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2023

SEO 101: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the essential tool to get your website noticed.

Essentially, it’s the practice of optimizing your content to rank higher in search engines, allowing more people to discover your work.

You can tailor your SEO efforts to target certain keywords so that search engines show your content when relevant queries are made.

For example, if you have an article about how to make French press coffee, you want the search engine—which is Google, over 92% of the time—to display it among the top results when people type “French Press coffee” into the search bar.

All search engines have algorithms that determine the position of a website in their search results for a particular keyword or query.

If you’re a business owner, SEO can help you reach customers in a targeted way.

There are many aspects to consider when optimizing your website for SEO—which is why it’s important to have a strong foundation before delving into more complicated topics.

That said, we’ll be exploring the basics of SEO throughout the entirety of this guide. What it is, how to use it, and how to get started with it.

Depending on your current knowledge, you’ll have a chance to brush up on the fundamentals.

That said, if you already feel comfortable with the “most basic” basics of SEO, feel free to scroll down and explore any topic that you would like to know more about.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of optimizing a website to improve its visibility in organic search engine results and drive more relevant traffic to it. SEO involves making changes to the content, HTML tags, and structure of the website, as well as developing off-page strategies such as link building and content promotion.

Think about it like this: If your website is a high-quality restaurant, SEO is the process of making sure that the type of people you want to visit that restaurant know it exists, and can easily find it.

Happy photographer using Google and learning about best SEO practices

When done correctly, SEO helps to boost your online visibility and increase your website’s traffic.

Done incorrectly, it can adversely affect your site’s ranking and overall performance.

That’s why it’s important to understand the fundamentals of SEO and how to properly perform it.

The key difference between SEO and other traditional forms of marketing is that SEO is an organic approach, which means it takes time to see the results.

Organic SEO cannot be achieved overnight or by buying clicks or impressions.

It takes consistent effort, research, and optimization to get the desired results.

While it can definitely be a total replacement for PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising on Google, you’ll generally have far better results if you run SEO and Google PPC campaigns simultaneously.

They both have a place in digital marketing for most businesses—it shouldn’t be a “choose one or the other” approach.

However, the investment pays off in the long run as organic search engine traffic has higher conversion rates than other forms of online marketing, and doesn’t require large ongoing budgets like, say, advertising in traditional media (television, radio, magazines, etc.)

The goal of this guide is to provide a thorough overview of SEO and its various components, as well as tips and best practices to help you get started.

Hopefully, you’ll come away from reading this guide with a better understanding of how to optimize your website for higher search engine rankings—or at least a better idea of what questions to ask your digital marketing expert.

How Does It Work?

Search engines like Google and Bing use algorithms to determine the relevance and authority of a website before displaying it on their search engine results page (SERP).

Person searching Google on Bing

SEO involves making changes to both on-page and off-page factors to ensure that your website is properly optimized for search engines and appears higher in the SERPs.

  • On-page SEO involves optimizing all elements of the page itself, from the page title and meta description to the content of the page itself. This helps search engines understand what the page is about and rank it accordingly.
  • Off-page SEO, on the other hand, involves developing strategies to increase the authority of the website in the eyes of search engines. This includes link building, content promotion, and other tactics that help to increase the overall authority and trustworthiness of the website.

By properly optimizing these two elements, you can ensure that your website is properly optimized for search engines and appears higher in the SERPs.

How Search Engine Users… Use Search Engines

When it comes to SEO, understanding how people search is just as important as understanding how search engines work.

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People use keywords and phrases (aka “search queries”) to find information online, and it’s important to optimize your website for these keywords so that people can find you.

For example, if you own a business selling wedding dresses, then it’s important to identify the keywords people use when searching for wedding dresses, such as “wedding dress stores near me” or “wedding dress styles.”

Once you’ve identified these keywords, you can then optimize your website for them and make sure that your website appears higher in the SERPs for these keywords.

If you have a company that sells outdoor gear, then you’ll also want to find keywords related to that. Examples could include “best hiking boots” and “camping gear near me”.

Once you have identified the keywords that are relevant to your business, you can start optimizing your website for them so that you can rank higher in the SERPs.

SEO Strategy vs SEO Tactics

All is fair in SEO and war. And just like in war, every SEO campaign involves both strategy and tactics.

Like many words in digital marketing, these guys get thrown around a lot.

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Here’s a quick overview of the differences between strategies and tactics—at least in terms of Search Engine Optimization.

