Last Updated: April 12, 2020.
You’re new to running a web-based business, and you know that search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most mattering aspects of promoting your website.
SEO gives your website a more genuine chance to appear in Google’s organic search results – and appearing in the organic results means that you get traffic for free.
Every time your website receives a visitor through Google’s organic results, you have the fortune to acquire a new customer without spending money. That’s a good thing because paying for traffic through platforms like Google AdWords can get extremely expensive. It’s an especially good thing if you’re in an industry such as the vaping industry. Companies like V2 Cigs UK aren’t allowed to bid on keywords at all, and that makes SEO even more important.
The Problem With SEO for Small Businesses
The thing that makes SEO so difficult for small businesses is that there are hundreds of self-proclaimed SEO gurus out there who are all trying to sell you on their “quick fixes” and “secret tricks” for online marketing. Reading what most of those people have to say is actually one of the biggest SEO mistakes that you can make.
Becoming prey for such shortcuts, you’ll probably end up falling so far down the rabbit hole that you end up spending all of your time reading SEO tips and none of your time doing the actual work of SEO. successful.
It’s also because most of the self-proclaimed online gurus aren’t nearly as successful as they’d like you to believe, so always try to follow what is being officially published or laid down through the search engine guidelines.
The Four Principles of Basic SEO
The truth is that basic SEO isn’t difficult at all. It is a lot of work, but it isn’t difficult to understand or execute; it just takes time. Getting your business to show up. in Google’s organic search results essentially comes down to remembering these four crucial things.
- Google’s ranking algorithm understands text better than anything else.
- You should create every page on your website with a focus keyword phrase in mind.
- You should structure every page to make its focus keyword obvious to Google.
- The text on every page should be genuinely helpful to users.
Let’s examine those four principles in greater detail.
Google’s Algorithm Understands Text Better Than Anything Else
The most important thing to remember about Google is that, while users can search for multimedia content such as images and videos on the search engine, Google only really understands multimedia when it’s described with text. The only way for Google to know what a video on YouTube is about, for example, is from the video’s title and description. Google can understand a video even more accurately with a text transcript.
If your website is an e-commerce site, you should apply this principle to your product pages. Google can’t understand a product page that contains no text, so it’s vital to give each product page a detailed title and a helpful text description.
Every Page on Your Site Should Have a Focus Keyword
There are two ways of marketing products and content online: the push technique and the pull technique. The push technique means that you actively promote a page to bring traffic to it. The pull technique means that you put the content out there, and people find it by searching for it.
When you publish content on your site that you’re hoping people will find through Google, you’re using the pull technique. For people to find that content, they have to search for a specific keyword phrase – and for Google to show your page as a result, Google’s algorithm must consider your page relevant for that phrase.
You can’t just publish random stories on your website and expect people to find that content through Google. Every page needs to have a focus keyword phrase, and it needs to be a phrase that people search for.
If you publish content without a focus keyword phrase – original journalism, for example – you’ll need to use the push technique and actively promote that content if you want people to read it.
Google’s Algorithm Can Identify Helpful Text
Google’s goal is to deliver genuinely helpful search results to users. If Google fails in that mission, people will use other search engines. Over the last decade, Google has invested heavily into improving its search engine’s ability to process and understand natural language. Between the improved language processing ability and other algorithmic enhancements, Google is better than ever at identifying content that’s helpful to users.
Every time you publish a page on your website, you should do your best to ensure that it is the most helpful page on that topic available anywhere. Before you publish a page, search for that page’s core keyword phrase on Google.
Does your page truly deserve to outrank the pages that currently show up for that keyword phrase, or does it still have room for improvement?
These are just a few of the metrics that Google’s algorithm uses to identify helpful content.
- Word length indicates an article’s thoroughness.
- Frequent use of related keywords indicates that the author is a true expert on the subject.
- Use of subheadings indicates that the content is well organized and easy to read.
- Use of images and bullet points indicates that the author cares about the user experience and wants to retain the reader’s attention.
User behaviour can refute or reinforce what Google’s algorithm thinks about a page. If people frequently click “Back” to return to the search results immediately after viewing a page, that page probably isn’t a helpful result for that keyword phrase. On the other hand, if people who view a page frequently remain on that website for a while, the page is probably helpful and may increase in ranking as a result.
Page Structure Reinforces Keyword Relevance
One of the best things that you can do to improve your understanding of basic SEO is to right-click a page and view the page’s source code. Google doesn’t view your website in the way that users do; Google reads your website’s source code. When you read the source code, is the page’s main idea obvious to you? If it is, you’re probably doing a good job with SEO.
Reading this article, you’ve already learned that every page on your site should have the main idea that can be expressed as a single keyword phrase.
The page’s body text is one area in which the main keyword phrase should appear, but there are also several other places where you can insert the keyword phrase. Here are a few possibilities.
- The filename of the page’s main image
- The alt text of the page’s main image
- The page’s meta title and meta description
- The page’s URL
Putting the page’s main keyword phrase in those four areas – plus once or twice in the body text – is all that’s necessary to ensure that Google’s algorithm understands what the page is about. Overusing a single keyword phrase in an attempt to improve a page’s ranking will not help and may actually result in the page’s ranking going down.