Getting Started with SEO
What does SEO mean?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization! Wow great…. what the hell does that even mean?
Basically, it’s best practice on how to properly place new content on your website so the Search Engines (think Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) know what your website is about. It’s really that simple.
Why do sites need SEO?
Search engines are computers, although they are becoming more sophisticated over time; they still need help. There are best practices in place when building a site to help guide the search engines in understanding what your site is all about (i.e. page titles, meta descriptions, etc.)
After all of these things are accomplished you need to keep feeding the search engines fresh content. Think about how much information is available on the internet, if your site isn’t adding new content all of the time; how will the search engines know you are still relevant?The more you feed the search engines the more they will come back; and if your content is good you will be rewarded with stronger rankings. Click To Tweet
What are some key terms to understand when getting started in SEO?
Sooooo glad you asked 😉 There are a few terms you should understand that will make your journey much easier:
Search queries—the words that users type into the search box
Search results – the results that show up after typing in a search query
Search rankings – the order of the search results (this is where you will hear the term page 3 search rankings; i.e. you show up on the 3rd page of Google search results)
Local SEO – optimizing your website for local search results to reach local customers
Organic SEO – refers to the methods used to obtain a high placement (or ranking) on a search engine results page in unpaid, algorithm-driven results on a given search engine
Black Hat SEO – the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience, and usually does not obey search engines guidelines (i.e. keyword stuffing, doorway pages, purchasing links, etc.)
White Hat SEO – improving your search performance on a search engine results page (SERP)while maintaining the integrity of your website while staying within the search engine terms of service (i.e. creating quality content, intuitive site navigation, descriptive page titles, etc.)
How to get started with SEO?
Slowly, and by learning the basics. Moz has a great in-depth guide that you can read if you have a few hours. Understand that SEO changes as technology changes; so what works today to gain great search results may not work tomorrow. This is why becoming an SEO expert is a commitment and not a guarantee. It’s also why many businesses choose to hire SEO firms for assistance in this area.
Key Resources in SEO?
Learning how to rank by optimizing a website is no easy task. However, it can be done, and if you want to spend your money wisely while building your online presence; you better at least understand the basics. If you want to become an expert; spend quite a bit of time studying these sites and their advise. If you want to hire an SEO firm but you aren’t sure who is right; take notes while speaking to them and be sure to ask them some very direct questions.
SEO Industry Experts –
- Rand Fishkin – Moz founder, and Search expert. You can find him on Twitter @randfish (371,000 followers)
- Aleyda Solis – Orainti founder, and on Twitter @aleyda (43,900 followers)
- Neil Patel – Crazy Egg founder, KISS Metrics founder. On Twitter @neilpatel (249,000+ followers)
- Myles Anderson
- Leslie Samuel –
@lesliesamuel (thanks to @ToniBuscarino, social media extraordinaire for the tip!)
- Bill Slawski
- Vanessa Fox – Heard of Google’s Webmaster central? Yeah, she created it… Find her on Twitter @vanessafox (39,600 followers)
- Mike Blumenthal
- Jill Whalen – Pioneer in SEO and involved since the 1990’s. On Twitter she is @jillwhalen (23,700 followers)
- Barry Schwartz – RedBrick CEO and Advisor to Google, Bing, and Yahoo. On Twitter find him @rustybrick (91,600 followers)
- David Mihm – Founder of Tidings
- Linda Buquet
- Nyagoslav Zhekov
- Phil Rozek
- Tim Sweeney
- Tim Ash
- Joy Hawkins
- Rishi Lakhani – Just a regular guy who loves SEO according to his Twitter (13,700+ followers)
SEO Tools for Beginners
- Moz Pro Tools
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools)
- Screaming Frog
- Crazy Egg
SEO Takes Time
Conducting Search Engine Optimization best practices on your blog or website takes time. If you are thinking about doing it yourself, be patient, and making daily reading/learning about SEO an important part of your online efforts. The experts above have wonderful guides available to get you started. If you are hiring a company to take over your SEO for you, ask lots of questions. Try to get a full understanding of how they intend to drive additional traffic to your website. If the company you are looking to hire has a “secret sauce” recipe they can’t disclose, find another company. Google is the leader and they have no secrets regarding what works; fresh content, and properly built websites with information visitors like to read. A company promising a secret and confidential process to SEO could be doing your website or blog a disservice over time.
If you are in the process of hiring an SEO company and would like to ask us some questions to help you find the right partner, we would be happy to chat. Give us a call at 631.756.6000 or give us a shout on Twitter @IMCLongIsland.