  • Strategies: Setting SEO goals and then determining what steps need to be taken in order to achieve those goals. This includes setting budgets and timelines, as well as researching and selecting keywords and topics to target.
  • Tactics: The actual implementation of SEO, such as the writing and editing of content, optimization of pages and tags, setting up link building campaigns, and other techniques.

By understanding the difference between strategy and tactics, you can ensure that you are taking the right steps in order to maximize your SEO efforts.

Google’s Search Essentials (Webmaster Guidelines)

So, how do we know what kind of tactics are allowed and encouraged by Google?

That’s where the Google Search Essentials—formerly known as Webmaster Guidelines—prove to be invaluable.

These guidelines provide detailed information about what Google looks for when it crawls and indexes webpages.

They cover things like the quality of your content, how you link to other pages, and the types of page titles and meta descriptions you use.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your website is properly optimized for search engines and that it meets Google’s standards.

Common SEO Myths

A picture of SEO 101: A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide with The King Of Search There are a lot of misconceptions about SEO, and it can be difficult to separate the myths from the truth. Here are some of the most common SEO misconceptions, and how to address them:

Myth: You should keyword stuff your content like it’s 1999

Truth: Keyword stuffing is a (very) outdated strategy that can actually harm your website’s ranking in the SERPs. Instead, use keywords naturally in your content and focus on optimizing the quality of your content.

Myth: Content length doesn’t really matter

Truth: Content length does have an impact on SEO because Google looks at content quality when ranking webpages. Quality, well-researched and informative content helps to establish your website as an authority and can help increase search engine rankings.

Myth: SEO is all about getting links

Truth: SEO involves a lot more than just backlinks. Other factors like content quality, page titles and meta descriptions, and user experience can all impact your search engine rankings.

Myth: SEO takes “too long” to start working

Truth: SEO can take some time to start showing results, but you can start seeing improvements within a few months of beginning your optimization efforts. Focus on improving the quality and relevance of your content, as well as optimizing all aspects of your website, and you should start to see improvement over time.

By educating yourself about SEO—as you are right now—you can ensure that you are taking the right steps to optimize your website and rank higher in the SERPs.

How Long Does SEO Take To Start Working?

SEO can take some time to start showing results, as it takes time for Google to crawl and index all the pages of a website.

However, it is possible to start seeing improvements in search engine rankings within a few months of beginning your optimization efforts.

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The time frame depends on the amount of work you are doing, as well as the size and complexity of your website.

If you’re optimizing a large website with many pages and have been working on it for over 6 months, you can expect to start seeing improvements sooner rather than later.

However, if you’re just starting out and have only been working on it for a few weeks, be patient. You’re going to need to put in some work and time before you can see any real results.

Ultimately, SEO is an ongoing process—and it takes consistent effort to achieve long-term success.

That’s the nature of the beast.

But by focusing on optimizing all aspects of your website, such as content, page titles and meta descriptions, images, links, user experience, and more, you will be able to increase your search engine rankings over time.

Know Your Customer

If you’ve been a business owner for some time, chances are you’ve already pictured who your ideal audience is.

You may even have several “ideal” customers.

Knowing who you’re targeting with your SEO efforts can help you identify the right keywords and ensure that your content appeals to the right people.

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Try creating a “buyer persona” for your target audience.

Include detailed information such as age, location, interests and more.

This will help you better visualize who your ideal customer is and what kind of content they are looking for.

Many businesses will have more than one target audience—so create a buyer persona for each one, if applicable.

Knowing who you are targeting and what they care about will help you create content that is relevant and useful for them, which will in turn help to boost your search engine rankings.

You should also use the language and terms that your target audience uses when creating content. That part should come naturally—if you’re writing your content naturally.

Core Elements of SEO

Now that we’re on solid ground with some of the basic concepts of SEO, let’s dig deeper into some of the core elements.

These are some of the essential components of SEO you should focus on to help your content/website rank higher in the SERPs:

Key On-Page Factors

  • Meta titles and descriptions
  • Page content
  • Quality and depth of content
  • Internal linking
  • Alt text for images
  • URL structure

Key Off-Page Factors

  • Backlinks
  • Social media presence
  • Link building strategies
  • Guest blogging
  • Sharing/social signals
  • NAP consistency*

*NAP stands for Name-Address-Phone Number. You want these things to be completely consistent everywhere your company/brand appears online.

Believe it or not, there are hundreds of different SEO elements and factors that you’ll need to consider—eventually.

But these are some of the fundamentals that business owners and site owners should focus on before they move on to more advanced SEO tactics.

