A short guide on SEO for beginners

A short guide on SEO for beginners

It’s about time businesses knew about SEO

Whilst it’s a term that’s rather popular within the digital marketing industry, to many others it might just sound like tech-gibberish that people outside of marketing needn’t worry about. 

However, whether you’re a large, world-wide corporation or a small, family-run business, taking the time to learn even just a little about SEO can really make a difference.

In this blog, we’ll be talking all things SEO for beginners, showing you how to apply it to your business habits and how it can bring you a great return on investment.

What is SEO?

Standing for ‘Search Engine Optimization’, SEO is the process of ‘improving’ your website in order to rank higher up the page on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!. Ultimately, the better your website pages rank in people’s search results, the more likely they will find and click on your website.

This is because search engines will analyse your website and all of its content in order to determine how relevant it is for people’s searches. Thus, a website that’s rich in industry-related words, links and content will be more likely to appear higher on search results relating to that topic. On the other hand, websites with little or poor content will only appear on page 2, 3 or even 10 of search results.

The reason this is important? Think about how many times you click on page 2 of search results… you don’t, so your potential customers won’t, either.

How to improve your SEO

SEO is simply just knowledge. Once you learn the foundations, you can just apply it to your website content with no added cost – unlike strategies like pay-per-click (PPC).

There are many different tips and tricks to creating high quality content for SEO, but here are the two main strategies to get you started:

Use keywords

Think about the words that people would use to search for your business’ service. We’re all simple beings at the end of the day, so it’s important to not think too hard about it. 

For example, you may be an independently-owned, small coffee shop, so some good keywords could be ‘coffee near me’, ‘good coffee’, ‘takeaway coffee’, ‘fresh roasted coffee’, or ‘cafe in *insert local region*’.

You should also think about each specific bit of content you write for your website, as different content will require different keywords. Try to pick a ‘target keyword’ for your content and the title of the page, and then add other words relating to that within the content, too.

For example, you may be writing a blog or news story on a new product that you’re introducing, so think about words relating to that particular product. 

A great next step after your own keyword intuition would be to use a Keyword Research Tool, such as Google’s Keyword Planner (completely free to use), where you can input your website and it will show the results of what words people are using to find it. Don’t be afraid to look at your competitors’ keywords either!

Some more keyword tools include Google Trends, Keyword Tool.io, amongst many others in this useful SEO and Keyword Tools blog by Hubspot.

Add links and acquire backlinks

Within this very blog you’ll see that we’ve added links from some keywords to other related web pages. This is another strategy to enhance SEO, as these links will work to show search engines that the website is relevant to that keyword. What’s more, it’s super easy to do.

A slightly harder strategy to this is to acquire backlinks. Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are where other websites link to your website. The result of lots of backlinks directing from other sites to your site is that search engines will view your site as trustworthy and therefore relevant; making it rank higher.

However, acquiring backlinks can be quite hard to do, as you probably don’t have control over other websites’ content. However, it’s still worth trying as it is one of the most effective ways to increase your site’s SEO. One way in which you can try is by putting interesting and helpful information on your website – something that would be worth linking to.

These are sometimes called ‘Linkable Assets’, and could be a blog post, a video, a piece of software, a quiz, a survey… according to Backlinko, an expert in SEO.

For example, your Peak District holiday-let business could post a blog on ‘The best restaurants in the Peak District’. These restaurants are then more likely to see your blog and promote it, as they’ll be promoting themselves, too. 

You could also reach out to the restaurants and tell them about the blog, nudging them to share the news and link to your blog. This may seem pushy, but just be authentic, it’s all about sharing information and helping each other out.

Get started!

Try to implement these SEO tricks into your every-day content writing, and it should soon become second-nature. Over time, this is bound to increase your website’s SEO, leading to more brand awareness, trust and growth.

There are so many benefits to SEO, so don’t let it overwhelm you and just see how it goes!