SEO Guide: The First Steps

Whether we are brand new in the SEO world, or if we just want to brush up on our knowledge, this SEO First Steps guide aims to serve both of these goals, by giving the complete information necessary to achieve quality Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization: What does it mean?

Search Engine Optimization is nothing more than making our site appear in the top results of the search engines, namely Google, Bing, and so on. It’s a powerful marketing tool that gives more visibility to our sites for free, meaning that we are not paying for ads to make our site appear at the top of the results page.

To make this happen there are simple elements we can use to improve a website’s rankings, with the goal to increase the visibility of our site. These elements involved in optimization include, for example, the way our website is linked to by other sites, as well as the content we have on the site.

If we, for some reason, feel overwhelmed with what SEO means and what to do next, we can reduce it to the simplest factor. SEO is just making sure that we have a well-structured site, with fresh content, as this is the language search engines speak and understand.

Focusing on the elements we control, focusing on our own site, making it top quality and user-friendly, is always the right direction to follow. If we try to make it according to Google or other search engine algorithm or formula, we might get in trouble as those are changing often. First and foremost, a website should always be made for the user. As a website owner user experience should always be our number one priority.

The guide ahead covers SEO from top to bottom, we have left nothing out. Within this guide, we will learn all about keywords, traffic generation, link building, and so on. All of which is intended to make the site more appealing in the eyes of search engines.

Search Engine Optimization: Why is it Necessary?

Much like road maps and GPS guide us when we are on the road or looking for a destination, search engines are the ones giving us directions when we are online. If we want to find a site, we use Google, we use Bing, we use Yahoo!, or other search engines.

These search engines are the ones driving traffic, the ones driving us to specific sites, so our site has to please them if it wants to be seen as an attractive destination. We surely know the importance social media has these days, and many links come from there, but in terms of SEO search engines are kings and the primary navigation method for those surfing the net.

This is a universal truth in what concern SEO, and it doesn’t really matter what our site is about. If search engines do not value it, traffic is not being driven there, so we are pretty much hidden to all the online users out there.

Many times we might not realize the importance that the traffic generated by search engines has. This traffic has the power to make the success, or failure of a company because it has the power to generate publicity, and therefore revenue. There is no better marketing than exposure.

Many don’t know that investing in SEO can have a return far superior to other offline marketing campaigns or promotions, and many times at inferior costs. Analyzing search queries, which is nothing more than the common words we type when doing our Google searches, has a big value in all this process.

Search Engine Optimization: Is my site invisible without it?

Search engines like Google or Bing, the major ones, are in permanent change, their algorithm or technology is always improving to search the web more effectively and provide the best possible results to the users. The role of SEO is to help search engines, giving them the hints or indications that our site is relevant, and for that reason, traffic should be driven there.

It’s much like playing chess, in that if we make the right moves we can slowly build up a position, and eventually win the game, but the wrong moves can cause us defeat. The meaning of this is that if we don’t make good SEO moves, our site will be hidden so deep in the net that no search engine will make it visible in any search, causing obvious losses for our side.

So nothing like feeding search engines with quality, fresh content. Knowing our site is up to date with the latest information, search engines are a little more likely to place our site where others can find it more easily. The competition for visibility, (the at eyes of customers) or visitors on the internet is fierce, and the companies with the highest quality content along with top notch SEO will gain an advantage over those without.

Search Engine Optimization:

Is it something I can do?

Step by step, anyone can do SEO. We cannot expect to enter the SEO world and know it all overnight because it’s something complex, and always evolving. SEO is more than just tweaks to your website. It starts with quality content that is unique in nature and provides value to the end user. You don’t have to be an expert, starting to understand the basics is something accessible to everyone.

Investing in SEO education is investing our time in a factor that can determine the success of our business.

If for some reason the task just looks too complex or hard to perform, there are professionals who do it but with a cost. There is nothing like trying it ourselves first learning some basic concepts along the way. Remember, it’s your business, and no one is likely to put in as much effort as you.

Search Engine Optimization: Do I really need to go through this whole guide?

Reading this whole guide will depend exclusively on how serious you are about SEO, and if you see the importance it has for your site. SEO is the most effective way to drive traffic to your site, it’s a powerful marketing tool, and if you want to become knowledgeable on the topic, the recommendation is to read it fully.

There are several steps to grasp the best practices of SEO, we have included them in a simple to understand guide over the next few pages. Those who follow them will certainly collect the benefits of a more visible site.

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