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By understanding and optimizing these core elements, you will be able to increase your website’s visibility in the SERPs.

It may take a while to get the hang of SEO and see results, but if you’re truly committed—all your effort will be worth it.

How to Optimize Your Website for Better Search Engine Rankings

Now that we’ve established some of the core elements of SEO, let’s look at some basic practical advice for how a beginner can start optimizing their content to improve its search engine rankings.

  1. Start by improving your page titles and meta descriptions. They should accurately describe the content of each page and include keywords that are relevant to your target audience.
  2. Make sure that all of your pages are optimized for mobile devices and that your website loads quickly. Google prioritizes mobile-friendly and fast loading websites in its rankings, so make sure your website meets these requirements.
  3. Focus on creating quality content that is useful and interesting to your target audience. Easy, right? Include keywords throughout the text and don’t forget to include images, videos, and other multimedia elements.

Finally, use link building and other off-page SEO tactics to increase the authority of your website.

This includes things like guest blogging, social media promotion, and white hat link building strategies.

Why Links are Important for SEO

Links are an important part of SEO. They help search engines understand the relationships between web pages and how they are connected.

Incoming links from other websites to yours is one of the most important ranking signals for search engines, as it helps them understand the quality and relevance of your content.

When someone links to your website, it is seen as a “vote” for your website and signals to search engines that other people find the content on your site valuable. This is why link building is an important part of SEO.

Look at it this way:

If you have a website about fishing, and you write an article about fly fishing for trout, it will be much more valuable to have a backlink from a website about fishing than from a website about cooking.

(Well, if it was a seafood cooking site, maybe the latter would work too.)

However, if a popular fishing magazine links to your site, this tells search engines that your content is likely relevant and useful to readers who are interested in fishing.

This is why it’s important to focus on building quality links from relevant websites.

If you are able to get high-quality incoming links from other websites, it will help improve your website’s visibility in the SERPs.

You can achieve this by creating content that is relevant, informative, and useful for other webmasters or bloggers who may want to link back to you.

Why Content Is (Still) King In SEO

Content plays an important role when it comes to SEO. It helps search engines understand what your website is about and how it relates to the topics that people are searching for.

When creating content, make sure that it is of high quality and relevant to your target audience. You should also include the keywords that you want to rank for in a natural way throughout the content.

This helps search engines understand the relevance of your content for certain keywords and how it ranks compared to other websites.

Furthermore, if your content is engaging and useful to your readers, it will help boost your website’s reputation and authority.

This is because people will be more likely to share your content and link back to it.

See how everything is connected? Content, links, and SEO all go hand in hand.

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There are plenty of other things you can do to optimize your content for SEO—for example:

  • Make sure to structure your content properly and add alt text, titles and descriptions to images.
  • You can also make use of internal linking, which helps search engine spiders crawl your website more efficiently, and understand which pages on your site are the most “important.”

A lot of optimizing content these days involves writing naturally for the reader, not for search engines. Write content that is interesting and engaging to your target audience and make sure to include keywords in a natural way.

Always monitor your content and keep it updated so that your readers have access to the latest and most useful information. This will help increase your overall website authority and ranking.

Why User Experience Matters for SEO

Picture this: you are browsing the web, looking for a specific product or service. You come across two websites and decide to visit them both to compare prices and features.

The first website you visit has a great design and lots of helpful information. But the second website looks outdated and is confusing to navigate.

Which website are you more likely to stay on?

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User experience is an important factor when it comes to SEO. If people don’t like the design and usability of your website, they are less likely to stay on it and explore.

Search engines understand this and take user experience into account when ranking websites. This means that if your website has a better user experience than your competitors, it will likely rank higher in the SERPs.

To optimize for user experience, make sure to focus on website design and usability. Use attractive and responsive web design that works well across all devices, as well as a clear navigation structure to help visitors find what they are looking for quickly.

You should also make sure your website loads quickly and provide helpful, relevant content that answers your audience’s questions.

By making your website user-friendly, you will help boost your SEO efforts and rank higher in the SERPs.

Getting Tooled Up: SEO Tools

There are many tools available to help you with your SEO efforts. These tools can help you understand how people are searching for your content, which keywords to use in your content, and even how well you’re performing compared to your competitors.

Some of the most popular SEO tools include Google Search Console, SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs.

