Beginners Guide to SEO

SEO. This little three letter word could not cause more buzz (and angst) if it tried!

It seems that every online business owner wants to “do SEO” and is willing to pay any online agency to get them to the top of Google.

If you’ve been living under a rock, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it is the methodology of getting more people to your website by ranking on the first page of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

To the beginner, SEO can seem like a dark, mysterious place filled with digital geeks hunched over laptops, bathing in the light of their computer screens…  I want to de-mystify SEO for you so you can be confident in either optimising your website yourself or when speaking to a SEO expert to delegate SEO.

Why SEO is important

First off, you need to know that Google’s job (and other search engines too) is to provide the user with relevant, high quality information. As a user, if I search for “how to do SEO” and Google recommends a laser skin care website I’m not going to be happy and will be less likely to use Google’s service.

With that in mind, as business owners, we need to make sure our websites are giving Google the RIGHT information to pass on to people that are searching for our products or services. And that is where SEO (search engine optimisation) comes in.

There are many parts and tactics to optimising your website so search engines can read them. You may choose to optimise your website yourself (it will take time) or you can hire an SEO expert to optimise your website for you (it will take money).

On Page SEO

On-page SEO refers to optimising each individual page of your website for specific keywords or key phrases. A keyword or key phrase is what a potential customer would type into Google to find your product or service.

For example, you’re an online candle retailer. Someone looking to purchase candles online may search for “candles online” or “where to buy candles online”. You would want your website to come up on a search engine’s results page so that potential customer would click onto your website and hopefully make a purchase.

Optimising your website for those keywords allows Google to “read” your website and think yep, this website is about candles online, it is relevant so we’ll show it!

There are 3 main places you need to add your keywords:

  • Title Tag
  • URL Slug
  • Meta Description

If these things sound foreign to you, don’t stop now!! Read on to find out how you can EASILY update those things yourself.

How You Can Optimise Your Website

Once upon a time optimising your website meant writing lengthly code and installing it on the backend of your website… seo

Lucky for you and me, the average non-coder can optimise their own website with SEO plugins. If you have a WordPress website I highly recommend YoastSEO. I use it on my own websites and for all my client websites too.

It provides real time page analysis functionality, so you can quickly and easily see the Title Tag, Meta Description and URL slug. YoastSEO will also give you some tips on how to improve your on-page SEO – Bonus!

SEO is a scam

Stay away from any provider that says they can “guarantee” you top spot on Google.

seoSEO takes time, and if you’re a brand new website, then it can take a little longer for search engines like Google to want to rank you on their top page. Google ranks websites on numerous factors which is their “secret algorithm” – SEO experts know what Google likes and doesn’t like but no-one can guarantee first page results if they don’t know the exact criteria.

If you’re paying $59 per month to someone that promises you top rankings in Google, then I can say with almost certainty that yes, it is a scam.

It is also not SEO.

Look out for my next article, where I explain what to look out when hiring someone to do you SEO.

About Your Guest Blogger:  Serena Galante is the founder of Galante Group Marketing, a boutique marketing agency based in Melbourne, Australia. Working with hundreds of medium sized businesses around the world, Serena is now teaching small business owners and solo-entrepreneurs how to generate more sales from their online business through the Advanced Marketing Program. You can get in touch with her