Where to Begin as a SEO Newbie
The world of search engine optimization is critical to brand success on the internet. Whether you are operating a personal blog, charity website or e-commerce solution, SEO is one of the most important elements with respect to traffic and visibility. Search engines use a complex series of algorithms to determine which websites and pages rank for each particular set of search results; websites that fail to properly use SEO are likely to not be visible to users of Google and other search engines. SEO as a whole is quite immense and can be terrifying for those who are new to the game. Today, we’ll review a few simple tips for how to begin learning about SEO when you have no prior experience.
Take a Crash Course in Google
While there are numerous search engines out there to which you should be pinging links, Google is above and beyond the largest entity in the world of SEO. If you want to succeed at learning how SEO works, then you’ll definitely need to understand the concept via the lens of Google. In essence, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the basics of how Google’s algorithms interact with websites. For instance, you’ll want to learn which types of links can generate good SEO for your pages and which types can harm it. Likewise, you’ll learn about how keywords, PageRank and a variety of other elements interact between Google and your website. While there are many other areas of SEO that you’ll need to eventually learn, it all truly begins with Google.
Learn About Keywords
While not as crucial to SEO as they once were, the use of keywords still play a huge role in how search engines view your content. Simply put, search engines like Google scan your content for words and phrases, determine the meaning of your content from them, and then rank your content in relevant searches based on many different aspects of SEO. In the old days, you could merely stuff bad content with keywords and rank well in search. These days, however, that doesn’t work. Keywords should be selected based on the specific topics your content covers and where there is an ideal amount of both traffic and competition in search. A variety of tools can assist you in learning more about which keywords will work best for you, including keyword planners and data available within basic tools like Google Analytics.
Understand How to Track Results
SEO – as abstract as it can feel – can actually be quantified. The way you determine how well you are doing with your broader SEO efforts is to look at your website’s metrics. Which metrics? All of them. While this can seem overwhelming, there are many tools available (another shout-out to Google Analytics) that are free and easy to use. As you gradually make changes to your website on-page and off, you’ll likely begin to see changes in how many visitors come to your site, how long they stay for and how much content they read. Likewise, you’ll be able to track your rankings in various search engine results pages to determine if your efforts are pleasing the Google Gods.
If you learn how to use keywords properly, how to understand Google’s algorithms and how to track your website’s performance over time, then you’ll be pinging links at the top of search results in no time. Tell us below about which particular aspect of SEO confuses you the most.