7 SEO Basics Every Business Needs To Know
SEO is such a dreaded topic for businesses. It gets a bad rep because Google changes how they choose to rank a website. I under that it is frustrating. Do you know what else is frustrating? The ever-changing algorithm of Instagram and Facebook – yet, every business continues to try to keep up.
One thing that I hope softens the blow to SEO is that it does NOT change as much as social media. SEO has helped me increase my business and even increase my followers on social media. To put it in perspective I spend about 10% worrying about what I post on social media and 90% time working on my blogs. For my brand Empowering Women Now it has translated to 250K+ followers on Facebook and 90K+ followers on Instagram, 4K+ on Pinterest.
The strategies I use are simple. I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty – because I don’t care so much about theory but more about the application. If you want to learn about the theory I highly suggest reading this guide. – https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
Okay now let’s begin.
SEO Basics For Keywords
Use Long-Tail Keywords: All this means is that if you want to rank #1 for the word “photography” Google is going to roll its eyes. However, if you want to rank for “Wedding Photography in Fresno” now you’re onto something. Get it? It’s called a long-tail keyword because it’s not short but very precise For local businesses I always suggest including their location. That is why in this example I included the city of Fresno, California.
SEO Basics for Blog Content
Content: Don’t know what to write about? Look at those awesome captions you are writing on your Instagram and getting you all those likes and engagement. Expand on the topic on your blog. You can also use social media as a way to test the relevance of a subject with your audience. For example run a poll on you Instagram stories and let your audience decide your next blog post. If you don't have a social media presence think about questions your clients ask you and create an FAQ post. The point being is that you should always be thinking of creating valuable content that your audience is interested in.
Writing Style: One mistake businesses make is writing too formal. For the most part blogs are made to be conversational. Look at your analytics and see the age and demographics of your audience. If you’re talking to an older crowd it might not be the be best idea to use millennial terms like “low-key or woke”.
Blog Title: Naming your blog can be a little stressful. You want to include the keywords as if someone were searching for it but you also want to make it interesting enough get someone to read it. It truly is a balancing act. I typically write at least 5 blog titles before deciding on my favorite. I've learned that including numbers in the title always receive the most clicks. A great website I use for inspiring blog titles is Buzzfeed. They are the King of writing catchy titles.
Header: Put your keyword in your header (H1). Most webpages have a large title at the top, followed by several sub-headers throughout the page (like the sub-headers in this post).
SEO Basics for Link Building
Don’t be scared of links. At Tuesdays Together we link up and share resources with one another. We give each other our very best tips and tricks. In those moments when we don’t know the right answer we find the expert amongst the group and point people in the right direction (referred to in SEO terms as external links).
Same goes with blogging – the more people link back to your website the better your reputation the faster you will climb on Google.
Links are your BEST friend!
So what do you do if you’re not getting any love and no one is pointing back to your site?
You become your own best friend. Start linking relevant blog posts from your website within your blog (referred to as internal-links). For example, in this blog I am talking about SEO Basics. I will shamelessly plug a link to my 5 SEO Tips No One Tells You About – because it is relevant. People reading this blog are probably interested in learning about SEO Tips.
This will help build authority and Google will recognize your website.
SEO Basics for Images
Give your images the recognition they deserve. You spend so much time taking the perfect picture or finding the perfect picture only to let it have a generic name “IMG_021”. For this post I will be saving my images as “SEO-Basics-Business-Fresno”
I made sure to include my keywords for Google to understand what traffic I am aiming to attract.
Note:Use hyphens - instead of underscores _ or spaces when naming images
SEO Basics for Tags
Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts. If you're familiar with hashtags on social media you already have an understanding of what tags do to websites. Use the over-arching theme of your blog post to create the best tags.
You are not required to add any tags to your blog posts. However, my posts generally have 2-4 tags.
SEO Basics for Categories
Categories are used to group the content on your website. Think of these as general topics or the table of contents for your site For example a photographer would probably have content categorized under weddings, graduations, family photos, etc. There should always be at least one category per blog post.
SEO Basics for Meta -Description
Finally, you want to add a meta description to your post. If you don’t the first few sentences of your blog will display in Google search. In my case the first two sentences of this blog post would probably not entice business owners to click.
Once you fully understand the best practices and implement them it is time to venture. Everyone is barking at the same tree using the same best practices so how can one possibly get in front of the pack?
In my next blog post I discuss the 5 SEO Tips No One Tells You About – these tips are not industry known practices but have proven to get my website to #1 on several key terms.