What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is the practice of making your website discoverable on Google.
Let’s say you run an Italian eatery in the midst of New York City. I’ve never been to New York City, but I’m going to assume there are a lot of Italian restaurants there. So one day, I decide I want to visit New York City, and I get a hankering for the most authentic and delicious ravioli. I will most likely Google “Italian food in NYC” or “Best ravioli in NYC.” Will your restaurant show up on the first, second, or even third page of Google results? When searching on Google, 91% of users never even go to the second page. This means you need your restaurant to appear on the first page when someone searches “Italian food in NYC.” Good SEO will get you there.
“When searching on Google, 91% of users never even go to the second page.”
Where do you start with SEO?
First, you need a website.
While good SEO is possible no matter how you host your website, WordPress is an easy option that can set you up for success. WordPress has a plugin called “Yoast,” which is like a checklist for SEO. I’ll go into more detail about this checklist later.
Next, we HIGHLY recommend blogging. Add a blog to your current website. This adds more opportunity for relevant content to be found! Relevant content is important in SEO because these posts specifically focus on targeted keywords and phrases.
What are keywords and what do they do?
Keywords are words or phrases related to your business or industry. Proper keyword planning and targeting is critical in SEO and will greatly affect the number of people that will find and visit your website from Google. Start by making an account with Google AdWords to gain access to their Keyword Planner tool. Type in your industry or blog post topic and Google will give you related keywords, how often they are searched, and how many people use them. Use different keywords for each page or blog post on your website, and use the SEO checklist on each page. This will cover more ground and get your website showing up in more Google searches. Remember, the key is to have relevant content that matches the keywords or phrases you are targeted. Google sends users to pages they feel has the most relevant content.
So, what is the SEO checklist?
The checklist is a step by step process of optimizing a blog post for SEO through WordPress. Here is how it works:
- Pick your keyword.
- Repetition is key! Try to include your keyword in all of the following places:
- The URL of the page
- In the meta description (the short paragraph that shows under the website name on a Google listing)
- In the file names of any images used on the page
- The first paragraph of the page
- In a heading on the page
- Multiple times in your page/blog post, but no more than once per paragraph
- Vary your keywords based on the content, try not to overuse the same keywords or phrases.
- Write a minimum of 300 words per page or blog post.
And there you have it! Getting started with SEO is a lot simpler than it sounds, although it will take time to experiment and see what works best for your business and your website. SEO is not a short-term solution, but rather a long-term plan that will pay big rewards if executed properly.
Need more help with SEO? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you craft the ultimate SEO strategy to get your website more traffic and more business.
Blog post written by Brenna Hoffman, Digital Media Specialist at ANS.