SEO Basics: A Simple Guide
This no nonsense article is a compilation of the principles/ basics of SEO. This is meant for the small business owner who has a website and wants to know a little about how search engine optimization works.
SEO or search engine optimization can be broken up into two categories those are “on page” as well as “off page” optimization. We’ll begin with on page optimization to start off the lesson.
On Page SEO
On page optimization refers to all of the things that you wish to do on your website in order to make it more readily accessible to search engines. Some of these objectives include:
- Including Keywords In Headings
- Including Proper “alt” & “title” Tags On Pictures
- Properly Naming Images
- Using Descriptive Keyword Rich URLs
- Adding Keywords To The Title, Description As Well As Keyword Tags
- Using Your Keyword In Your Text
Search Engine Optimization is actually quite easy to understand. However, over the years people who have essentially tried to “cheat” the system have convoluted the process with unnecessary rules. Essentially on page SEO consists of using all of the html tags that a web page has to offer and using them properly.
What I mean by that is, every web page has a title for the page. The title is what the search engine bot reads to know what the page is about. It is also what your end user reads to know what the page is about. If you are trying to target a specific keyword with a specific page, then go ahead and use that keyword in the title for the page. While you’re at it use the keyword in the url because it’s the same concept!
Next, in your actual page, you don’t want the page to be a giant block of text because although a robot is indiscriminate people ARE NOT. They hate giant chunks of text. Break it up with headings, pictures, bullet-ed lists, etc! And while you’re at it use your key words in your headings. Then use your keywords in your alternative tags for the picture (this is so if the image ever fails to load people will know what you meant to put there).
Finally, use the key words in the text of your article. However, don’t over do it. Some people in the past would do what is known as “keyword stuffing” where they would target a specific keyword and basically vandalize their text with said keyword. Google with its many algorithm advances now knows how to figure out who’s doing this and punishes all who are involved. SO DON’T DO IT!
Off Page SEO
Off Page SEO involves all of the things that you do that are not directly on your website. Off page SEO refers to the way that other web pages and visitors to your website interact with your site. These factors help Google determine how well liked your website is, if your website actually has what you say it has as well as if you are a large site with a ton of authority or just a greasy spammer/scammer.
Some of the factors of off page SEO include:
- Social Signals
- Back Links
Off page SEO basically boils down to a few different things. One of them happens to be social signals. Google now takes in account how well liked your page is on social media. If your website is extremely well liked on social media than your page is thought to be authoritative and well liked. This gives you bonus points with Google.
Also, since Google has it’s own social network, namely Google+, it is imperative that you as a business owner use Google+ because Google will certainly reward you for it. You can read more about that in this article that we published.
Back links are essentially links from other pages to your page. If your page is being linked to by very authoritative pages then Google will think that your website is very important and therefore will reward your page with higher rankings in the search engines.
Some ways to accumulate back links include partnering/ networking with other website owners. Creating quality content that people generally like will result in people sharing your website on social media, blogging about your website and just generally doing things that Google will notice and reward you for!
That, in a nutshell is the basics of SEO for small business owners. Thank you for reading. I hope this has been informative and please leave your questions, comments and concerns below!