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What Is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained In 5 Minutes (2023).

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Everyone is trying to gain an edge over the competition, or at the very least, get a head start on marketing their business.

Marketing encompasses many different forms of B2C, B2B, or C2C communication & one of the hottest ways to market is through digital marketing. Digital marketing can include social media marketing, SEO, paid ads, influencer marketing, email marketing, etc.

In this article, we wanted to cover SEO specifically for two reasons.

SEO is optimizing your website pages so they are more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.

One, an omnichannel approach is ideal for maximizing the amount of relevant traffic you can generate or else you'd be leaving money on the table. And two, leveraging search engine traffic will help your site reach the users who want to find what your brand offers.

So let's begin!

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What Is SEO & Why Should I Care?

SEO is optimizing your website pages so they are more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.

When people use a search engine, they type in keywords in the search bar to find the information they need. And they hope that the first search page shows organic results relevant to the keywords to help the user with their immediate need.

Often people use search engines in need of information, shopping for specific products, researching places nearby, looking for entertainment, you name it.

SEO aims to optimize your website so that it appears higher in organic search result pages. This means that you want to ensure that your content is relevant and informative enough for people to want to click on your site in search results and see what you offer.

And if you're a business, you have to ensure that in order to generate more traffic & leads, you tailor your website so that its easy to navigate across & delivers a great UX.

If you are selling a product online, let's say health consumable products. You're going to want to not only make it obvious you sell consumable products on your website, but your site is easy to travel across & buying products is pain-free.

There's a lot more that goes into SEO such as geography, target audiences, specific keywords to rank for, competition, technical SEO, link-building, mobile-friendly, domain authority, & a bunch more tiny details.

Understanding SEO is the tip of the iceberg, but worth learning about to leverage in any competitive online environment.

Different Types Of Search Engines

When you think of search engines, what's the first one you can think off the top of your head? Yahoo?

Based on data, Google is the biggest search engine in the world by users. There's very few companies that are commonly used as verbs, the adage "Just Google it!" still rings true in 2022.

Google has a 90% market share of the total search engine market in many countries & it's not even close. There is approximately 3-5 billion searches done each day to put the power of Google search in perspective.

Search Engine market share with Google at 90% market share followed by Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, & others.

In order for sites to rank high on search pages for certain keywords, site owners have to abide by Google & their standards for having a website reach first search page visibility.

There's obviously a lot of other search engines people are using by default such as Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, & Brave Search.

Google really cares about ensuring that the search results page has a list of websites that directly responds to the search query set by the user. So, you're going to have to make sure that your site delivers a great UX & gets users EXACTLY what they want/need.

Keep your users in mind, ensure your site is secured, easy to navigate across, & has relevant keywords, Google & the other search engines will reward you with traffic; so long as you're willing to compete & continuously update your site.

How To Use SEO For Your Marketing Strategy

Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, but they all want websites to have ideally have two things: high-quality content and links from other websites.

In order to use SEO for marketing strategy you need to do a few things to have SEO on your side to generate more traffic.

Keyword Research- If you want SEO on your side, you have to make sure that your website has keywords that people are searching for. Also, you want to make sure that your keywords are as SPECIFIC as possible.

If you are creating content that's broad & hope to rank high in search pages, good luck. Keywords are competitive for both organic search results & paid search. More established websites & companies have a lot of smaller participants beat due to their already vast amount of existing content readily available & site traffic.

For example, if you type in "coffee" in the search engine, you're going to get well-established sites like Wikipedia, Healthline, & Starbucks as the first few sites. And if you're a small site & your content & keywords are too board, you won't stand a chance in SEO.

However, if your keywords are specific & are even long-tailed, then your website/ webpage is much more likely to appear in search result pages for less competitive keywords.

In this instance, if you sell coffee online but you have a specific variety of such like coconut, macadamia, vanilla swirl, banana nut, & whatever crazy flavor blend that exists, is much more likely to help your website rank higher.

This doesn't have to be coffee specific, think of your industry, it could be personal training, music, health & wellness products, you name it. You can get creative with how you leverage keywords to find the right audience with you.

There a number of great tools but one that can help with keyword research specifically is Ubersuggest. You type in a keyword & you get loads of data such as keyword volume, search difficulty, related keywords, & keyword competition.

Ubersuggest is a keyword research tool to help website owners understand their keyword strategy for better search rankings

User Experience (UX)- You also need to optimize your website content so it ranks better in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). If you don't have this locked down, you are TOAST.

Nobody wants to search up a keyword, click on a link, & the link is dead; or worse, it doesn't provide the user with what they need originally needed prior to visiting the site.

A few basics to understand about user experience is having easy navigation across your webpages, no deadlinks (think of 404 pages), page speed, & a reduce bounce rate as much as possible.

To ensure a good user experience, consider ensuring that you have a good host such as Wix, GoDaddy, or Squarespace that offer user-friendly design templates.

Check out & test the functionality of EVERY single web page your site has to make sure that there aren't broken links or web pages.

Do a few test runs with interactives on your websites like submission forms, buying products, visiting different web pages, & clicking on all internal links.

Get feedback from other people, get their opinion on how to make your website better. Maybe they have good ideas, or maybe they don't, either way getting input from others about how to keep people on your site for longer will yield better SEO search rankings.

It's ideal to perform site updates once or twice a month for website quality assurance. It's like cleaning the dust off your home before letting guests visit, same principle applies to your site.

Link Building- One last actionable strategy people can make right now is to leverage the power of links.

Links are very underrated especially for SEO because they signal to search engines that their website/webpage has some authority & credibility.

Internal linking is when you link from one webpage to another. The reason you do this is because you want your users to easily navigate across your site for them to find what they're looking for. In addition, maybe you want to use internal linking to direct your users that directly benefit your business.

For instance, let's say you have a homepage & you have a business where you take appointments like a personal trainer, a therapists, a consultant, fill in the blank.

Your homepage is your main landing page users are likely to find first, so it would make sense if in the header or even in the body you link certain words to another page where users fill out a submission form.

You can do this to all your other less relevant webpages to drive traffic to your contact page. This can apply to encourage users to read other blog posts, direct them to buy products from your site, or encourage them to follow you on social media.

External linking is when you link out to other websites/webpage because of their relevancy to your page.

If you write a lot of content like articles, reviews, or shoutouts, you would want to link out because you are adding credibility to your writing by sharing your sources.

But if people are leaving my site for another is that bad? Not necessarily.

You have the right idea but the point of SEO is to keep users in mind. It's better to direct users to the information they seek than to scurry ways to keep them on the site for longer.

Plus, if people link to your website/webpage, that adds credibility to your domain authority, it drives users to your site, & search engines will look at your site more favorably. The best approach to external links is linking is using social media or influencer marketing that links directly to your content.

There's an entire rabbit hole for SEO & how to optimize EVERY webpage for it. But at first, it can be very overwhelming & if you want to build a long-term successful business, rushing SEO looking for short-term wins is more likely to hurt than help.

However, you have to think of your website & SEO like a Lego set. You have to start building the pieces overtime in order to see it come to fruition.

With an SEO approach to website growth, you are keeping your users in mind while having a great website. It's a win-win.

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