What is SEO and why is it important?

Let’s face it, if you are a business owner, you may have no clue on what SEO really means and how it can help propel your company into higher profits. First off, SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is something that can make or break your company.

SEO is basically a set of rules that are governed by the advanced algorithms of today’s top search engines such as Google.com and Bing.com. SEO is what makes your business visible on the web, using optimization techniques to raise your rankings for better visibility. Without an SEO website, you will never be found online and that can cost you dearly.

Why is SEO Important?

To start, SEO is important more than ever as most businesses, bloggers, vloggers etc are all competing with one another. Search engines like Google and Bing are working non-stop serving millions of search results to millions of people every day. These people are looking for products, services, answers to questions, tutorials, you name it, its being searched.

Important facts on why SEO is extremely important

  • When people use search engines to find what they are looking for, they are choosing the top 5 results that are displayed to them. This means, the first page and first 5 links available. Also, most users are likely only going as far as page 5 before they make another search query. So getting on the first page is ideal, but also within the first 5 pages is mandatory if you want to be seen.
  • Based off the first bullet above, more people feel sites that are listed on the first page have more authority and are more trustworthy than those that are not.
  • SEO websites also get more attention on a social aspect as people who run searches that find you will most likely share your page within their social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
  • SEO sites will benefit those who are in competition selling the same product and/or service. Whoever has the better optimized site will reign king within their industry.

A small beginners guide to SEO

If you are new to the topic of Search Engine Optimization, then a lot of this may sound a little difficult. It’s not something one can pick up right away and get on the first page of Google or Bing. It takes time, lots of it and a lot of practice to see what works and what does not work.

When someone performs a search on a Google, Bing or any other search engine, the order that the searches back back in are based on very complex algorithms that change on a constant basis. They are always changing to not only give you better results, but to also defeat black hat tactics, which are techniques used to abuse the search algorithms, giving others unfair advantages. Note, if you participate in black hat techniques, you will most likely get your website blacklisted.

2 forms of SEO that need to be utilized

When you look deep into SEO, it can be broken down to 2 forms that need to work with one another. The general term for these forms are Onsite SEO and Offsite SEO. Let’s take a look at what Onsite SEO is and how you will need to use it.

Onsite SEO

Onsite SEO refers to the optimizations you make to your website itself. Things such as page titles and descriptions, permanent link structures, breadcrumbs etc. Little things such as these can help boost your rankings in search results. Below are some of the most important tweaks you can make to get the process going on making your site SEO.

  • Page titles and descriptions
  • Permanent link structures
  • Breadcrumbs on all internal pages
  • Text formatting
  • Using H tags for titles such as H1, H2, H3 etc.
  • Use 404 Page
  • Optimize your images (Use alt tags, use keyword names when naming image files, reduce image file size etc)
  • Website page speed (I will have an article more on this)
  • Backlinks (Get other sites to link to yours)
  • Make your site mobile friendly
  • Sitemap (Search engines like sitemaps as they show all available content on your site)
  • Content will always be king, no matter what. So fill up your site with good content.
  • Update with fresh content. Always add to your site, don’t build and leave it alone. Search engines want new content.

Offsite SEO

In simple terms, offsite SEO is basically getting backlinks and promotions to your site. This is where your networking skills come into play with others. Some promotion methods that can be used are as follows;

  • Backlinks (Link Building) with other authoritative websites.
  • Social media marketing
  • Social bookmarking

Offsite SEO is extremely important because engines like Google and Bing use their algorithms to locate links to your site from authoritative sites. The more authoritative the site, the better ranking you will get. Just remember though, it takes a good number of backlinks before you see any significant change in search rankings. The goal for offsite SEO is to build relationships with social media influencers, get mentions, backlinks and shout outs as much as possible to make your place within your industry.

Both Onsite and Offsite SEO are very important and both must be done for you to have a successful SEO campaign and to get ranked on the major search engines. One will not work without the other if you want full blown results.

In the past, all it took was some keywords on your site and a ton of backlinks, but now-a-days, it takes much more than that. Its not about a ton of backlinks, but a good amount of QUALITY backlinks and a highly optimized, fast website. This is the ONLY way to get ranked within the 1st to 5th pages on the major search engines. Good luck and happy optimizing!

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