clutter online.

Let’s connect and get your business growing.