  • Google Search Console is a free tool that helps you track and optimize your website for better performance in the SERPs. It gives you insights into how people are finding your website, which pages are performing well, and which keywords you should target in your content.
  • SEMrush is a great tool for keyword research and competitor analysis. It allows you to see which keywords are driving traffic to your website and how well your competitors are performing.
  • Moz is another popular tool that offers a range of SEO-related features such as keyword research, link building and website optimization.
  • Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO tool that gives you access to a range of features such as content analysis, backlink monitoring and competitor research.

There are many, many, many other SEO tools available, so make sure to do your research and find the best one for your needs.

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Good SEO tools (and good SEO in general) can make a huge difference in how your website performs in the SERPs—and that means more traffic and more conversions for you.

By using the right SEO tools, you will have all the insights and data needed to optimize your website for better search engine rankings.

Staying Ahead of the Curve in SEO

Unlike some other digital marketing strategies, SEO is in a constant state of flux. Always changing, always evolving, always adapting to new technologies and algorithms.

This can make it difficult to stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and techniques.

It’s hard enough for SEO professionals to stay ahead of the curve, so it’s even more difficult for business owners who don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to learning SEO.

The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to be proactive. Keep an eye out for news and updates from Google, as well as industry news and blogs to get an idea of what’s new and upcoming in the world of SEO.

You should also make sure to invest in monitoring tools so you can see what’s working and what’s not. That way, you can make necessary adjustments to your SEO strategy and keep up with the changes.

SEO tactics and algorithms may change, but the fundamentals of good SEO will remain the same—providing visitors with a good user experience, creating high-quality content, and building authority. Those will never go out of style.

Best practices may change as time goes on, but the focus should always be on providing your visitors with a great experience and making sure they can find what they’re looking for.

By following the latest SEO trends and staying on top of changes to Google’s algorithms, you can ensure that your website remains visible and continues to rank well in the SERPs.

Black Hat vs White Hat SEO

If you’re going to dive into the world of SEO, you should know the difference between Black Hat and White Hat SEO.

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Marnie Joyce from New York City, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll hear a lot of discussion on both sides about “black hat” and “white hat” tactics, but it essentially boils down to this: black hat tactics are unethical methods that violate Google’s Search Essentials (formerly known as Webmaster Guidelines) and can get your website penalized—or even removed from the SERPs.

They’re the “get rich quick scheme” of SEO, which—just like late night infomercials—can easily attract a lot of people.

White hat tactics, on the other hand, are ethical and compliant with Google’s guidelines.

They may take longer to see results, but they’ll be more effective and much, much longer-lasting in the long run.

Black hat SEOs are typically the ones who use sleazy methods such as keyword stuffing and link farms to try to get quick and dirty results.

These techniques are generally outdated, ineffective, and can get your website into some pretty hot water with Google.

Which is something you don’t want, if you want your site to, you know, be findable by anyone.

They’ll often promise quick results.

And sometimes—they can even deliver them.

But they don’t last.

After a short time, they end up hurting your website—after you’ve already wasted your money and time on them.

White hat SEO professionals are more focused on providing a great user experience and creating high-quality content that’s in line with Google’s guidelines.

They’ll typically take more time to see results, but the results are more sustainable and longer-lasting.

The key takeaway is this: when it comes to SEO, always opt for white hat tactics. It may take a bit longer to see results, but it’s worth the additional effort in the long run.

Just E-E-A-T It

Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines (formerly “E-A-T”) stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s Google’s way of saying that, in order to rank well, your website must demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and—above all—trustworthiness.

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For example, if you’re a financial services business, you should make sure your content is written by actual experts in the field and that all of the content adheres to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

If you’re a fishing charter captain, your content should be written by people with actual fishing experience.

You should also focus on creating high-quality content that’s up to date and relevant. This will help establish your website as an authoritative source in the field, and ultimately help you rank better in the SERPs.

Now for that T—make sure your website is trustworthy by using HTTPS encryption and building trust with your visitors.

This will help ensure that your visitors feel secure when browsing your website and that they will want to visit again in the future.

According to Google, trust is the most important factor in E-E-A-T.

After all, if you have a lot of expertise but you can’t be trusted—why should anyone listen to you?

By following Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines, you can help ensure that your website is visible and ranking well in the SERPs.

Use a Mobile-Friendly Design

With more and more people turning to their mobile devices for web browsing, it’s important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile.

Google has stated that it will generally favor websites with mobile-friendly designs over those without.

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Mobile-first website design isn’t going out of style any time soon—so make sure your website is designed to be responsive and easy to navigate on smaller screens.

