SEO Basics: What Every Beginner Needs to Know?
Chances are that, if you own a business, you have heard the term “SEO.” Most modern businesses know this term, but, unfortunately, too many of them are not aware of what SEO actually means or all that it entails.
To begin with, SEO stands for “search engine optimization”, and it’s a process of optimizing your website for humans (potential customers/clients/patients) and search engines. Implementing SEO correctly can lead to new website traffic, as well as more high-quality traffic. The goal isn’t just to draw people to your site. It’s to draw the right people—people who are likely to use your products and/or invest in your services.
Traffic is brought in through major search engines such as Google. And, because there is so much competition for traffic, businesses that utilize good, proven SEO techniques and strategies are almost always going to fare better than businesses that simply try to incorporate keywords alone into their content.
See, that’s a big mistake that many businesses make—thinking that SEO is all about keywords. Sure, keywords are important, and at Look to the RIght, we put a lot of stock into keyword research and proper keyword implementation. We understand that having the right keywords in the right places is a major part of SEO, but certainly not all of it.
True SEO is something that is infiltrated into every part of your site, making it easy to find for people browsing the internet but also ensuring that, when they do find your site, they find quality content and an easy to use design/layout that appeals to them and helps them accomplish their goal on your site.
Furthermore, good SEO means knowing your audience. You have to know how they think, what kinds of terms they might search for when looking for a business like yours, and how to work keywords and other important data into your site and into your search engine approach. Without good, professional strategies in place, your chances of achieving all or even any of these lofty goals are very slim.
The Importance of Content
Now that you’ve asked and understood the answer to that all important question of what is SEO, it’s time to really dive into what makes up quality SEO.
As mentioned, getting traffic and, more importantly, the right traffic takes more than just slapping keywords onto a page. It takes research into your ideal consumer and what they search for when they search for products and services just like yours.
It also requires carefully implemented on-site content that is specific about what your business does, the products and/or services it provides, to whom, and its location, if relevant.
For one thing, your content should actually deserve to rank for the keywords it utilizes. If you’re just focusing on adding in keywords but not on actually providing relevant information that delivers what the keywords promise, your site is not going to rank highly. And, even if it does, users are just going to quickly navigate away from your page, which doesn’t accomplish your goal.
So, how do you get this high quality content? The best way is from professional writers working through a qualified SEO agency. These agencies employ writers who know how to properly implement best-practice SEO strategies and are always a better choice than automatically generated content or copied or duplicate content.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t research what your competitors are doing, what their content is like, or what keywords they’re using. You definitely should, but your content should be unique, informative, and one step ahead of what others are offering. Here at Look to the Right, we can help with that too! In fact, we pride ourselves on identifying our clients’ top competitors, analyzing their strategies and content, and then putting what we discover to good use so our customers can beat out the competition.
We also work hard to deliver not just great general content, but also great meta data. This is the data, such as meta titles, meta descriptions, meta keywords, and more, that is placed in the HTML code of your webpage and that tells search engines what your pages are about. Searchers may also see some of this information when they perform a keyword-relevant search that leads them to your page. Thus, you need this content to be informative for both search engines and human eyes.
On the search engine side, it should show up at the right times and after the right searches have been enacted. And, on the human side, it should be enticing to readers and should convince them that your page has the information they’re looking for. While some SEO companies focus only on basic content and ignore metadata, we understand the importance of all of this information and take care of each part of your site, from the inner HTML workings all the way to what’s displayed to visitors.
Of course, all of that just covers your onsite content. Off-site content is also an important component of your SEO 101 education.
Off-site or off-page content is exactly what it sounds like. It’s content not on your page but that still affects your search engine rankings. By having more sites that link or refer to your own site, you can improve your site’s perceived and actual popularity and authority, all of which makes your site appear more credible and desirable both to search engines and consumers alike.
However, you can’t just go out and put links anywhere and everywhere. Instead, you need to utilize a mix of link types, such as natural links and self-made links, all in the right places, as well as promotional off-site content to achieve your goals.
As you can imagine, all of this can be both difficult and complex, which is why you need a professional company to help you throughout the process.
Google is the world’s most major and important search engine. It’s what almost everyone uses, and if you don’t rank highly on it, then you won’t rank highly anywhere. Even if you do, it won’t matter. Nothing matters more to the effectiveness of your SEO strategies than how well they work with Google.
That’s why it is absolutely imperative to work with an SEO company that knows and understands Google inside and out. It should understand the best practices for ranking with Google, as well as what it takes to be in full 'compliance' with Google.
Here at Look to the Right, we’ve been helping sites comply with Google and using our knowledge of this powerful search engine to our advantage and our clients’ for decades. Our strategies have changed over the years, right alongside Google’s. And, we're committed to changing regularly to stay on top of Google’s guidelines so that our clients can too.
General SEO Strategies
While we can and do focus on delivering the most complex and knowledge-driven SEO strategies,we also believe in SEO made simple. In fact, the simple and the complex have to work together to achieve results.
That’s why, in addition to all our behind-the-scenes workings, we also focus on teaching and enforcing good, basic SEO strategies and techniques that can positively impact a site and its performance. These include our focus on factors such as:
- Link Metrics
- Domain & Page level keyword usage
- Social metrics (Facebook shares, ReTweets, etc.)
- Click-through rates
- Brand features (Has the business been mentioned in the press, on other sites, etc?)
- Content quality
- Technical Aspects
- Achieving immediate, short-term, and long-term goals and results
- Rankings & Tracking: Find out exactly where your site stands and track your success as we help you update and improve your site.
- Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) Reporting: Launch a successful Ads campaign that will get you results at the lowest possible prices. We’ll use the data we gather from your campaign to help guide us as we make further SEO decisions.
- Google Analytics Reporting: Find out if the right users are coming to your site, how much time users are spending on each page, and even more helpful information.
- Web Video Marketing: Make an impact on users visually with videos on sites like Youtube and more.
- Reputation Monitoring and Management: Build (or re-build) your presence online and on social media so that only the most positive mentions of your business are easily discoverable.
- Link Building: Make your site more legitimate and, thus, higher ranking in Google with our careful, ethical link building strategies.
- On-Page/Site and Off-Page/Site Optimization: Let us help you set up your own pages and get mentioned on other pages so that you can soar to the top of the Google search results.
Contact Us Today
We sincerely hope that our SEO guide has been helpful to you. However, if you’re like most people, you have to admit that you cannot enact all of these strategies on your own, and that’s exactly where we come in.
Here at Look to the Right, we are proud to offer the most comprehensive, in-depth SEO help, the kind of help that empowers businesses to excel. If you’re ready to thrive in today’s digital world, instead of merely surviving, call on us. We look forward to serving you.