If you’re a small business professional, you may end up doing a lot of your website updating yourself. Without being a geek, you can take care of a few key elements of SEO basics to help prospects and clients find you online. This article explains the basics.
If you’re not using search engine optimization (SEO) to promote your business online, you’ve at least heard of it. And you’ve probably heard it’s crucial. SEO involves doing things to increase your website’s rank on Google’s search engine results pages. (Image: Wikipedia)
Typically, if you’re engaged in SEO, you’re trying to get links, using keywords in your content, and improving the technical aspects of your website to make it more search engine and user-friendly. Ultimately, we don’t know much about Google’s algorithm, but we do know that it rewards content that includes relevant keywords.
We also know that links help improve a website’s rank on Google’s search engine results pages, and we know that websites without technical issues are generally favored by Google.
Yet it’s quite common to find blogs written and published without any hyperlinking in the content at all. This is a pity, as your blog post won’t do a good job for search engine indexing. It can be a waste of your time and energy spent writing it!
If you’re interested in do-it-yourself SEO basics, you may be wondering what exactly people mean when they say “links” and “keywords.” Here’s some information about keywords and links and how people use them to help you jump start your SEO efforts:
Keywords help Google find your content and help your content rank better. Google offers something called Google’s Keyword Tool. People use the Keyword Tool and other online keyword tools like Wordtracker to search for keywords to use in their content. If you wanted to use keywords in an article you were writing, you would use a keyword tool to find a handful words that were relevant to your article. For instance, if you were writing about supply chain management, you would type “supply chain management” into a keyword tool’s search field, and then the keyword tool would pull up a list of relevant keywords for you to use in your writing.
There’s an excellent explanation of how to determine the best keywords to use for your business here on this blog. SEOmoz has also written an in-depth article on keyword research that you might find useful. Additionally, you may want to look into taking an online course or training that will familiarize you with keyword research best practices.
Right now, all you need to know is that using a few relevant keywords in your content will help Google (and search engine users) find what you write.
One of the best tools for mastering SEO basics is a subscription to ScribeSEO Tool. Before you publish your blog post, it runs a check for how well you’ve used keywords and links. Try it out, you’ll learn a lot.
Links are like gold in the world of SEO. The more your site is linked to, the higher your Google PageRank will be. Your Google PageRank is essentially a score on a scale of 0 to 10 that Google assigns your website based on how many links it has and other factors. The higher your PageRank is, the higher your site’s content will rank on Google’s search engine results pages.
You can get links in a number of ways. For instance, you might want to write a few guest posts or create infographics for trusted webmasters in your field in exchange for links back to your site. The best way to get links is to create great content on your website that people will link to naturally.
As previously mentioned, there are a million ways to get links. So, check out articles like this one from Hobo-Web and read online tutorials about effective link building, if you’re interested in increasing your PageRank. Just don’t resort to paying for links or aggressively trying to acquire links. Google typically finds out about and penalizes webmasters who are trying to game the system and acquire links in nefarious ways.
This article is meant to give you an idea of the very basics of SEO. Now that you know about keywords and links, you can start researching exactly how to use them to increase your online visibility and ultimately your web traffic and sales.
About our guest author: Maria Rainier makes her living as a freelance blogger. An avid follower of the latest trends in technology and education, Maria believes that online degrees and online universities are the future of higher learning. Please share your comments with her.