A Beginner's Guide to SEO

    June 07 2018

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) is extremely important for businesses of all shapes and sizes. While SEO might seem like a completely different language, it is so important to address and implement a strategy in order to maintain growth! We're going to break down all of the elements that go into SEO, including keywords, search engine basics, Google, and more. We could cover so many topics regarding SEO, but for the purposes of this article, we're going to stick to the basics. Read on to learn more about how to get started with SEO!

    What is SEO?

    The first step to utilizing SEO is understanding what it actually is. SEO is essentially a marketing tool that is meant to optimize your content by increasing your visibility on non-paid and organic search engines. According to Search Engine Journal, 70% of people ignore paid search results, and choose to only click on organic listings. Driving traffic, developing better rankings, and growing your presence on search engines (such as Google) includes several innovative and technical processes. Achieving good SEO is not as simple as doing one thing, but rather combining several useful and consistent techniques. We're going to dive into more of those techniques that you can start doing to improve SEO on your website and overall web presence!

    How to Improve Your SEO

    Your website is most likely the main place that you want to drive your audience to, so they can see your products, read your blog, and explore your content. Understanding SEO comes down to knowing your audience. The first step to improving your SEO is ensuring that your content is high quality and in line with your target audience. When naming your blog posts or articles, always keep the title or header in mind. Think about what your readers would initially search for, and title it something similar to that. For instance, your header should always include your keywords. If your blog post is about summer skincare, make sure you include those words in the title. A few examples would be "Summer Skin Tips", "Summer Skincare Routine", or "Summer Skincare for All Skin Types".

    Identifying Keywords

    For SEO purposes, it's important to identify your primary keyword. Say that you're writing about how to create an editorial calendar - your primary keyword would be "editorial calendar". However, upon research you notice that more people are looking up "content calendar"; that means you should change your primary keyword to "content calendar". Identifying your primary keyword takes a bit of work and research to ensure that it's optimizing your content and improving your SEO. Another key element in identifying your keyword is to find low competition keywords. We love this tool for looking up low competition keywords.

    Follow these simple steps to help narrow down your keywords:

    1. Make a list of all keywords and services that apply to your brand. Knowing who you are and what you're about is necessary before moving forward with anything else!
    2. Visit Google and start typing various keywords and services that apply to your brand. Clear your cookies to make sure you're getting the latest results!
    3. Find out what phrases people are searching and how many people are searching for those specific phrases. In other words, keyword search volume is your best friend. Wordtracker and Serpstat are both great tools for this!
    4. Make sure you include both long tail (longer phrases) and short tail (3 words or less) when selecting your keywords. Short tail keywords are broader and will drive more traffic, but long tail keywords are more targeted and will ensure you're bringing in the right kind of traffic. Once you've selected your keywords, it's a good idea to do a quick Google search in order to ensure they're being interpreted correctly.
    5. Now you're ready to add your keywords into your blog or website content! Add your keyword phrases to the title tag, header, and make sure to write them directly into your site content as well.

    Why Does SEO Matter?

    Adding well-researched keyword phrases directly into your site content will direct more people to your blog or website! When you own a business or run a blog, isn't that what it's all about? We all want more eyes on our content, and SEO is the way to make sure that happens. It's also a win-win because good SEO helps the audience find what they're looking for as well! It all comes down to your audience having the best user experience possible; and having the right keyword phrases plays a big part in that process.

    Content Tips for Better SEO

    A big part of knowing if you have good SEO is simply having good content. Here are a few points to follow in order to make sure your content is sticky.

    • Eye-catching title - Having an intriguing and relevant title is key.
    • Shareable - Is the sharing button easily accessible? Make sure the article looks appealing as well (good images, nicely laid out, etc.).
    • Length - There isn't a perfect word count when it comes to SEO, but somewhere between 1,000 - 2,000 seems to be the sweet spot. This part comes down to knowing your audience and what they like.
    • Easy to Read - Include bullet points, short paragraphs, quotes, images, and bolded text to break up the content. This makes it much easier for your readers to scan and digest.
    • Shorter URLs - Pages with shorter URLs are generally higher-ranking (59 characters long is the best average).


    Once you get the hang of it, SEO becomes easier to understand and overcome. We hope this helps you learn more and realize that it's not as complicated as it appears to be! All it takes is implementing a few simple steps in order to see improvement. Having high quality content and incorporating the right keywords is a great way to start on your journey to achieving better SEO.


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