Does SEO sound like this super mystical internet thing to you?
Does it seem like a foreign language?
I completely get it!
And I also have some good news. 🙌🏾
Here’s an easy explanation that will help simplify what SEO is, and will leave you feeling like a superstar.
What Is SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to a free and strategic way to increase the amount and quality of traffic your blog receives.
Another way you can think of it is simply positioning your content, product, or service online as the answer to someone’s problem or question.
Here’s how you use SEO in everyday life.
I’m confident that once you see how you use it all the time, the definition will make more sense.
How You Use SEO Every Single Day
At some point during your day, you usually have a question and as a result, you head to Google on your phone or laptop.
Now, let’s say your question is about Black-owned restaurants close to you.
You’ll first type “black-owned restaurants near me” in the Google search field.
Then you’ll see search results that show you exactly what you were looking for.
That, my friend, is SEO in real-time.
In this specific case, these local businesses have optimized their content so that it can be discovered via a Google search.
Additionally, this applies to search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing.
That’s an easy SEO explanation, right?
But here’s the next question, how valuable is SEO for you and your brand?
Let’s find out.
Why SEO Is Important For Bloggers and Small Businesses
Well, approximately 84% of online experiences start with a Google search.
That’s right, 84%.
So, with that many people using Google in order to find an answer to a question they have, a product they want to purchase or a service they need…it’s not a stretch to say that SEO is crucial to any website.
That includes small businesses and content creators who have a presence online.
Secondly, people tend to trust a website that shows up organically in their search results more than paid advertisements.
Need I say more?
My point is that no matter what, if your brand is online, SEO is absolutely important for you!
10 SEO Basics You Need To Know
Now that we’ve got the overview of SEO out of the way, I want to share some SEO tips that you should be aware of:
- SEO IS about following best practices that will make your website better understood by search engines, and in turn, discovered by people searching for a specific answer, product, or service.
- SEO IS NOT about using secret tricks to rank at the top of search results pages.
- SEO IS for websites of all sizes, large and small.
- SEO IS NOT a one-and-done digital marketing strategy. It’s best to consistently implement it and complete updates as best practices change.
- There are three (3) SEO methods:
- White hat – SEO that follows best practices and “focuses on readability, content relevance, well-designed structure, and well-written content.”
- Black hat – SEO practices that do not follow approved search engine practices in an effort to “trick” a search engine into giving a website high rankings.
- Grey hat – SEO practices that aren’t necessarily approved by search engines, but are good for any brand online and will not negatively affect a website’s ranking. E.g. guest blogging.
- There are three (3) types of SEO:
- On-page SEO – This pertains to optimizing an individual page on a website and usually includes, content creation and page structure.
- Off-page SEO – This generally pertains to how search engines view your site as a reputable source and mostly has to do with backlinks. For e.g. Did a site like WSJ reference your content on their platform? If they did, Google now thinks you’re a lot more of a trusted website.
- Technical SEO – This “relates to non-content elements of your website.” Some examples of this are site speed and site security.
- SEO DOES NOT replace writing content that is easy for humans to read. You actually want to write content that is engaging and readable, then focus on optimizing it for SEO.
- SEO and Social Media Use work very well together. In fact, using social media can amplify your SEO impact.
- SEO Performance can be monitored. You can and should track your SEO using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
- SEO takes time and is worth the investment. When done right, it can result in increased, targeted website traffic that has a higher conversion rate to sales in about 6 months to a year.
I hope that as a content creator and business owner, that you now feel more confident in your understanding of SEO (at least the basics 😉 ).
And, I hope that you realize that SEO is something you need to start working on sooner rather than later.
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