You know: smartphones (mainly Androids & iPhones), tablets (iPads, Galaxy Tabs, Microsoft Surfaces, etc.) and mini laptops.

On top of that, make sure you’re using the latest technologies such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for faster loading times.

Optimize Your Site For Speed

One of the most important parts of SEO is optimizing your website for speed.

If a page on your site takes too long to load, visitors are likely to leave before they even have a chance to view the content.

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Therefore, make sure you minify your code, compress your images and videos, and use a content delivery network to serve up the content quickly.

Code Minification Tools

This will help ensure that your website loads quickly for all visitors—regardless of their device or location.

Monitor The Effectiveness of Your Efforts

It’s important to monitor your SEO effectiveness regularly. Use tools such as Google Search Console or SEMrush to track how well your website is ranking in the SERPs and to help identify any potential issues you may need to address.

This will give you an idea of which parts of your SEO strategy are working and which ones need improvement. You can then make adjustments accordingly to ensure that your website is always visible and ranking highly in the SERPs.

Optimize Your Images

Images are a great way to add visual appeal to your website—it’d be pretty boring without ’em, frankly.

So it’s also important to optimize them for SEO.

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Make sure you use descriptive file names, and include relevant keywords in the alt text and description.

This will encourage search engines to index your images, and improve your chances of appearing in image searches—not a bad thing.

Compared to text content, images can take up a lot of time to load. So it’s important to optimize them for speed as well.

Compress your images and videos so they don’t slow down your website and make sure you’re using the latest technologies like WebP for faster loading times.

Some people think that optimizing images for SEO is complicated and time-consuming—and it definitely can be—but it doesn’t have to be.

It may not always be necessary to optimize every single image on your website, but make sure you’re consistently optimizing the “featured” or important ones.

Use Structured Data Markup

Structured data markup may sound like jargon, but it’s basically just special code that helps Google better understand the content on your website.

It can help identify events, reviews, products, recipes, articles, videos—just about anything.

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By using structured data markup on your website, you’re giving Google’s crawlers more information so they can better understand the content and display it appropriately.

Google can then display your corresponding content—i.e. a recipe for Spanish Mackerel—in a more visually noticeable way. (Refer to the image above for an example.)

This will help improve your content’s visibility in the SERPs, and it’ll definitely give you an edge over competitors who aren’t using structured data markup.

It may take some time to learn how to use structured data markup, but once you get the hang of it, it’s relatively easy to implement—at least, if you’re comfortable with coding.

So make sure you (or your SEO agency) is taking advantage of this important technique.

Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate can negatively affect your website rankings, so it’s important to keep an eye on it.

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. If this number is too high, it could mean that your content is not relevant or interesting for visitors and search engines will take this into consideration when ranking your pages.

To reduce your bounce rate, make sure you’re optimizing your content for relevance and providing interesting and engaging content that visitors want to read. This will help keep them on the page longer and improve your rankings in the SERPs.

Social Signals

Social media is an important part of any digital marketing strategy, and it can also play a role in your SEO efforts.

Search engines consider the number of social signals (likes, shares, etc.) your website receives when ranking content.

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Make sure you’re active on social media and using it to promote your content.

As with the other tips in this guide, it’ll help increase your content’s chances of appearing higher in the SERPs.

Sharing content is pretty easy these days—but don’t forget to add social sharing buttons to your website/blog posts so it’s as easy as possible for visitors to share your content on their own social media accounts.

As for yourself, you should be sharing quality content from your website on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (not copying and pasting it, but linking back to your website). This will help search engines understand that people are engaging with your content, which is good for rankings.

While we’re here, it’s never a bad idea to make sure that you’re also using social media to build relationships with people in your industry.

Besides the obvious benefits of business networking, this can help organically increase the number of relevant backlinks pointed towards your website—great for SEO.

Internal Links

These days, internal links are just as important as external links when it comes to SEO.

They help search engines better understand the structure of your website and rank it accordingly.

Internal links also help visitors navigate your website more effectively, which can lead to higher engagement and longer visit times.

Make sure you’re using the right anchor text for each internal link to give search engines a clearer picture of what’s important on your website.

When you’re talking about content silos, internal links are especially important because they help search engines understand the relationships between different topics on your website. So make sure you’re properly linking to related content throughout your website.

What To Do When The SEO Hits The Fan

No matter how prepared you are, things will eventually go wrong in SEO.

You might have pages that aren’t being indexed.

You might, with the best intentions, follow some bad SEO advice.

