How to Get Started with SEO
Guest speaker Sarah Vaughan was kind enough to join Marie Newell this month for our monthly Learn + Launch educational webinar series. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Below, you’ll find a recording of the presentation in which Sarah covered top-level topics about why SEO is important, especially for your small business.
Types of SEO
SEO strategy can encompass a variety of strategies that can be grouped into two categories: on page and off page SEO. On page SEO includes many technical elements people are typically talking about when they think of search engine optimization:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Content structure
- Alt tags
Off page SEO includes elements outside of the actual page that can greatly impact your rankings. This can include:
- Local SEO
- Backlinks to your site
- Domain Authority
- Social media signals
- Pay per click
Why SEO is Important
Optimizing your website for search engines is an important factor to getting found by people you are looking to help or sell to. Staying on top of trends and being proactive can put your brand light-years ahead of the competition when things change or algorithms update. Search engines continue to rank the human experience as increasingly important when determining what results to show. However, the artificial intelligence making up the algorithms is still only as good as the information it has which is data.
Why Content Matters
The content on your site determines how useful your site is to the people you are trying to attract. If people come to your site and quickly leave while they’re trying to answer a specific question or search for a certain keyword, then search engines will see that visit is short. When people repeatedly leave your site and continue searching AI determines your site doesn’t hold all the information they are looking for and may begin showing other sites instead of yours as top ranking information.
On the flip-side, if people continuously reference your information through backlinks, quote you as a source, and visitors explore many pages in your site through internal linking your website will start ranking higher. This of course is no easy task. Having original, timely, and valuable information for your target audience is vital in establishing authority on your topic(s) of choice.
How to Get Started
To plan an SEO strategy you’ll need some high level information about your brand and market. It’s helpful to gather some key marketing strategy pieces:
- Mission and Core Values
- Target Demographics & Psychographics
- Value Proposition
Next it’s time to do a baseline evaluation. This is best completed by an SEO expert who can complete a thorough checklist to determine what SEO best practices you’re already following and where your biggest opportunities for results are. Since best practices are constantly evolving this is a step you don’t want to skip!
Then it’s time to do some research on your competition, keyword opportunities, and establish an actionable plan for moving forward. Once your strategy and plan is outlined you can determine how much you want to complete and how much is better to hire out. Creating the right team for your needs is key to finding success in SEO.
Too Long, Didn’t Read
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is comprised of lots of different data points and is constantly evolving. Creating valuable content for your target audience and establishing yourself as an authority helps you rank and organically show on search results for key words, phrases and search queries. Partnering with an expert can help you determine what changes to make to increase your website’s performance. If you have questions, please reach out!