SEO (search engine optimization) can feel like a mystical skill only experts understand and never share. But learning the basics of SEO isn’t like trying to discover a magician’s secrets, and you don’t have to be an expert in all aspects before you start to see results.
It’s actually much simpler to implement SEO basics than you may think, so take a deep breath and remember that everyone has to start somewhere. This guide will take you step-by-step on how to implement key SEO basics on your site.
Step 1: Get clear on your target customer and what they’re searching for
At first, this may seem like a step in the wrong direction. You’ve already got a website and clients, why are you reconsidering your target audience?
The thing is, it’s surprisingly common to not have a clear picture of your target audience pinned down. If you aren’t clear on who they are, it’s impossible to optimize your site for them.
It’s important to remember that search engines only want to please their users, so they are looking for the best sites for their users and therefore your customers. The best SEO practices prove to search engines that your site is useful to their users – and your ideal clients.
To implement this step, you should:
- Make sure your target audience/customer profiles are crystal clear and not vague. It’s better to have multiple profiles than one unspecific one.
- Brainstorm what they are searching for. Jot down any ideas for what they may search for on their journey to you. The list doesn’t need to be exhaustive, but the more ideas the better.
- Use tools to take this research further. You don’t need to do this step now, but when you create content for your site having data of exact keywords and phrases will be useful for titles, headings, and within the content and web page copy on your site. There are a lot of free and paid tools out there, but a great free one is AnswerthePublic.com.
Step 2: Optimize your site’s foundation
You can’t polish a rock and expect it to turn into a diamond – you have to start with the right foundation. The same is true with SEO. To build a solid foundation, you’ll need:
- A modern, responsive website (responsive means it displays well on any device)
- A site layout that is easy to navigate
- Clear, easy to read page copy (whether you have added your copy or are yet to write it)
- A site that loads quickly
- To optimize your meta data (you can use free tools like Yoast SEO to help you perfect this data, but essentially it tells Google what is on your pages)
Step 3: Create informative and/or entertaining content
Now your site is set up for success, you can start creating content that will attract your customers. There are a ton of different ways to do this, so answer these questions to help you figure out what may be best for you:
- How do my ideal customers prefer to consume information? (watch/read/listen)
- How do you prefer to share it? Do you like talking or writing? Do you want to hire someone to create the content for you?
- What kind of time and/or monetary budget do you have for your content creation?
The answers to these questions will help you make vital decisions about your content marketing strategy. If you have a small budget, but you have time and you love to talk, creating regular videos or podcasts may be best for you.
However, if you don’t want to create content yourself and your audience are business people who want to take in your content quickly, you may find you have better results paying someone to create a few vital pieces of content that lead directly into your sales funnels that you can also run ads to.
Create content your audience wants but that you’ll also find easy to consistently create.
Step 4: Build relationships and links The most difficult but also the most valuable step for your site’s SEO is to build up external links.
Internal links are links within your site, say from one blog post to another, or a blog post to a services page. These links are useful because it shows search engines that your site is a resource for users.
External links are when other people’s sites link to yours. So, for example, if you have a useful blog post, another blog may link to yours to help their own audience out. These links are valuable and great for SEO but are difficult to build. The best way to gain more is to link to other businesses and sites in your own posts and send them an email when you do asking them to share the post if they like it. Often, they’ll link back to it for their own audience. (But you can’t expect them to, unfortunately.)
Optional Step 5: Hire the experts
If SEO still doesn’t sound possible or simply sounds like too much work, it really is worth budgeting for SEO services so you can focus on what you do best: serving clients. SEO services vary in what they can offer you and for what budget, but it is often cost-effective to hand the reins over to someone who knows what they are doing than trying to master the learning curve and run your business.
If you’re interested in getting expert help with SEO for your business, don’t hesitate to contact Search Engine Media Group [link: https://semg.ca/contact-us/] today to discuss your needs and answer any questions you have about SEO services.