Quick Note: The purpose of this post is to touch on the basics of SEO, answer common questions I hear from my clients about SEO, and go over some common SEO terminology. This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to SEO (there are many great in-depth guides already out there which I will link to at the end of this post.
SEO. What Is It? Why Do I Need It?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Basically, it’s how your website gets found and turns up in search results on the internet.
The whole point of having a website for your business is for it to be found by potential clients, right?
SEO is important because it delivers “high-intent” website traffic.
Meaning, someone searched specific keywords related to your business that brought them to your website.
They are already searching for and intending to buy the services you offer.
This can also be called a “warm lead” – a potential customer who has already warmed up to the idea of hiring a copywriter/web designer/whatever you do.
Sounds like a great way to increase conversions from a lead to a booked project, right?!
Common SEO Terms To Know
Organic Search Results – Organic search results are the results that are displayed underneath the paid search results (advertisements). Organic search results are largely generated from SEO.
Paid Search Results – search results that appear at the top of the search page that has premium placement and show up because they are paid advertisements
Search Rank – How far down on the page your website shows up in search results. This is your ranking.
Backlinks – A backlink is when another website links back to your website. Backlinks are like when someone vouches for you – they’re linking to your site because you have good or relevant content. The more people vouch for you, the more trustworthy and valuable you are to Google, and the higher your search rank will go.
SEO Keywords and Phrases – These are the words and phrases people can type into a search engine and land on your website. This is one of the cornerstone elements of search engine optimization.
Alt Tags – The text description of an image (you’ll see it when you hover over an image).
Bounce Rate – Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. Google uses this as a signal that your site isn’t relevant, interesting, or what the searcher was looking for.
Meta Description – A meta description is 2-3 lines of text underneath the page title in search results. Meta descriptions should describe what that page is about, and be catchy and brief.
Heading Tags – Using headings in your website text helps tell the readers and search engines what your page is about. It helps to organize content and signals to the search engine what type of content is on this page. It helps define what content is important and how it all works together.
How To Get More Results From Your SEO Efforts
A common SEO misconception is that once you have it set up on your site you’re good to go. Unfortunately, that is very far from the truth. In order to continue nurturing and growing your search rank you’ll need to:
Publish Relevant Content
In the world of SEO, content is king. But not just any ole content will do. Quality content signifies that you know what you’re talking about, you’re a trusted source, and helps you grow your credibility and value with search engines.
Another common misconception with websites is a “set it and forget it” mentality. Just like all your other marketing channels, your website requires consistent attention in order for it to be relevant and valuable. Search engines view websites that regularly update their content as being relevant. Start small and grow from there – publish quarterly, then monthly.
The Bottom Line
For most businesses and industries, you don’t have to be super technical to learn how to leverage SEO for your website. The bottom line is, consistently publish quality content that is relevant to your industry and your company. This will position you and your business as an authority on what you do, which fosters trust not only with potential clients but search engines too.
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