SEO CRASH COURSE: 10 Tips for Beginners
Whether you're trying to promote your own website or starting to do digital marketing work as a freelancer, you may have some questions about how to implement SEO properly and just what all the fuss is about. Once you have the terminology and understanding down you'll find that SEO will quickly consume you and you'll either LOVE it, like we do or HATE it and want someone like us to do it for you. How's that for a shameless plug? :) Anyway, here is the lowdown and a quick crash course on just how to accomplish your own SEO in 10 quick steps.
SEO: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
WHY SHOULD YOU OPTIMIZE? For three reasons...
It allows search engines to "rank" your site based on it's relevance in the digital game.
- It is how and why some websites appear on the first page of google search while others die a slow and painful death on page 2. (Well this and AdWords ranking...we'll save that for a different day.)
HOW DO I DO SEO?
1. CONTENT: Content is just the stuff that fills up your site. Written blogs, posts, images, videos, products etc. This is all content. CONTENT GIVES YOU VALUE. It has been dubbed the currency of the internet by some.
To achieve SEO: provide GOOD VALUABLE CONTENT. Teach someone something, share some knowledge, share something fun, share pictures of your awesome cat that looks like Harry Styles...whatever...just share good quality content.
2. TECHNICAL FACTORS: Be sure that every page on your website has TITLES clearly listed. For example when you go to a page on a website you can look in the browser and see something like https://www.socialmindmedia.com/socialmindmedia-social-minded-blog or whatever the website owner has named that particular page. That last part (socialmindmedia-social-minded-blog) is considered the page title. Be sure EVERY PAGE has a PAGE TITLE
3. AUTHORITY and AUTHORSHIP: The key to remember here is the term BACKLINKS.
BACKLINKS: Consider this the "cross reference" of the internet. Basically the sharing of links between two sites. Example: Let's say Guy Kawasaki is so enamored with the fact that I wrote his name in this thought provoking and highly informative blog post so much so that he decides to share the link to this post in his OWN blog and share it to his readers. (dear sweet Internet Gods let this happen) Well, what he has done is create a link BACK to my site through his....a BACKLINK.
If you create good content that others want to talk about people will link back to your post and increase traffic back to your site. (we sure are seeing that content word everywhere aren't we?)
4. USER EXPERIENCE: Is your website providing a great user experience for the people that visit it? Is it boring and mundane with static information that is not interesting? If so, change it, liven it up. This should be done to keep your look fresh and new and to help you with your SEO.
5. RESEARCH YOUR NICHE: To find our what kind of keywords are being used by your competitors that rank higher than you in the search try to find out what kind of links or any keywords that they are using that you aren't. GOOGLE KEYWORDS ADWORDS PLANNER is an EXCELLENT source for looking up this information. It allows you to find out which words are being searched by the public the most for your niche. For Example: If I sell socks with eyeballs on them. I'd want to check out the keyword "SOCKS" or "SOCKS WITH EYEBALLS" to see how many times it comes up in searches. I discover that 10 people googled the word "SOCKS" and 1 million searched for "SOCKS WITH EYEBALLS" (it could totally happen)
6. USE KEYWORDS IN YOUR CONTENT: Then I'd take my socks intel, and write a post all about socks with eyeballs and reference "socks with eyeballs" throughout my pieces and hashtags. Now the probability that someone will see my post just went up a bit by including keywords that a lot of people are searching for.
Don't understand keywords or Adwords? Google is AWESOME at posting tutorials like this one: TEACH ME ADWORDS
To find out what links your competitors websites have connected to theirs try using the site Opensite Explorer. Enter in your competitors or your own website to see what comes up and if anyone has linked back to your relevant content. (there's that word again...)
7. META DATA: Meta what?
META DATA are the words that describe and gives information about other data.
Be sure that every digital asset (stuff you put on your website or social media ) has metadata attached to it in some form. Example: Sockswitheyeballs-blog-ElaineTorres-Author-January 19, 2016. Try to use keywords that you researched earlier that you know people have a high probability to search for.
If you don't understand this portion don't feel bad, I would recommend talking to your webmaster and having them help you learn where to put your metadata tags.
8. GET EXPOSURE FOR YOUR CONTENT: Once you've created an amazing and optimized piece of content share it. Share it everywhere. Every social network at least once, and multiple on Twitter throughout the day.
9. NO BLACKHAT SNEAKY SNEAK: Don't buy your links or followers...that's lame. Earn them like everyone else by providing valuable, thought provoking content that others want to share and re-share. It'll happen, you'll see.
10. RINSE AND REPEAT!: Visit your SEO often and create content often that directs traffic back to your website. Getting visitors there is really key to rising in the ranks. So visit often, change it up, and STAY RELEVANT! Happy SEO'ing...
There you have it. I hope that these tips have enlightened you a little about SEO and how to implement it into your digital strategy. It is always my intention to put people first, and the best way to do that is by sharing knowledge with one another and creating a smarter more educated society. If I missed anything, please let me know! Hope you enjoyed it.