In the internet marketing community, search engine optimization, better known as SEO, is talked about all the time. This important component of search engine marketing often sounds very confusing to those outside the industry, but the reality is that it’s quite simple. Sure, a truly deep understanding of anything can take years to cultivate, but SEO basics can easily be learned in only a few minutes. That’s going to be the goal here. This crash course in SEO basics should have you up to speed on all the important points without too much trouble.
What’s the Point?
The whole purpose of SEO is to attract users to your site who may be interested in your product, service, or organization. The trouble is targeting it to the right people. For example, imagine that Jane makes pottery and produces a lot of content about types of clay because there isn’t much competition for those keywords. She’s likely to draw the attention of those who already know a lot about pottery and who are interested in making their own, but they probably won’t buy her completed pottery. Making SEO work is about making sure your goals and your visitors’ goals line up.
Finding the Right Keywords
Research is the name of the game here. Keyword SEO basics involve uncovering keywords that are relevant and frequently searched, but without too much competition. Google AdWords is a good tool for this purpose.
Once you’ve identified the right keywords, it’s time to start crafting your content. Those keywords should be present in your content so that search engine bots can rank your site, but they shouldn’t make your content too difficult for humans to read. Focus on people first, creating interesting content that people will want to share. A few areas to focus on are titles, keywords, links, quality, and freshness.
When bots crawl your website, they aren’t just looking for good content. They also want to see that your site is well organized. Focus on these areas:
- Title tags
- Meta tags
- Domain name
- URL structure
- Site structure
- Alt tags
This is arguably the most important of all the SEO basics. The more sites that link back to yours, the higher your web pages will rank. Use social media, directories, and forums to gain links, but be careful not to be spammy. Over-posting in irrelevant forums will actually count against you on search engines. Take a look to see who is linking to your competition for ideas about where to build links yourself.
SEO is about drawing the attention of web users who may be interested in your site. The more you can focus on producing high quality content that your target demographic will find interesting, the better poised you will be to rank highly on search engines. These SEO basics may not be enough to let you open your own internet marketing company, but they’re a good start for any business looking to grow its online presence. To see more, read this.