SEO has been very much around since the emergence of search engines in the late 90s. The growth and evolution of the internet and search engines over time has very much highlighted the importance of SEO when it comes to digital marketing. This blog post will serve as a beginner’s guide to SEO for those who have no idea about the subject matter.
First things first, what does SEO actually mean? Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website with the aim of increasing your rankings in the search results and getting more organic traffic. 93% of all website traffic comes from search engines and nearly 80% of users ignore paid ads in search results. This is why getting organic traffic to your website is the aim of all SEO efforts. SEO is a must for every website owner.
SEO Basics You Must Know
At first glance, SEO seems like a whole world of technical stuff that will require a long time to grasp but fear not. Even the SEO gurus today were once beginners. One thing about SEO is the fact that it is a continuous learning process so what matters most is understanding the basics which will serve as a foundation.
The key components of SEO can be divided into 2 processes which are;
On-page SEO: This refers to everything that you can do on your website all by yourself without seeking external aid. These include;
Creating quality content
Proper page tiles and descriptions (metadata)
Off-page SEO: This includes activities that can be done to improve your website’s reliability, relevance and authority outside your website. Such processes include;
Using backlinks on your websites
Social media campaigns
The goal of on-page and off-page SEO is to rank high in search engines and the good use and combination of the aforementioned components is a good place to start.
Google is the most used search engine in the world because of its relevance and popularity. Search engines can also be referred to as answer machines. They literally search through billions of online websites and documents to give you the best and most relevant information which serves as your answer.
Search engines typically assume that the more popular a website or document is, the more valuable the information contained in it must be. This assumption has been proven to be fairly successful as regards user satisfaction with search results.
Relevance and popularity aren’t determined manually by the search engines. To break this process down, the engines make use of mathematical equations known as algorithms to separate the wheat from the chaff (relevance) and then ranks the wheat in order of quality (popularity). The variables that make us these algorithms can be referred to as ranking factors.
According to Google Webmaster Guidelines, Google recommends that website owners do the following to get better rankings in the Google search engine;
Make pages/websites primarily for users and not for search engines. Try as much as possible not to deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users. This practice is referred to as “cloaking”.
Use keywords to create descriptive, human-friendly URLs.
Create a useful, information-rich site and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
Relevant SEO Terms and Their Meanings
Learning about SEO will be incomplete without a knowledge of some key SEO terms. Knowing what they stand for, makes SEO learning easier and more interesting. The following are the most popular SEO terms and their meanings for beginners;
Black hat SEO- this is a set of unethical practices to improve the rankings of a website.
White hat SEO- this refers to all the regular SEO techniques that sticks to the guidelines and rules. It is a long-term strategy that revolves around good optimization, quality content and a user-oriented approach.
Crawling- This is the process by which search engines discover your website/web pages.
Indexing- The storing and organizing of content found during crawling.
KPI- Known as “Key Performance Indicator” is a measurable value that indicates how well an activity is achieving a goal.
De-indexed- Refers to a page or group of pages being removed from Google’s index.
Intent- In SEO terms, intent refers to what users actually want fom the words/phrases that they typed into the search bar.
Google My Business Listing- A free listing available to local businesses.
Organic- Earned placement in search results as opposed to paid advertisements
Query- Words typed into the search bar.
SERP features: Results displayed in a non-standard format.
SERP: Stands for “search engine results page” — the page you see after conducting a search.
Traffic: Visits to a website.
URL: Uniform Resource Locators are the locations or addresses for individual pieces of content on the web.
Webmaster guidelines: Guidelines published by search engines like Google and Bing for the purpose of helping site owners create content that will be found, indexed, and perform well in search results.
We hope this has been helpful and we look forward to helping you achieve all your marketing goals. Leave us a comment and make sure to check out other contents on our blog.