Search engine optimisation is a complicated process and there are many different parts to it. It can be overwhelming at first but here we have a beginners guide to SEO basics that anyone without prior knowledge should be able to understand.
This beginner’s guide to SEO basics answers most of the most frequently asked questions about search engine optimisation.
What is SEO? (search engine optimisation)
As the title above suggests SEO stands for search engine optimisation. This is a set of processes you, or a professional, undertakes in the hope of getting a website higher up in the search rankings.
The main goal of SEO is to get a website onto the first page of Google when someone makes a search for a particular keyword.
There are many different factors of search engine optimisation which when combined help to get a website ranked.
Guide to SEO basics – Why is SEO so important?
SEO is extremely important to those who have a website. It is the only way to get your website fully optimised for search engines.
One part of search engine optimisation is using keywords and words related to the main keyword in your content.
For instance, if you sell handmade candles this would be your main keyword. Other words related to it could be smelly candles, wax candles, hand crafted candles, tea light candles, buy candles online and so on.
If Google and other search engines find keywords such as this in your content and in the products and descriptions it knows you are selling handmade candles.
When someone searches for handmade candles on the search engine there is a chance your website will show up in that search.
However, most people searching for a product only check out the top five websites in the search results. Therefore, it is important to make sure you have done everything you can SEO wise to get your site ranked high.
Therefore, keywords are extremely important and you should use them throughout the content, in headings, titles, Meta descriptions and Meta titles. Also, use them in sub-headings in the content.
Getting high Google rankings is essential as people make 65,000 searches each second and these could be potential customers.
What are long-tailed keywords?
Long-tailed keywords are keywords but are a string of words. If your main keyword is candles, long-tailed keywords could be candles in jars, strawberry smelling candles, long-lasting wax candles etc.
Long-tailed keywords can be even longer than three words and can be tailored for local businesses. For instance, you could have handmade candles in Yorkshire, handmade scented candles in Sheffield and so on. Of course, you would tailor the location to your exact location if you sell in a brick and mortar store.
Long-tailed keywords are generally easier to get ranked for on Google if you are in a competitive industry.
How do I find keywords?
The next question on your lips is probably, how do I find keywords?
Well there are different ways. You will probably know the basic keywords. These are the products and services that you sell within your industry.
One good source of finding keywords outside of this is Google Keyword Planner. This is a free to use tool that takes keywords from Google, which is the search engine you want to rank on.
What is organic traffic?
SEO brings in what is termed organic traffic. Organic traffic comes from visitors that made a search and then went to your website from that search.
This is unlike paid ads which generate traffic to your website.
Organic traffic is the goal of every website and the visitors from these searches are the most valuable.
Guide to SEO basics – What is a search engine?
A search engine is what is used to search the entire internet for an answer to something or to purchase a service or product.
There are numerous search engines. The most popular is Google taking about 75% of the market share for searches.
Others include Bing, Baidu and Yandex, among others.
The search engine discovers content through sitemaps.xml, keywords and such and it analyses and organises the content in its index.
When someone makes a search, the search engine provides the most relevant sites and information.
Guide to SEO basics – What is SERPs?
You might have seen the word SERPs in association with SEO. So what is SERPs?
It stands for search engine results pages. These are the pages from a website that are shown to those who search by typing in a query.
The SERPs are the ten results that are shown on the first page of such as Google search. These are the organic search listings, not the paid ads. This can often be confusing as the paid ads show at the top of the search page, followed by organic results.
The whole goal is to get your website listed in the top half of the top 10 on page one of Google search. This is not something that is easy to achieve and it does take a lot of optimisation through SEO and hard work.
What is a featured snippet?
You might have heard about featured snippets and be wondering what they are. Well, the featured snippet is one way of showing a search result. However, it is not just a link to a site. Instead, the featured snippet shows one or two sentences taken from a website to answer the query of a user.
Featured snippets are shown above the organic search results but underneath the sponsored ads. Getting in featured snippets is the goal of every website owner as they usually have a high CTR.
What is a CTR?
So, what is a CTR? It stands for the ratio of users who click on specific links compared to those who view a given link.
CTR is generally a term used when talking about paid ads, usually Google Ads and it measures how successful the ad campaign is. In other words, the CTR tells of the percentage of users who looked at a web page in the search results and they went ahead and clicked on it.
Backlinking is another term that is commonly used in SEO. These can also be called incoming links or inbound link.
In easy to understand terms it is any link on an external website that gives you a link back to your website.
Google takes backlinks very seriously as one of the ranking factors and considers a back link to be a vote of authority.
What is a Googlebot?
The term Googlebot is often heard related to search engine optimisation. This is the technical term used for discovering and indexing web pages on the internet.
The Googlebot discovers all content on all websites and indexes it. Things that help it to do this include keywords, headings, Meta descriptions, Meta titles, meta tags and other things.
So, we hope you have enjoyed reading our beginners guide to SEO basics and you have picked up some helpful information. Of course, the information here is just to get you started in search engine optimisation there is much more to it than just the basics we have covered here.
To help you get started in SEO there is the All in One SEO plugin available for WordPress. This plugin helps you with various aspects of search engine optimisation and in particular with content, keywords, Meta descriptions, Meta titles and social media.