SEO Beginner's Guide: The Building Blocks

SEO stands for “search engine optimization." It is the practice of increasing organic web traffic by leveraging the power of Search Engines (Mainly Google). SEO has become a necessary piece of small and large company's marketing mix. It is essentially a businesses existence on Google and if you do not exist on google or rather cannot be found on google, you stand to lose out on a ton of business. Here are the things you need to know about SEO.

White Hat SEO: This refers to all SEO strategies and techniques that follow the rules. In other words, it is the legal way of getting ranked.

Black Hat SEO: This refers to the dark side of SEO, where rules are broken and loopholes are taken advantage of. Black Hat strategies have the benefits of speed, but will fail in the long run.

Off Page SEO: Off-page practices are everything you do outside your webpage to improve its rankings.

On Page SEO: On-page practices are everything you do on your page to improve its rankings.

SERP: (Search Engine Results Page) is the page that the results show up on

Keywords: Keywords are any words or phrases that are searched. Keywords differentiate in length, search volume, and even geography. High volume keywords are usually simple words like "Beer" that get a lot of search hits monthly but have more competition and do not have high conversion rates. On the other hand, the longer the keywords, also called Long-tail keywords, have lower search volume but higher conversion rates. Keywords also can differ based on geography for example "Beer Near Me" will show different results if you search it in Atlanta compared to searching it in Wyoming.

Backlinks: These are incoming links to a webpage. When a webpage links to any other page, it's called a backlink.

Alt Tags: It’s an HTML attribute of the IMG tag. This describes the images to search engines because search engines cannot physically see images the way we do.

HTML Header Tags: These are used to differentiate the headings (h1) and sub-headings (h2-h6) of a page from the rest of the content.

XML Sitemap: This is a table of contents for your website. The sitemap file is the modern way of submitting your pages to the search engines.

This is just a brief list of SEO terms that will come in handy when taking on your own company's SEO or scouting for an SEO Agency to hire.

Keep in mind when deciding on your budget for SEO: It provides organic search results, which cover more digital space and appear more credible. Organic results get more clicks than paid advertising and if done properly, will yield on going results way beyond what any paid ad can provide.

What is SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can seem complicated and be very overwhelming to learn, but if it is utilized correctly, it can yield massive results for a business.

So what is SEO?

SEO or search engine optimization involves a ton of factors, but at its bear-bone meaning, it is a form of marketing that allows your business to leverage powerful search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo to gain more traffic, customers, revenue, or whatever goals may be.

In order to leverage search engines like google, you must understand the algorithms it uses to decide which results to share on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th … 54th …ect page list (known as SERP- Search Engine Results Page). These results are always changing because google is always crawling and analyzing data and consistently updating its algorithms to improve. Luckily for us, who cannot read complex coded algorithms created by the world leading, software developing geniuses of our time, that we only need to know what factors affect the algorithms and can work from there. These factors include the organization of your website. Some sub-factors of an organized website can include a sitemap, proper headings, tagged images and links that work. Some other factors can include keywords you have in your text, quantity, consistency & correctness of your business’ NAP (Name, Address, Phone #) across directories on the internet, the number of positive and negative reviews there are, the trust level of other pages and sites that have links to your site and vise versa, just to name a few. Learning and mastering all aspects of these may be near impossible for someone who is also running a business, but just the proper implementation of a few of them can yield huge results.