SEO – Understanding the Basics
SEO Basics can be a really daunting subject for a lot of small business owners. The concept is fairly simple but once you scratch the surface it’s never ending. There is a whole host of different styles, techniques and terminology that go hand on hand with search engine optimisation. For a business owner looking to get their website ranked on Google it can be impossible to decipher what means what and how exactly you can go about rankings your website.
In this article we are going to take a look at the most common kinds of SEO as well as how you can implement them on your website to start it ranking. We are going to cover local SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, SEO terminology and Important SEO tools. As always if you have any questions about any of the areas covered in this article, please get in touch, we will be happy to add more context to the post.
What is Local SEO
More and more people are shopping locally and Google is tailoring their services to reflect that.
You may have noticed that when you make a search on Google now the top results will be ads followed by a map listing, then a list of local businesses and finally the regular organic results.
Having a strong local SEO presence will help your business to be visible the top of Google for your local customers.
What is On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is focused on creating keyword-focused content and SEO optimised pages. On the other hand, off-page SEO is concerned with building backlinks, guest posting on other sites, and increasing the authority of your website.
All businesses and/or websites should adopt both an on and off-page SEO strategy. Think of on-page SEO as everything you or your webmaster can do on your website. For example, other than SEO-focused blog posts and content, this also includes alt tags, custom code, meta descriptions, headings, keyword usage, and more.
What is Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is everything not physically on your website. As previously mentioned, this can include guest posting on other sites, building the authority of your site, and generating backlinks. However, off-page SEO also includes other factors such as social signals, e.g. boosting Facebook posts, Instagram Ads, and pins on Pinterest, managing public reviews, setting up Google my Business, and the general reputation of your business in the public eye.
You should think of off-page SEO as somewhat of a review system. In Googles eyes, every website that links back to yours is an endorsement and the higher the quality of the website that links back to you, the higher regard that ‘review’ is held in. When you collect more reviews (backlinks) Google will reward your website by improving it’s rankings assuming the links are coming from reputable, high quality websites.
SEO Terminology Explained
- SEO – search engine optimisation;
- Backlinks – a hyperlink from one site pointing to another;
- Branding – name, design, icon, or symbol associated with a business, person, or website;
- Webmaster – a person who maintains one or multiple websites;
- Analytics – a method of measuring the success of a website, e.g. views, bounce rates, etc.;
- Bounce rate – the percentage of people who click off your website without interacting with your content or clicking another page;
- Domain authority – how well a website will rank (how established it is);
- Page authority – how well an individual page will rank;
- Keywords or key phrases – words to target for optimal organic performance and reach;
- Alt tag – text that appears when you hover over an image or when the image is unavailable;
- White hat SEO – SEO strategies fully compliant with search engines’ guidelines;
- Blogger outreach – relationship building with other bloggers in your niche;
- Grey hat SEO – SEO strategies mostly compliant with search engines’ guidelines;
- Black hat SEO – practices breaching search engines’ guidelines (not recommended);
- Impressions – the number of times your page has been seen (not necessarily clicked) in search results.
What are some Important SEO Tools:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google My Business
- Ubersuggest (free)
This has just been a very brief article on some of the SEO Basics but even from this you can see the complexities and challenges in getting it right. The good news is that for every challenge there is a Digital Marketing Agency ready to step up to the mark to help you out. We would recommend it’s important to try SEO and learn as much about it as you can but equally don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, that is often the best way of learning.