What Is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Guide

Search Engine Optimization

Keyword Research

SEO Mapping Content

On-Site SEO Optimization

Off-Site SEO Optimization

SEO Ranking Factors

One of the most effective digital marketing strategies we use to drive organic traffic is known as SEO, also called search engine optimization.

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” Search engine optimization is the process, development or strategy to rank for specific “keywords” or “terms” that relate to the content published on their website. The end goal is to drive “organic,” “natural,” or “free” traffic to relative pages on a website via major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

SEO is complex but most SEO strategies are easy to learn. SEO focuses on ranking keywords in search engines, referring to Google, Bing and Yahoo. Google controls most of the world’s search volume, nearly 70 percent we’re told. Each search engine has algorithms in place to determine where keywords rank at any given time. It’s also important to note that Google’s guidelines for SEO differ from that of Bing and Yahoo.

The reason businesses look for a SEO company or SEO expert is due to the value of ranking on Google’s first page results. The higher you rank in Google, the more traffic you can get to your website. Studies show us that organic traffic is one of the highest converting types of traffic, another reason search engine optimization is often focused on.

SEO Starts With Keyword Research

To make the most out of using search engine optimization, it’s important to know the correct steps to take. SEO always starts with keyword research. Google Keyword Planner is a free keyword tool that allows you to search for specific terms. Any word or grouping of words can be a keyword. You can use Google Keyword Planner to see how many times a specific keyword or keyword phrase is searched for within Google’s search engine.

Any keyword relevant to your business should be considered. You want to make sure you target keywords with search volume. If your website is only a few months old, it will naturally take some time to rank for difficult keywords. Keyword difficulty reflects how hard it is to rank for any given keyword. The more competition a keyword has, the harder it’s to rank for that keyword.

Not only can you target which keywords to go after with GKP, you can also use these same keywords to run ads within Google’s search engine. This is known as Google Adwords. Google Adwords is a paid traffic option you can use to rank an ad at the top of the search engine.

SEO Ranking Factors

SEO ranking factors are strategies and techniques used to rank for a specific keyword or phrase. There’s thought to be well over 200 different search engine optimization ranking factors in all. If you tried focusing on them all, you’re going to have some long nights ahead. Rather, you should be focusing on the most important SEO ranking factors.

Content – Google did finally come out and announced that there’s 2 main ranking factors in your SEO score, one of them being your content. Sure, we already knew content was vital to rank in their search engine, but they announced it anyway.

Links – The second SEO ranking factor Google announced was links. We’ll assume Google was referring to both internal links and external links, also known as backlinks.

Although content and links are the most important SEO ranking factors, it’s important to note that there’s a few more you should know.

Metadata – Metadata is read by search engine spiders and is used to tell search engines what any webpage is about.

Schema – Google is recognizing schema more these days, which focuses on the name of your business, phone number and address being portrayed on all of your website’s pages.

Planning Your SEO Strategy

Every website is different, every industry is different, every customer is different and it takes a deep understanding of this and SEO to make search engine optimization work for your business.

This is why every developed SEO plan should be custom built, unique and built around your current business.

SEOs differ when it comes to planning the techniques you use for SEO. Some will tell you to focus on your keyword research and implementing keywords in content on your website. Others may focus on getting immediate backlinks and using specific anchor text to influence keyword pages.

There’s 2 types of search engine optimization that are used, known as white hat SEO and black hat SEO. White hat SEO refers to SEO strategies that abide by Google’s guidelines. Black hat SEO refers to SEO techniques that go against Google’s search engine guidelines.

Should I Use SEO For My Business?

Search engine optimization is powerful, make no mistake. When you can rank first on Google for a targeted keyword, the end results can drive customers to your business.

We nearly recommend SEO to all businesses because its a great digital marketing strategy to grow your business.

While SEO takes time, it’s never too early to begin using SEO to grow your business.