Beginner’s Guide to SEO – Search Engine Optimization

One thing that most beginning to freelancers hear right from the start is that SEO is dead. You’ve got to go with paid ads, now. That’s it. Done and dusted. This is far from the truth and if you want to increase your visibility in search, it’s essential that you know how SEO works and that you don’t take it for granted. If you want to get ahead in the business game you need to know how search engines work, what works and what doesn’t, and then develop and implement a strategy to improve your search engine rankings. SEO is still quite a hot topic and it’s understandable if you’re completely confused. Here are a few questions and answers about SEO you should ask yourself if you want to stand out from the crowd.

What is SEO?

SEO is essentially about increasing traffic to a site; it is not limited to the inner workings of the site itself. SEO incorporates the function of a wide range of things from content marketing and keyword research to link building and domain architecture.

Importance of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you to rank higher on Google. You’ll also get traffic from Google, in general. All this traffic can help you out with your business goals, including, increase site traffic, improve conversion rates, increase sales, build a brand, etc. In the U.S., most of us are familiar with Google. But what exactly is SEO? Simply put, it’s the process of building a website and putting it online, creating a search engine index so that people searching for a keyword will find your website. For instance, if you want to run an online business, but are a little bit late to the game, you can try building a website, but still use SEO techniques on your site. Today, Google has a lot of competition, so people are switching over to other search engines, as well. If you were to search for any business right now, would you do it with Google? Probably not.

SEO allows you to rank better on search engines like Google, while also increasing the number of people visiting your site. For a long time, this was seen as the poor man’s method for SEO, but recent changes to Google have made it a must-have tool. This also applies to content. You’ll be able to rank higher in search engines if you have content that is regularly updated. Additionally, if your content is useful and informative, people will look to your site as a resource for more information about a particular topic. Quality content increases site traffic and improve conversions. Relevance is also key. If your content does not include information that is relevant to the keywords you want it to rank for, you are not going to rank for those keywords.

Additionally, don’t forget that when using SEO, you are not going to be able to boost one page of your website while making changes to another. They keep bouncing back to the search results pages of other sites. If your content does not include search terms that are relevant to your website, Google won’t be able to find your website in the search results. Notably, you can do all this without paying for the services of a marketing or SEO agency. You can do all this on your own and save a lot of money.

What SEO Looks Like in Practice?

The aim of search engine optimization is to get your website listed in the top positions on Google for a specific keyword phrase. In other words, the aim is to get traffic to your website, which will increase the visibility of your website, especially for your target keyword phrase.

Many inexperienced freelancers are obsessed with finding “copy that works” or “phrases that get the maximum results”. They even see SEO as “copywriting” and it’s tempting to think that this way is the only way to build your brand. This is often why beginner’s guides to SEO become so vague. They’ll tell you to “optimize your blog posts for Google” or to “boost your Google search engine visibility”.

Is Your Content Neutral?

Your content should always be relevant to your audience. However, your content can sometimes leave your site feeling a little flat. If you feel like you’re writing about your subject and that it doesn’t feel right, try to consider why this is. Is it because you’re not writing about things your audience will be interested in?

Understanding where people are likely to find your content online, and then tweaking it to fit, is an excellent way to make sure your audience still finds you when they’re searching. If you’re worried that a change in style may result in a decline in your SEO ranking, don’t be afraid to tweak it for a short period of time. It’s not the end of the world.

Headwords And Keywords

There are certain keywords and phrases that you should aim to include in your content if you want to be optimized for search engines. These keywords should be clearly related to the content that you’re creating. The stronger your content is, the stronger your keywords will be and the more likely it will be that people will search for them.

Types Of SEO

It’s important to know what types of SEO are out there. Some search engines will let you know the strength of your content’s authority and search volume. Other search engines won’t, which could lead to your website not being found. There are several types of SEO. They are based on how the search engine and search engine robots (which are used to index the pages on the website) are organized in relation to search terms. They range from Keyword-based SEO to Ontology-based SEO, and Phrase-based SEO.

Keyword-based SEO:

Using a particular keyword in the title or meta description, content and throughout the website. Keywords should be placed as far down the page as possible to avoid keyword stuffing. AdWords, for example, only allows for 20% of a website’s text to be words. Keywords that are placed far down the page and not in any relation to the keyword will not work.

Ontology-based SEO:

Search engines use an ontology when ranking websites. An ontology is basically a list of objects that are relevant to one another. Like the concept of being a scientist. An ontology is basically a list of things that scientists do, think about or are interested in. Ontologies are a complex structure, and more search engines are starting to add ontologies to their ranking algorithms. For example, Microsoft Bing now allows the inclusion of an ontology to rank websites. Google is beginning to support some ontologies, such as that of the Art Market. Other Ontologies are not compatible with Google’s new update. In essence, an ontology ranks websites according to a complex list of concepts that must be shown when a search engine ranks a website.

Phrase-based SEO:

Using common phrases or words in the body of a page on the website. You are required to include these phrases in the body of the page to help search engines understand what your website is about, and the information contained in the pages on your website. Again, using keywords in the titles and meta description will not work.

What Is Link Building?

Link building is a means of increasing your brand’s authority and search engine visibility. It involves establishing relationships with websites that have links to your content, such as on other blogs, forums, and other websites.

Other SEO Tips

Take a good look at the other blogs in your niche, whether they’re focused on WordPress, a niche, other blogging software, another blogging platform, etc.

In many cases they may have added you to their blogroll, a list of top blogs within your niche that people may want to see. In other cases, they may have added you as a “featured blogger”, which means that people can check out your blog and perhaps leave a comment or two.

Expand your domain reach

SEO tends to skew toward the basics. When you first start out, you’re unlikely to be able to improve your website’s rank on organic search rankings. You can buy your domain and create a standalone website, or you can make your entire site into a sitelink and focus on improving its organic search results. Keep in mind that Google looks for “information first” websites, so a website without any content will never rank well for its search terms.

Use The Power Of Good Hires

SEO is a hugely complex topic. There are many technical aspects to consider, and many of these require that your skills are currently at a high level. It’s often wise to hire a professional who knows more about SEO than you do, who is willing to work on a retainer basis, and who has the right skills for the job. Don’t be afraid to get creative. There are lots of great resources out there that can help you bring your SEO skills up to speed.

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