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The Beginner's Guide to SEO

Author: Corsto Blog Team
September 25, 2021

Introduction

This article will take you through the basics of SEO, or search engine optimization. This is a process that affects the visibility of a website in organic searches. It's important to know these things if you're working on any type of web content marketing plan. Even if your site doesn't make use of paid advertising, it can still be affected by organic search results

There are many factors that contribute to how high up on the list your site appears when someone performs an initial search for something in Google, Yahoo!, Bing or other popular search engines. One factor is what keywords people are using and whether they match words on your page; another factor is where those keywords appear within the text of your page; yet another factor is how much time and effort you've put into creating quality content; and then there is how well your website has been built, what seo tactics have already been implemented, and plenty of other factors besides.

What is SEO and why do you need it

Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "organic" or unpaid ("natural") search results. When you optimize your site you are focusing on making it easier for people to find and visit your website. You'll also want to make sure that your site displays well in search engines so they're more likely to rank it higher in their results, which will increase traffic and conversions.

Optimizing a site might involve editing content so it includes important keywords, adding metadata tags, writing descriptive text, adding links to other relevant pages within the same site as well as external sites. Optimizing a site going beyond just making it easy for search engines to find and interpret the content; it also includes making it easy for site visitors-both human and bots-to navigate.

Search engines like Google use a variety of website statistics, including analytics and social media signals, as well as technical data about your website's configuration such as HTML tags and external links, to determine how relevant your website is to particular search queries. They use this information to compile lists of pages relevant in particular subject areas, and rank them accordingly.

Keyword research

Keyword research is one of the most important parts of SEO. It's often more complicated than it sounds and quite a lot of people do get it wrong, but if you want your website to rank in search engines then it's essential you take time optimizing your content with the right keywords.

The first step is identifying the topic of your page - this will help determine any relevant keywords that can be used to rank higher in search engines. You'll also need to find out what type of vocabulary should be used on the page - is it easy or technical vocabulary? Many web page templates already have suggestions for keywords that will work well with the content you are writing, so long as you're not creating an entirely new site completely from scratch, but you should always check these suggestions against any information you already have.

Search engines rely on your site having unique content, and so you don't want to use the same keywords found on other sites or pages, but guest blogging can be a good way of accumulating links back to your website that contain relevant keywords. Whilst Google now frowns upon guest blogging for link building, it's still one of the best ways to create unique content on a website and it can be used as a legitimate way of generating higher rankings.

When you're writing new content for your site, try to focus on quality over quantity - this will help visitors understand what your site is about and encourage them to explore further pages. Another important factor to bear in mind is that you need to ensure there's a connection between your keywords and the page title, the content of the page, and any links from other pages on your site. If you're writing new text for an existing page, try adding a few relevant but not overused keywords into the body of text.

Website content creation

Creating content for your website is an important step in SEO. Website content creation includes a wide range of things but generally the most important distinction to make is between copy and original content. The latter means that it's been written specifically for your website, while the former might be something you've found elsewhere and have simply used as-is on your site without any editing.

Some people find it difficult to get started writing their own blog posts and so will rely instead on copying quotes or other material. If you are using this type of material then do remember to always give credit to the original author, as there shouldn't be any need to rewrite what someone else has already done well (this also applies if you're using any graphics as part of your content).

Original material is preferable to copy because it helps search engines understand the quality and subject matter of a page better. If you're creating original copy for your website then you'll need to make sure that it's genuinely useful for the topic, or at least links out to other sources that are more useful, and doesn't just contain lots of keywords.

It's hard to develop a comprehensive list of ways you can create original content for your site, because there are so many possibilities, but below are some ideas that may help inspire you:

Free listing -

If there is something in your local area that has really captured your interest (e.g. an upcoming sports event) then why not list it on your website for free? You could also try finding the contact details of a local shop or restaurant and offer to do the listing for them at no cost - this can be a good way to get backlinks.

Professional tips -

If you have skills in some area that required professional training or expertise then you could create some useful content and offer it as a resource to customers. You could also use your skills for marketing purposes by offering free tips or advice.

How-to guides -

These are often very popular with visitors, although they can be difficult to write well because of the need to include lots of specific details. If your topic is well-defined then this shouldn't be too much of a problem, but if you're looking to cover a broad topic then you might want to start by writing more general articles and expanding them at a later date.

Transcripts -

If there's something that regularly comes up on your site (for example an interview) then why not create a transcript? This can be another good way to develop your content and it helps you learn the skill of summarising information.

Topic areas -

If there's a particular topic that you want to write about then consider creating some unique articles around that particular area rather than just using general keywords. For example, suppose you're a photographer and would like to put up some content about a type of camera, or you're an IT specialist and would like to include some articles about particular software. You could use the same keywords as other sites but you'll always be competing with them so it's better to try and get some unique quality content around that topic.

Organic links -

Sometimes original content can be created without writing a single word. Links from other websites and blogs can be used as part of your content strategy, and these are called "organic links". It's basically just about helping people out by mentioning their site and linking to it, or perhaps you could offer something in exchange for a link back to your site.

Unofficial reviews -

If you've ever looked at a product online then you'll have often seen reviews underneath the images and specifications. If there's something that interests you but you haven't had time to do any research, why not write an unofficial review of it? You could also include your own tips about how best to use the product.

