Free SEO Hands-On Introduction
Before we start learning more about how to apply SEO to your website, I first want to have our definitions of SEO the same and why/when it’s valuable.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The term is used to indicate how you can optimize your website to be shown as one of the top results in Google and other search engines. SEO is unpaid traffic (organic) and works well with a long-term strategy.
Why do SEO?
Doing SEO for your website is another stream of traffic. Next to SEO you have SMA (Social Media Advertising), SEA (Search Engine Advertising), etc., etc. SEO can be seen as relatively cheap compared to paid advertisement. Besides
If you’re doing SEO the correct way, it will also improve and enhance the user experience on the website. The ranking factors from search engines are based on the search intentions of the users. The goal of search engines is to give the best results back to what the user is looking for. This means that if your website is optimized to help the users with the question, they have it is more likely that your website will be shown on one of the top spots.
The top 6 reasons to do SEO:
- Enhance the user experience by improving your website
- Get more traffic via Search Engines
- Being visible in Search Engine (80% of the internet uses Search Engines to navigate through the internet)
- To keep your site up to date
- Stay ahead of your competitors
When to start with SEO?
The best answer is, from the moment your website was live. But that a nonsense answer and you can’t do anything with it. Let me elaborate on this.
“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”
SEO is for the long-term; you won’t see results overnight compared to paid advertisement. But why is this the case? It takes time for Search Engines to index your website, but also for your website to get authority and credibility. All the different ranking factors together is a long list. It’s being said that Google has over 200 points on which the Search Engine decides how to rank your website.
How to start SEO?
Before you can start with SEO you need a website, apart from that there isn’t much you need. One of the first decisions you’ve got to make is what kind of SEO you would like to do. I like to split it up into local, national or international SEO. The three of them have different approaches and priorities but remember every SEO technique is the same for all of them.
For example, with local SEO you want to focus on using words of your city/village and region you’re working in and that in combination with Google My Business. With national SEO you might rather want to create pages for the provinces you’re active in and your services. And, with the international SEO, your focus could be more on link building in combination with looking to rank on medium-ranked keywords.
It’s not as easy as I explained here, but it’s more to indicate there are different ways to approach SEO when decided what the goals should be.
Technical vs On-site SEO?
There are two ways of approaching SEO. You have technical SEO and on-site SEO. Technical SEO like it says is aimed to improve the technique of the website which then helps to rank the website higher. An example of technical SEO is increasing the site speed, the is a big ranking factor of Google. Also, image sizes and responsiveness have a major impact on your rankings.
On-site SEO on the other hand is something you can have a direct impact on. This is about the content on your website, does it contain the right keywords and does the page include a table of contents and headings?
Both technical and on-site SEO is equally important, but without content, there is no website. Focus on creating content and on-site SEO and if you have a few pages etc. optimize for technical SEO. Once the technical SEO is done you probably don’t have to touch it for a while, so it’s more a one-time thing you need to do and check once in a while.
What goals can be set for SEO?
It’s hard to set short-term goals for SEO, rather than focus on long-term goals. Using Google Search Console to set goals can be a good start. You could check and compare organic traffic based on how many visitors clicked on your website in the Google search results. The same goes for impressions, this shows you how often your website is shown in the Google search results. When working on SEO these two should at least be improving.
In short, you should start with SEO when you want ‘free’ traffic long-term. If you want traffic to your website immediately, I will highly suggest starting with paid advertisement instead. Would like to know more about how to write content people are looking for? I would another article about it, feel free to check it out.