You could even get directly hit with a penalty from Google. (ouch)

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to know what to do when these situations arise.

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First, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you can fix it.

Then, make sure you’re taking the right steps to get back on track.

This could include disavowing any bad links, fixing technical errors, or optimizing your content for relevance.

Fortunately, Google makes it easy to diagnose and fix SEO issues with their Search Console.

So take advantage of all the helpful tools Google offers to ensure that your website is optimized properly for search engines.

Once you’ve corrected any SEO issues, monitor your rankings closely, and continue to optimize regularly.

Analyze and adjust your tactics and overall strategy as needed so similar mistakes don’t happen in the future.

Local SEO vs Organic SEO

If you’re a local business, it’s especially important to make sure your website is optimized for local searches.

This is where local SEO comes in.

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Local SEO focuses on optimizing your website for regional search results. This means you’ll be targeting keywords related to your location and services, which could help you rank higher in local SERPs.

Organic SEO is geared towards optimizing your website for broad keyword searches. This means you’re targeting more generic keywords that are not related to your location or services.

Both organic and local SEO are important, but it’s important to know the differences between them and which one might be most beneficial for your business.

Google My Business (GMB) is an essential tool for local SEO. GMB allows businesses to create and manage their business information on Google, which improves their visibility in Google’s search results.

GMB also makes it easier for customers to find your business online by providing detailed information about your services, location, hours of operation, and more.

GMB is essential for local SEO but it’s not the only tool available. Other tools include creating localized content such as blogs and articles, building citations from other websites, and more.

NAP consistency and optimization is crucial for local SEO. NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. It’s important to make sure all of your information is up-to-date, accurate, and consistent with any other listings or sources of your business info.

Just like organic SEO, local SEO requires ongoing optimization and maintenance to improve visibility in search engines. You’ll want to regularly monitor your organic and local rankings, adjust keywords as needed, and add new content or citations whenever possible.

Additionally, it’s important to respond to reviews on GMB and other directories to maintain a positive online presence and a trustworthy reputation—not just in regard to customer service, but for E-E-A-T as well.

How SEO Relates to Brand Building

Think of the last time you googled something. Chances are, the first few results that appeared were from well-known companies with strong SEO strategies.

Even if you didn’t click on those results, you’ve already made a connection between them and their brand.

Search engine optimization isn’t just about improving your rankings in the SERPs. It’s also an important part of building and maintaining a strong brand.

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Keyword: Fast Food – Entity: McDonalds

When people search for your business or industry, you want to make sure that your website appears at the top of the list. This will give them a good first impression of your company and can lead to greater brand recognition.

Look at it this way: SEO is like a doorway to your business. It’s the first thing people see when they search for you—so make sure it stands out!

Continuing SEO Education

Search engine optimization is an ever-evolving field and new trends emerge all the time.

That’s why it’s so important to stay up to date with SEO best practices and continue to educate yourself on new methods and strategies.

Follow industry experts on social media, read SEO blogs, and attend webinars or even physical conferences whenever you can.

(If you’re like most business owners, attending an SEO conference is probably not high on your list of things to do—but hey, putting it out there.)

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Even if you think you know everything there is to know about SEO, there’s always something new to learn.

Keep following The King of Search, and you’re sure to stay ahead of the competition.

That’s about it for our SEO 101 beginner’s guide to SEO. We’ve covered a lot of ground, shared a few laughs—even shed a few tears. In any case, we hope this has been helpful, and that you’ve picked up some useful, actionable information along the way.

Good luck with your SEO journey and we wish you all the best in achieving top rankings—well, as long as you aren’t competing with our clients, that is.

Have any other questions about SEO? Let us know and we’d be happy to help. Until then, keep reading The King of Search wiki for the latest digital marketing trends and search engine optimization tips, tricks, and strategies.

Hidden Track: How to Audit Your Own SEO

If you’ve read this far, you’re likely well on your way to a successful SEO strategy (or at least a pretty big migraine from all the blue light—take a break!)

A comprehensive SEO audit can help you identify any areas that need improvement and ensure that all of your hard work is paying off.

It will also inform future strategies so that you can maximize your rankings.

A picture of SEO 101: A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide with The King Of Search

Conducting an audit will help you identify any areas for improvement, as well as pinpoint potential problems that may be affecting your rankings.

Some key things to look for include:

  • Page loading speeds
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Site security
  • Broken links and other technical errors
  • Quality of content
  • Social media presence and engagement

Here’s a very quick guide on how to audit your own SEO:

  1. