In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) marketing. We’ll discuss the basics of SEO, how to approach your first SEO project, and how to position yourself for success in the SEO industry. At the end of the article, you’ll have everything you need to start your own SEO business or to further your existing knowledge.
Why Is SEO Important?
Every day, people search online to find what they need. Like a travel agent helping clients make travel plans or a realtor offering advice on buying a home, an SEO agency helps businesses get found online through organic (non-paid) search results.
Businesses that want to succeed in today’s world of digital marketing need to understand the basics of SEO. As a freelance SEO consultant, I work with businesses of all sizes, helping them grow their online presence and discover new customers. One of the best things about SEO is the variety of tasks you can take on. You can become an SEO expert for small businesses seeking to grow their online presence or take on a more established business seeking to re-ignite their growth.
What Is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is the process of making your website more visible to search engines (aka robots) as you would have asked a human to find it.
SEO is not magic, it is a systematic process which involves collecting data from outside sources (typically Google analytics and other digital marketing tools such as social media), using a keyword research tool to find your keywords, and then using those keywords in the content of your website. You can learn more in-depth about SEO here:
- SEO Basics: A Beginners Guide (from SerpMeal)
- SEO Basics: An Overview of the Keywords and Optimization Process (from Khan Academy)
- Essential Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy (from LandingHub)
- What is SEO? (from YouTube)
How Do I Get Started With SEO?
If you’re seeking a complete course that will dive into all the nitty-gritty of SEO, you can find several options. One of the best places to start is with a reputable SEO agency. The better agencies will have an experienced SEO specialist on staff that can take the reins on your campaign and get you rolling. You can also find SEO classes online through reputable agencies or via a specialized SEO school. Alternatively, you can become a freelancer and take on clients yourself. The choice is completely up to you.
What Type Of Content Should I Produce?
The better your content is, the better your SEO. You’ll need content that is informative and concise but also entertaining. Ideally, you’ll want to produce content for all platforms (web, mobile, and social media) so that you can gain maximum exposure. The more you can do to make your content stand out above the rest, the better. Make sure you have quality content that is easy to understand and memorable.
How Many Articles Should I Write?
As a newbie in SEO, you’ll most likely be told to write at least 500 words per page. If you’re doing your homework, you’ll notice that the ideal length for blog posts and web content in general is somewhere around 800 words.
The more you write, the better. However, keep in mind that longer posts typically perform worse than shorter ones in SEO. Having a variety of articles, from short to long, will help you to better optimize your site’s content for the search engines. Remember: the simpler the better. Short articles are normally better performed by focusing on a single theme or concept while longer ones can become bloated with excess content.
When Should I Post My Content?
You want to post your content as soon as possible after you’ve created it. The sooner you post your content, the sooner your audience will be able to consume it and the sooner you’ll start to see results from your SEO efforts. Remember: if you want to become a successful SEO marketer, you need to consistently publish content and you need to be patient.
Where Do I Post My Content?
You can find several places that you can post your content, including your own blog or website, your Facebook page, and Twitter. Depending on the kind of content you’re posting and how widely you’re aiming to reach your audience, you’ll have to decide which platforms to use and which to leave out.
For example, if your blog is oriented toward children, you might want to avoid posting on adult oriented platforms such as Twitter. Doing so can seriously damage your credibility as an expert in your field. However, once you establish yourself as an authority in your industry, you can expand your presence to other platforms and gain a much wider audience.
How Should I Format My Content?
The standard advice for newbies in SEO is to use the HTML title and H1 tags for blog posts and web content. The title should be concise but informative and the H1 tag should be single-worded and appear in the first paragraph of your content. You can also add a relevant image to your post to make it more appealing to your audience.
Keep the text in your posts focused on specific keywords while taking care not to overuse the same keywords. You can and should build a keyword list for each blog post and web content you produce; doing so will immensely improve your search engine rankings. The more you know about SEO, the better you can position yourself for success in the field.
Which Keywords Should I Use?
This is one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself before you start using keywords in your content. What do I want my audience to do when they’re reading my content? This will largely depend on the industry I’m in. For travel and tourism related blogs, I might want my audience to make a plan to visit Japan or to learn more about samurai sword history. When I write blogs for product review, the goal is generally to encourage the reader to purchase the product I’m reviewing. When I write for business and financial blogs, the goal is typically to educate my audience about the latest trends in my industry.
The better your answers to these questions, the better your content will be and the better your SEO. When choosing which keywords to use, be as specific as possible and pick phrases that are both easy to understand and memorable.
How Do I Find Keyword Ideas?
If you’re seeking inspiration for your SEO campaign, you can find several places online where you can find lists of commonly used keywords. One of the best places to find keyword ideas is the keyword research tool Hitwise. With this tool, you can enter your industry, geographic location, and topic/product and will instantly find a list of the most popular keywords and phrases.
You can use the keywords you find to enter your industry and locate blogs, forums, and social media platforms that are discussing the topic you’re trying to promote. You can use these outlets to find relevant content that you can use to build your own content around. For example, if I want to write a blog post about children’s clothing, I might find inspiration in an Instagram account that is covering children’s fashion. You can use this content to create a series of blog posts to educate your audience about children’s wear.
Is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) For Me?
SEO can be a lucrative and flexible profession with many possibilities. If you’re seeking a career in SEO, you need to approach your studies and your work with a strategy. As with any profession, there are many pitfalls and it’s important to recognize your own personal strengths and weaknesses before you get started. Are you a fast typer? A careful thinker? A detailner?’ These are important questions to ask yourself before you start your SEO journey. With a little bit of planning and research, you can become a successful SEO marketer.