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A Guide For Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is an essential part of your online presence and marketing strategy. It is vital that you know what search engine optimization is, how it can benefit your business and some of the necessary steps you need to take.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization or SEO is the optimization of your website to ensure that you rank in search engine results for certain keywords or phrases. To better understand SEO you need to know how search engines rank websites. Each search engine has an algorithm of factors which they assess to determine how relevant your content is to a search.
The primary factors that search engines look for will be the quality and relevance of your content, the user experience on your website, the ease of navigation and the external links to your site. There are other factors that the search engines will consider, but these factors are outside your control, and the search engines do not make them public knowledge. These factors are all combined to create the rankings that you see when you search for terms on the search engines.
To determine these factors, the search engines will send ‘spiders’ to crawl your website and index the information that they find. This information is what the search engine uses for the algorithm. It is possible to submit your site to the search engines for them to crawl it or you can wait for the search engines to find the website.
Starting Your SEO Journey
Knowing how search engines rank your website is relevant, but you will also need to know how you can increase your rankings. The first step in your SEO journey should be to complete keyword research. Keyword research is the backbone of SEO because it helps you identify the keywords you should focus on, and it helps you determine what your target audience is looking for on the search engines.
There are a number of tools that you can use to help you complete keyword research. To use these tools, you will input a single keyword or the niche that you are in such as dog training. The tools will then provide a listing of keywords that relate to dog training. Many tools also offer additional information such as the number of monthly searches within geographical regions or internationally, a competition rating and how much it would cost to run paid adverts for the keyword.
Choosing the right keyword is a topic that is always under debate, but it is recommended that you choose keywords that have lower competition. High competition keywords are harder to rank for as you are competing with websites that have more authority than you. You should also consider longer keywords or phrases. These more extended keywords should have three or more words, and therefore have lower competition in general.
If you are a local business looking to rank for local terms, you will need to look at keywords with your area in them. It is important to note that local searches are ranked slightly differently to regular search results. You may need to create a different SEO strategy when looking at local search rankings.
Creating Your Content
Once you have your keywords, you need to create content for them. Content is a major factor in search engine rankings as it needs to be unique and offer valuable information to your visitors. If you only copy what another website has, then you will be penalized by the search engines, and this will lead to low rankings. The content you create also needs to be engaging as this will contribute to building external links to your website.
When you create your content you need to write for your readers and not for the search engines. This means that you should place your keywords into the content in a natural manner. You should also avoid keyword stuffing which is when you put your keyword into the content too many times making the content hard to read.
Many marketers recommend a keyword density of 1 to 2 percent. This density is calculated by looking at the number of words you have in the post and the number of times that the keyword appears. There are some tools that you can use to calculate the density for you and you should use these tools to avoid penalties by the search engines.
Link building is essential when you want to rank well. However, you need to be careful with this as you will want external links from good websites and not ones with a poor online reputation. These will build up over time, but you can increase the likelihood by creating content that is of a high-quality and easy for people to share. To increase the sharing of your information, you should have social media buttons on your site which make it easy for readers to share links to your site with the click of a button.