If you are just starting out in the online world, or if you have been online for a while and you know your way around, you will have come across the phrase Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO. Here I want to discuss with you Search Engine Optimization And Why It Is Important. What is it for and how do we go about tackling it correctly?
If you are struggling with SEO and you need more information then please read on. Here I will cover what SEO is, the importance of it and how it can help you in the search engine results (SERP’s).
Before we start please know that you will hear a lot of conflicting opinions (as seems to be the case in a lot of areas online) so feel free to ask me any questions should you have them.
As years have gone by and technology has improved (and continues to improve) things have changed. Very often you will hear people say what they think is best, but some practices have been long left behind.
So, Let’s get started!
What Exactly Is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
When you do a search on the internet, for example using Google, you will be presented with lots of results to choose from. Now, these results that you see at the top of the listings (the first page) are there for a reason. Number one, they are of high quality and the information on them is helpful to people looking for it and they have all been optimized for the search engines.
So the outcome of very good SEO applied to your website and its content can lead you to being at the top of these listings for keywords that people are searching for. By optimizing your website for search engines, you increase the chances of being visible at the top of the search results where you will get free traffic from natural (organic) visitors.
For example, if I type into Google the following keyword – ‘what is the best-selling CD of all time‘, you can see I am presented with the following results.
The information offered to me is what Google feels are the most relevant and helpful results from my search. All of these pages also have great SEO and as a result they are displayed at the top of the results relevant to the keyword I searched for. So, they have free traffic to their websites as a result of high quality content and very good SEO!
In layman s terms, SEO is what is needed to make your website and its content understood easily by Google and other search engines such Yahoo and Bing. This way, they are able to crawl around your website, understand its material easily and index it into the search engines. The better optimization you have, the easier it is to be crawled and understood and as a result your website will have a better chance to be offered to visitors looking for the relevant information.
What Is Good SEO?
When it comes to applying SEO to your website and its content there is a lot to understand. Here I want to offer the basics of what is needed, but if you are serious about having a successful business online I recommend you study the full training package and practical tuition here.
To have any chance of competing with the best sites within your chosen niche you have to have the following in place.
Great Content That Engages Your Readers: Long gone are the days when you would be offered crappy websites that deliver no value at the top of the search engines. Old hat techniques that saw bad quality websites dominating the results have been stamped on thanks to Algorithm Changes such as Google Panda, Google Penguin and Hummingbird. You MUST HAVE quality content that is thorough and engaging to your readers. Without this, you will achieve very little.
Good Use Of Keywords: Writing your content around good and relevant keywords is also important. Using keywords relevant to what your content and niche is about will help you a great deal when it comes to SEO. Making use of a good Keyword Tool is vital here and also studying the importance of keywords and how to apply them to your website and its content is essential.
On Page SEO
Writing awesome content and delivering it around great keywords is known as on page SEO. It is what you can practically do yourself to ensure you get the best results possible. Like I say there is a lot to learn but it is quite straight forward once you master it.
Creating Internal and External Links within your content is also important, making your site mobile friendly is another one, ensuring your images are compressed, optimized and given Alt Tags is another. These are all things that you can learn and apply to your site which will help you achieve good rankings and they can all be controlled by you.
Off Page SEO
Doing off page SEO is also important and can have extremely positive results too.
Creating a Video Channel on YouTube and linking back to your site is a great way to drive traffic. Guest posting on other peoples sites is another. One of the main avenues people go for is on Social Media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter And Pinterest are a great way to extend your reach and drive traffic back to your website while building lots of trust with your followers.
Some Things Are Out Of Your Control
I use this term loosely as it is true, but indirectly.
For example, how long visitors stay on your website is a metric for good rankings. Do they visit one page and leave (bounce) or do they stick around and visit different areas of your website? Do they engage with you in the comments? Do they sign up to your opt in form? and so on.
These things, although you have no direct control, can be addressed with a good environment and engaging content. If people like what you are doing, they will stay around to read something else, they will watch a video you have offered and they will be happy to spend more time with you. A good user experience will ensure you captivate your readers attention and this plays a very important role for SEO and rankings.
Also, the more absorbing your content is the more chance you will have of people sharing it with others. With this will come other websites that will link to you as a reference, the higher quality the linking site, the better for you. If you have a high authority website link to you, it shows that your content is worthy and in turn, you will be rewarded. Again, you have no direct control here, but the better your content, the more chance you have of this happening.
What Is Bad SEO?
Of course, for as much as you do to create really good SEO, you can also go the other way and cause a negative effect too.
Here I have been talking about the importance of high quality and engaging content and how crucial it is. On the other hand though, if you were to write a page/post of complete garbage that no one would be really interested in reading, this will have a negative effect. Nobody will want to share it and nobody will link to it from outside sources either. Also, the search engines will not offer it as a piece of helpful content to its users, because it isn’t.
Cramming your keywords into your post at every opportunity is also a big no no. People do not want to read that believe me, and the search engines will see it as Keyword Stuffing and you will not be rewarded. Write naturally and for your readers. Simple!
Failing to make use of internal linking is also bad for SEO. Internal links will allow a natural flow between your pages and posts which make it easy for search engines to crawl relevant content. It is also really good for users as they can easily navigate around your site to read more relevant material. Do not underestimate the importance of internal linking and good navigation.
What Is Black Hat & White Hat SEO?
For this section I really do have only one piece of advice and that is FOLLOW THE RULES!!
Black Hat techniques that have been in use (and are in some cases still in use) will not benefit you later on. These are techniques designed to cheat the system. Buying back links for example is a thing of the past. Now, it is the importance of good content that matters and the quality of the back links that are coming back to you, NOT the quantity. If you go down the path of trying to cheat the system you will fail. Eventually it will come back to bite you.
Follow the guidelines laid out by Google, Bing and Yahoo and you will not go wrong. The Algorithms today are extremely robust and it is not hard to see when you are going off course and trying to be sneaky.
White Hat means you are playing by the rules. Do this well, and you will be rewarded.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not difficult to learn. Many people shy away from it as they think it would be out of their comfort zone as they see it is as too technical. Nobody is born an expert at anything and you need to learn certain skills to progress, the same as you do in all areas of life.
If you want to be successful online then you need to learn and apply good SEO, there is no way around it. It all depends on the effort you are willing to put in. Do it correctly, and your online business will flourish. Do it incorrectly (or not at all) and you will not have the business you were hoping for.
My Final Advice
Like I say, SEO is essential for a good online business and it needs to be applied. If you are struggling with SEO (or you simply want to learn more) then come and reach out to me. A solid course and step by step tuition will see you gather and hone in on your new skills and your online business will skyrocket because of it.
Learning skills like this does not need to be the struggle that many think it is. A little effort now will give you all the rewards later.
If you have any questions or points of view, leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you.