What is Search Engine Optimization
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Introduction: SEO Basics

What is SEO? This often the initial reaction of many when I attempt to explain in human what I do for businesses. It is okay, if you have no clue what it is and you landed on this page don’t be afraid we will help you with this beginner guide to search engine optimization.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the discipline of applying the search engine best practices to your website to show up in the organic search results. Organic meaning that you aren’t paying for the website to be displayed in the search engines top paid results section which is the fastest and often the most expensive way to get in-front of your customers. SEO is one of the least understood, yet most valuable skills in internet marketing.

How Search Engines Stay In Business

Many people are under the illusion that search engines are in-fact tools for connecting people to the information they want but, in all honesty they are giant advertising platforms that collect and analyze your preferences to target the products that you will most likely buy. This isn’t just search engines like google, yahoo, bing, and DuckDuckGo but also Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube and Facebook. Shocking right?

With this understanding of search engines basic intent now we can explain how you can use SEO for your business to get in-front of your ideal customers. Let’s start with the basics of search engine optimization; how it works, how to implement an effective digital strategy and how you can get started optimizing your own properties.

Why SEO is Important

SEO is important because without proper SEO search engines would have a hard time determining if your content is viable. When you look at the enormity of content that is flooding the internet you will see why those top ten spots in the search results are so important for the searcher. SEO works as a way of filtering through the noise and getting right down to the most important part. According to Internet Live there were 5.8 million blog post written just today… I guarantee you that at least 99% of those blog post written will never see the light of day from the first page.

In our day and age the internet is a huge data junkyard and the search engines with their SEO algorithms are able to help us navigate through the trash to get us that diamond in the rough. Lets jump to the content now…

Basic Beginner Guide To Search Engine Optimization:

Lets start with basic level searcher perspective logic. You are looking for easy banana bread recipe in google. We get all the organic search results from that query in the search engine as well as a search snippet at the very top.

These organic listings are the top SEO optimized pages regarding this topic. The title and the meta-description (the short description that is displayed on the search results) gives as a clear understanding on what the page is about. This is important because if you don’t optimize the Title Tag and the Meta Description of each page on your websites your rankings will be directly effected. This is the first thing that the searcher sees when looking through the search results. The length of the Title Tag should be no more than 60 characters while the description should be no more than 160 otherwise you will risk your search engine query being cut off. I utilize a tool called Keywords Everywhere to tell me how much search volume a specific search term has if you were curious why my search results look like this.

SEO Keyword Research

This should be a post in and of itself, but keyword research is researching which search queries have the most volume and are worthwhile in spending time to go after them. Also, through keyword research we can see how competitive a given term is. An example is 49000 people search the term “easy banana bread recipe” while 0 searched “best recipes to make banana bread” this is a vast difference in search engine volume.

Keyword Research can also be used to figure out how exactly to structure the site, how much content is needed for that particular term and even if you really need to focus on off-page factors. Some articles have more links to one page than my entire website. Which brings us to our next section the top SEO ranking factors.

Top SEO Ranking Factors

In the exploration of finding out what is SEO, we need to look at the known factors that help rank a website. While there is no official guide to getting your website ranked in Google and other search engines, we as an SEO community have joined together and have taken it upon themselves to compile a list of top ranking factors.

Mobile Optimized

Backlinks

Technical SEO

User Experience

Domain Authority

Site Security

Optimized and Well Written Content

Social Signals

Future Predicted SEO Top Ranking Factors:

These ranking factors are currently minor but some of them are gaining traction very fast and are beginning to take a bigger role in SEO as we speak.

Backlink Relevance

This will be the biggest one. Gone are the days where any willy-nilly website backlink can be used to rank a website. Niche and area specific website backlinks will become an increasing factor as the realm of digital marketing begins,

Mobile Experience

Voice Search Optimization

Branding

Photo Courtesy of Search Engine Land

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