SEO Guide for Beginners
Today we are beginning a SEO guide to help business owner understand what SEO is and how it benefits their business. Over the course of the next few posts we will cover a range of topics in this SEO guide including:
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing both quality and quantity of website traffic. This is beneficial to businesses because by increasing your local search rank in search engines you can appear first in front of more potential customers or clients. The primary results of effective SEO is organic traffic to your site.
SEO is about more than just search engines. By understanding your target market and how they search can greatly improve how your website ranks on your local search engine. Using proper keywords that would reflect how users would search for your business is just one way SEO actually works.
How Do Search Engines Work?
By scouring the web and analyzing billions of pieces of data and content, a search engine does it’s best to deliver results that best reflect your search query. Basically, search engines are machines that help find answers.
There are massive types of content created and published on the web. Some of these include PDF files, Images (png or jpeg), video and actual web pages. Search engines “crawl” through and “index” these contents and this creates “ranking” for your local search engines. We will cover more on these terms here on this SEO guide.
Organic Search Results
Organic search results come directly from searching on the web, not paid advertising. These results are directly influenced by SEO and how effective a site is optimized.
An example of non-organic results would be an advertised result shown at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These results are from businesses paying to promote their site in specific search results.
Google offers some extra features on SERPs that are still organic. For example, there are Snippets (a promoted organic result that appears in an answer box) and related questions boxes. Though they may look like they’re paid ads they remain organic and influenced by SEO.
Why Is SEO Important?
Over the past couple years, paid advertising and social media advertising have grown to be very effective but search engine results still remain the top generator of online traffic.
One of the benefits of SEO is that when properly set up and ranking is built, your website can generate more traffic over time. Meanwhile, using social media and paid advertising means more funding is needed to consistently pay for these ads and only last while the ad is running.
Proper SEO also has a click through advantage. When a viewer searches on the web they are more inclined to actually click through and read more about the information that they are searching for. Social media and paid advertising has a much lower click through rate as their ads are of opportunity. A viewer might be interested for a second but its not information they were actually searching for.
By properly setting up your website for SEO you can assist the search engines in effectively “indexing” your page and increasing your ranking on SERPs.
Representing Your Local Business
Google has a huge feature on their search engine called Google My Business (GMB). With GMB your business can have its own listing in local search engines that better represent your business. Whether you have a storefront or a service that requires you to travel to your client, you have this amazing option available to your business.
Some guidelines and requirements for using GMB are:
- Your business must contain a physical address, even if its your home address, and you must be able to see or discuss business with customers face-to-face.
- You must accurately represent your company information including your business name, location, contact information, website information and more.
As a respective business owner this shouldn’t be difficult as all of this information should be easily available to you. Clarity and honest representation is also a way to build trust with potential customers.
You do not want to over stuff your GMB listing with false information or keywords that you think would help your SEO. It will not. Do not use PO boxes or false addresses for your business. Finally do not abuse the review system on your GMB listing. Google reviews these Google My Business listings and can flag or remove information that you have posted.
More information on Google My Business check out this GMB post by S & S Business Consultants.
Understanding Your Business Goals
By communicating with your client you can identify and pinpoint exactly what their goals are. This information will allow you to identify what areas of SEO you should focus on, where conversions rates matter etc.
Some clients goals could be:
- More calls
- Email sign-ups
By focusing on its specific goals you can use our SEO guide to help your client reach and achieve these goals. SEO accomplishes more than just visitation numbers. By learning and utilizing it properly you can directly effect many aspects of business goals.
Moving forward we are going to learn how to be more data driven and effective in your SEO efforts. In the next post of our SEO Guide we are going to discuss how search engines work.