What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website to increase its chances of appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for a relevant keyword search.
What is SEO and why is it important?
A website that ranks on the first page of a SERP for a search term attracts thousands of visitors daily. This traffic can be monetized in a variety of ways. A website with a high ranking for a popular keyword is in a strong position because of the number of people it attracts. Conversely, a website with a very low SERP has very little traffic and little opportunity to make money.
What does SEO involve?
In order to optimize a website, there are a number of things that need to be done:
- Content needs to be high-quality and up-to-date
- The site should use and concentrate on the search terms used by the target audience to search for relevant information
- The site should be well-structured with a site map
- Each page should have a good structure and layout HTML meta-tags (like H1, H2, image tags, etc.) need to contain your most important keywords
- Page content needs to be well-researched and have good descriptions
- The site should demonstrate its importance by providing links to other relevant sites
Is it hard to learn SEO?
The answer is yes and no. Learning SEO can be challenging if you don’t know HTML and the structure and design of your website. It’s also complicated because search engines update their algorithms to assess the importance of your website very often. You need to stay up to date on the latest thinking and comments on SEO. But once you know the basics, it’s just a simple matter of regularly updating your site with small updates.
What are the biggest SEO mistakes?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an SEO professional is trying to ‘fool’ the search engines with shortcuts. Keyword spamming is a common SEO mistake where keywords with extremely high daily search number are added to your meta tags in huge amounts, even if they’re not relevant to your site.
Another common technique of keyword spam is to spam your site with so many searchable keywords that the text on your page doesn’t actually make any sense. While these methods will sometimes increase your page rank in the short term (search engines are getting smarter), it doesn’t take long for them to realize that you don’t have any useful data on your site. When that happens, you’ll be penalized. But even before search engines realize what they’re doing, keyword spamming creates problems. Traffic will leave your site as soon as they realize how bad your content is. In short, keyword spamming isn’t a smart strategy. You’ll pay more for your bandwidth, but if your visitors don’t stick around long enough to make a purchase, there’s no benefit.
So, where do I begin?
The first thing you need to do is market research with keyword research. Keyword research is the most important part of SEO because it allows you to get to know your audience and target your site in a way that best suits their needs. If you want to get to the bottom of what your audience is searching for and what they are interested in, you can do some keyword research. There are tons of tools out there to help you do this. Start with broad search terms like ‘marketing’ or ‘site optimization’ and see what else people are searching for. This will give you a better understanding of your market and help you match your site to their needs.