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SEO Basics: A Do It Yourself Guide

 

SEO Basics: A Do It Yourself Guide

Every business owner should know that it is essential to have SEO (Search Engine Optimization) if they have any hopes of potential customers finding their business online. We have also come to learn that SEO is not cheap, but that shouldn’t be a factor that stops you from taking some easy steps to establish a solid SEO foundation for your business website.

 

Before you begin, you need to be clear on a few things:

WHAT IS SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is basically the ability to create an easy and effective user experience which in turn translates into the search engine robot determining if your website is relevant enough to be on the first page of their search results. In essence, the user wants to find something online, so they go to a search engine (Google, Yahoo or Bing etc.) and type in some words into the search box. Search engines want to do the best job possible by referring users to websites with content that is most relevant to what the user is looking for. SEO is what helps search engines determine which one of these relevant sites comes up.

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

    • Keywords: When someone is using a search engine to find a relevant business, what word / words would they type into the search box? These are the main words that can best describe your business. It’s advisable to use your keywords naturally and strategically throughout your site. Write your content with your customer in mind. Keywords are some of the MOST valuable elements that will help your site rank well. If you need suggestions, it’s a good idea to review a couple of your established competitor sites. You can also interview your own clients and see what words they would use to describe your business. If you still need help, you can use some industry favorite sources (some may charge a fee) such as: Google Adwords, Wordtracker, KeywordSpy, WordStream, and SEOBook . Once you have found your most important Keywords, it is vital to use them 1) Within the title of your web pages 2) Within the first few sentences on each page as well as a couple of additional times throughout your content 3) Within your Meta Tags (For an in-depth definition of Meta tags read this article.)
    • Long Tail Keywords: These consist of three or four keyword phrases that are extremely specific to the product/service you are selling. Whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for the exact item or service they are interested in paying for. For example a keyword could be “Shoes“, but a long tail keyword would be” Size 8 black leather Gucci shoes”. You can see how someone searching for “shoes” may be browsing, whereas someone searching for the “Size 8 black leather Gucci shoes” has done their homework and is looking to purchase immediately.

THINGS TO AVOID:

There are certain techniques that may seem like a quick way to get you to the top of the search engine list, but will actually hurt your ranking before long. Be careful not to engage in these deceptive SEO tactics.

    • Keyword Stuffing: This means inappropriately using keywords repeatedly on your site. For example: “XYZ is the best electrician who can help when you need a good electrician. So if you need a great electrician, you should call XYZ electrician for all your electrician needs.”
    • Cloaking: This is when a human reading the site would see different content or information than the search engine robot reading the site. Cloaking is a deceptive technique and is implemented in order to improve search engine ranking by misleading the search engine robot into thinking the content on the page is different than it really is. This technique will guarantee that your site will get blacklisted and lose all its ranking immediately. This will be a very hard mistake to remedy!
    • Bad User Experience: This includes buying too many links to display throughout your site, or over cluttering your site with too much information so that the user gets confused and frustrated. This will result in a big bounce rate, which doesn’t help your SEO and will drop your ranking.

EQUALLY IMPORTANT

    • Website: Do keep your website fresh and updated, and especially keep it pertinent and user friendly.
    • Blogs: Writing blogs on a regular basis that highlight your keywords and include information that may be recycled as a resource is always a good idea.
    • Social Media: Don’t underestimate the importance of including good content on your Social Media which will not only help your brand awareness and digital presence, but can also be used to drive people to your website. For example, ALWAYS share any blogs you may write on your Facebook, Twitter etc.
    • Mobile Optimization: We cannot stress the importance of making sure that your website is optimized for Mobile device usage! Recent studies have shown that an overwhelming percentage of people conduct their searches using mobile devices rather than desktops and /or laptops.

Your reputation will be built upon the reliable stream of information you provide to your customers and website visitors. This in turn will build the foundation for success in the complicated world of SEO. It’s important to remember that any kind of SEO takes time, so you can’t expect immediate results. Be patient, and stay focused on the basics.

If this is all still confusing, you can contact us! We offer reasonable rates and are happy to help you get started.

 

by Yasmin Zafar

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