Authoritative sources -

Content can sometimes be developed by linking to an external source, which is reliable and authoritative about the subject matter. There are lots of sources online that you can reference if you're not sure about the quality of your own content.

Keyword analysis -

As you're planning an original article, it's important to decide what keywords you should use. You can do this by entering a few versions of the title into Google and seeing what comes back (the most popular search terms are the ones you need). Then look at other sites that focus on similar topics, as they will probably have included the most popular keywords in their title.

Esoteric keywords -

Sometimes the most popular search terms aren't always the best ones to use. These are called "esoteric" and they can be more difficult to rank for, but they often produce far better results due to lower competition levels. It's worth doing some keyword research using a tool such as Google's Keyword Tool.

Make the most of search terms -

Some people write articles on very specific topics, but don't really make good use of the keywords within that article. It's always worth trying to think about what words your visitors will be searching for and including these in the title or body text.

Website optimization

The most important thing to remember when optimizing your website is that you have to optimize the content. This means looking at the words that each article contains, and changing them to include your primary keyword. Word order should also be taken into account; headings should be included at the beginning of text and use the html heading tags H1, H2, H3 etc.

A blog can also be a very effective way for people to find you. You need to include tags on posts which allow search engines to find your site more easily. You should also update on a regular basis. Another key feature is having fresh content. If you look at the Google Toolbar, you'll see that each website has a number on it which specifies how recently they updated their site. This figure should be as high as possible and if your site's not recent enough then people will probably stop visiting it regularly.

A site map can be very useful for search engines, too. It displays all of the pages on your site and you should always include it in your theme. The easiest way to do this is using your CMS which will likely contain a feature for generating and/or managing your sitemap.

It's also important that your site looks professional; if it has spelling mistakes or bad grammar then people might just assume that it is poorly made. To avoid this, try to proofread everything before it goes live and ensure that there are no mistakes.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is a great way to increase your reach and visibility. There are many people who use social media to look for information on a certain topic, so if you're providing something of value then there's no reason they shouldn't be able to find it. The best thing about social media marketing is that the costs are minimal or even non-existent.

Another thing that most people don't realise is that you can link back to your own site from a post on Facebook or Twitter. This means more of your audience will see your information and be able to visit your site. However, never use links in Twitter posts unless they exist inside an image or a link shortening service such as bitly. You also need to think carefully about the type of information you're distributing. If you post something irrelevant to your industry then it's unlikely anyone will have anything good to say about it, and they might even discourage others from following you.

Link building and backlinks

Link building is an important aspect of SEO. In order to rank higher in SERPs, you need to have high quality links from other sites that are relevant. This is where link building comes into play. To do this, you need to find sites that are considered "authority" sites (sites with a lot of search engine traffic and high authority) and then write a post or article for them, linking back to your site. You should also look at blog commenting; this will also give you the chance to create links as well as provide valuable content on the site that has linked to you.

What is link building? Link building refers to the process of creating links to your site from relevant, authority sites. The more quality links you have, the higher rank you will be in SERPs. Google has said that a website's internal links are more important than its external ones when it comes to ranking and Google considers links from authoritative sites to be the most important of all.

Inbound links are more effective than outbound ones so it is always better to create a post or an article and submit it on other relevant sites rather than looking for places where you can add your link. If you look at popular blogs, they get huge amounts of visitors because of this link building process.

How to do link building? There are many ways of doing link building, but the most common way is through guest posting and submitting articles on different sites. You can also try finding link directories which might have links that you can obtain for your site. Another way would be blog commenting; most blogs allow comments to be posted on them. To get a link back to your site, you can leave a link within that comment.

When should I do link building? You need to try and find time where people are searching for your products or services; this is when you will be able to attract more visitors who might look at buying them.

The best way to start off link building is by creating a company blog on WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms, and so it's a great way to create a quality blog for your company.

Social bookmarking sites are also extremely useful for link building; they help search engines find the content that you create and will help you get backlinks.

Social bookmarking sites also provide social proof to your website, which means that if they have tweeted or bookmarked something then other people are more likely to look at it.

The future of SEO

In the future, SEO will be more about quality over quantity. This means that people will need to make sure that their site is a high quality one with good content so that it can rank higher in the search engines. The major search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo) have said that they are going to focus more on relevancy rather than just focusing on keyword density. This means that even if you have keywords in your content, it is not going to rank as high if the information that you are providing is irrelevant.

What would make someone a good SEO? A good SEO will need to be able to understand what their target audience wants and find out what they should be writing about. They also need to look into what areas are going to be popular and what people want.

SEO should also be transparent, meaning that the SEO should give information on why they did what they did when giving advice to their client. This will make them more trustworthy in the eyes of their clients and this is a very important part of any business.

There are many tools out there that are useful for SEO, but the most important one is Google Analytics. This will tell you what keywords people are searching for and what pages they go to on your website as well as giving other information about demographics.

By using SEO tools such as these, you will be able to increase your traffic and therefore the amount of money that you make from your website.

Conclusion

The future of SEO looks bright. With the major search engines now focusing on relevancy and away from keyword density, it's going to be easier than ever for you to rank higher in SERPs with a high quality site that provides well-researched content your target audience wants. If you want help implementing these new Google guidelines into an effective marketing plan that drives traffic through thoughtful content creation and link building strategies, let us know! Our team is ready and waiting to partner with you and provide expert advice so together we can make this happen.

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Philip Smith

Philip Smith

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