If you plan on running a blog, an online store, or just a website for your brick and mortar store, you’re going to want to learn about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. All of the big sites like Google, Etsy, YouTube and Instagram have their own algorithms for Search Engine Optimization. These algorithms sometimes change, and even the slightest movement can be problematic, depending on what you were doing.
Why Is SEO Important?
So, what exactly is SEO? And why is it so important? According to Lexico.com, powered by The Oxford Dictionary, Search Engine Optimization is defined as, “The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”
How does knowing this help you as a business owner, even if someone else is in charge of your website? Well, what this all means is that leveraging SEO as best you can will drive more traffic to your site, giving you more leads, sales, and in the end more profit.
Google is currently the leader when it comes to search engines, so if you make a good impression with them, then they will rank you higher in their search suggestions, increasing the possibility of your site being seen. People trust what Google is presenting to them, and many don’t scroll past the first page of results, so you want to make it to the first page, and ultimately the number one search result.
History of Search Engine Optimization
In its relatively short life so far, SEO has seen a lot of changes to its algorithms. The term is thought to be coined in 1997, when web crawlers were still a thing, and you had to manually fill in the meta information for your website. It was this metadata that the web crawlers would index and use to find your site and compare it to others to see how it ranked.
In 1998 Google was founded and changed the game. They’ve been changing the game ever since. They continually improve and find ways to optimize the search engine, including getting rid of non-reliable sources, and sites that are out to take advantage.
How to Increase Your SEO Optimization
There are a few guidelines to follow when looking to optimize your SEO standing. The big one, and one that most people are familiar with is the Keyword(s), or phrases. But, there’s more than just using your keyword multiple times throughout your page or site. You need to know what your target audience is searching for, what your competition is using, and the search volume of that particular search. There are several tools online that can help you with this.
For years there’s been a debate about having a particular number of words to help with optimization. That number has been anywhere from 300 to 1500. However, John Mu, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google debunks that rumor, stating that wordcount isn’t going to make your pages rank first.
Some other areas you’ll want to think about to help optimize your site are:
- Relevant Content
- Properly Labeled Media
- Relevant Links and References
- Proper Sentence Structure
- Standards Compliant HTML
- Unique and Relevant Page Titles
Digital marketing agencies specialize in setting both a content strategy and SEO plan for businesses based on their budget and goals. Everything that needs to be done to get results can be set up by a good digital agency.
Make sure if you are looking for content strategy you work with one type of agency. Here is a list of reviews of top content agencies. If you are looking for specific SEO work done, here is a list of top seo agencies. There are many listed that are affordable search engine optimization companies.
Pages is another area where there is some debate. It used to be the more pages the better, as there were more opportunities for accessing your page. Nowadays, it seems that less is more, and it’s best to keep it to a few relevant pages. This could be a debate that continues and may shift again in the future.
More to Think About
In addition to the information in the above section, there are two other areas in which you’ll want to ensure you keep in mind, and that’s why I split them out, just in case you’re skimming this article.
Metadata is essentially a set of data that describes and gives information to another other data. This is the information that Google, and other sites will use to index your site. As if they were skimming websites and picking out the relevant sites based on what the metadata was telling them.
There are different types of metadata, and what your site is about, will determine what sets you use. Generally, however, all sites will want to have a Title Tag and a Description Tag. Other information you may want to use is for media that is hosted on your site. In addition to just labelling your media, you’ll want to give a little more information in the metadata tags such as location and date of photo perhaps.
Another important thing to think about is screen size, specifically when it comes to your audience, and who it is you’re trying to drive to your site. Many people these days browse the web on their phones, or tablets, and these devices come in all different sizes.
There used to be a time when websites were built with just computers in mind, but those days are over. Today you need to ensure that your site will look great on any screen size that someone may be using. This will help optimize your SEO as more traffic will continue to go to your site.
There are entire communities on the internet to join for learning more about SEO, and relevant information such as getting traffic to your site. These communities are a great way to learn, as generally people are very welcoming and will help you if you ask questions.
Facebook and Reddit are great resources when it comes to finding a community to fit into, and to find more information with regards to a wide range of areas within SEO.
Another reason the communities are an ideal place to look is that people share their real-life experiences and projects, so not only will you learn about SEO as a whole, but you will also see it in action, and perhaps get some ideas that you may never thought of before.
Learn More About SEO
You can also enrol in an online class to learn more about the different areas of search engine optimization.
One that we recommend is from Moz, where there is a full SEO Learning Centre and you can get started for free. Some of the topics that will be explored are Ranking and Visibility, On-Site SEO, Links and Link Building, Local SEO, Keywords and Keyword Searches, and Crawling & Site Audits.
There are more learning resources and tools that you can access on the site as well. One tool that Moz offers is the Mozcast, a weather report that shows the turbulence in the Google Algorithm, as opposed to the actual weather.
Udemy offers a number of courses on SEO, you can browse through them and find one that is right for you. You may be able to find a more specific course on here, compared to the generic SEO course that Moz offers.
Chances are, that whatever learning style you have, you will be able to find an Udemy course for you.
You can also prospect companies to handle all the seo work for you.
Other Informative Sources
There are a lot of other sources on the internet to learn more about search engine optimization, you just need to know where to look.
Marie Haynes is a great resource, she has a weekly podcast, newsletter, and a blog on various areas focusing on SEO. One of the things that is great about Marie’s site is that she links to other great resources, including the official Google release pages, so you can start to follow some people and sites that will help expand your knowledge as well.
Twitter is a great place, especially if you’re interested in SEO news, and the latest and greatest with regards to it. You can fine people to follow, like Marie Haynes from above, Google SearchLiason, and any number of accounts that deal with the backend of websites like this.
Another reason Twitter is a good resource is that you can create lists and follow topics, which will help increase the number of quality people, and experts onto your timeline.
As you can see, there is a lot of information that goes on with search engine optimization and the backend of websites and pages. There is way more than we can cover here, but hopefully you have a better understanding of SEO and the role it plays in ultimately providing revenue to your company.
We strongly suggest enrolling in a course to help you learn more in-depth information on the topic, and you can feel great knowing that if you’re getting top quality information a legitimate school or merchant. Or, at the very least, continue to do research on the topic to learn more and more.
Each site that has SEO topics on them may be a little different, depending on their angle, so the more you see of it, the more understanding you’ll have, and then you will be able to utilize that knowledge for your own site so that you can optimize Leads, Sales, and Revenue.
In this resource you can find affordable search engine optimization companies to review.