A Beginner’s Guide to SEO

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What’s the first thing you do when you want to find something online? You probably open up your mobile browser and perform a Google search to find what you’re looking for. Odds are, your customers are doing the exact same thing, and it’s up to you to make sure they can easily find you. In this post, I’ll be providing an intro to SEO along with some basic fundamentals you can implement today.

In December 2013 alone, there were 18.3 billion searches conducted on the internet. Of those searches, 12.3 billion took place on Google sites. (source)

With so many searches being performed per month, you can see why it’s important to make sure your website is easily found among popular search engines, Google in particular.

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) basically breaks down to methods used to enhance the performance of your website in search results.

SEO is a fundamental part of your marketing strategy and can tie in to all facets of your marketing plan. By keeping your customer in mind and creating content suited for them, you’ll be able to approach SEO in a natural, consumer-oriented manner, which is exactly how it should be done.

Content is King

If there’s one thing you absolutely have to understand about SEO, it is that content is of the upmost importance. If your website provides fresh, quality content to consumers that answers their questions, you’re already a step ahead of the competition.

Here are some tips for helping you create quality content for your website:

  • •Always create content for your customers, NOT for search engines
  • Make sure your keywords and keyword phrases are implemented into content naturally. Need help with keywords? Check out Google’s Keyword Planner
  • Blog! Blogging is a great way to produce fresh, informative content for your website
  • Check out your competition and see what’s working for them

Your customers will appreciate the fact you’ve gone the extra mile to cater your content to answer their questions and address their needs, and will build trust in your brand as a result.

User Experience

While content rules, the user experience of your website is also incredibly important.

  • Is your site mobile friendly?
  • Does your website load quickly?
  • Is your site easy to navigate?
  • Can visitors easily find information they are searching for?

These are only a few questions you should ask yourself when determining how user friendly your website is. Google is constantly changing in order to provide its users with a better experience, and if your site is slow to load and tricky to navigate, your rankings will suffer.

For more details on user experience and improving your online presence, check out part 2 of our business growth series.

Authority

One of the more difficult factors of SEO is establishing yourself as an authority in your industry. Becoming an authority breaks down like this:

establishing authority on google

By creating quality content, relevant websites are more likely to recognize your expertise and link to your content as a reference. Google then recognizes your site as a provider of quality content and will rank your site accordingly.

From Google:
“The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.”
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Establishing yourself as an authority takes time and effort, and it definitely won’t happen overnight. While purchasing links or link spamming may seem like an easy way out, it will definitely hurt you in the long run. Take the time to create great content people will want to share and build relationships along the way. Don’t forget to include relevant links to great content within your OWN content as well!

Measuring your Results

Spending time and effort on SEO is no use if you don’t have a way to measure and analyze your results. Using a free tool like Google Analytics is a must.

Google Analytics is easy to set up and provides a wealth of information and insight. You can see how many visitors come to your website, where they come from, and how they behave while they are on your site. You can even set up conversion goals to track when a customer completes a certain action on your website (for example, making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter).

By understanding how visitors behave on your website you can easily assess which pages are performing well and where you can improve content to provide more information or a better user experience.

There are many facets to SEO, but content, user experience and establishing yourself as an authority are all great ways to start improving your SEO today. Remember, you will get out of SEO what you put into it, so treat it with care and do it the RIGHT way! For the more technical aspects of SEO, like submitting XML sitemaps and optimizing meta data and page titles, you might want to contact an SEO professional. Our Annual SEO Check Up Services are great for addressing and correcting more technical SEO issues.

What are your biggest struggles with content creation? What are some ways you will be enhancing your site’s user experience or establishing yourself as an authority? Tell me in the comments below; I’d love to hear from you!


This post is Part 3 of our Business Growth Series:

Stephanie Patterson

Stephanie Patterson is the Vice President of Operations at ijenti. She enjoys interfacing with clients to design and manage marketing strategies that suit the unique needs of each business.

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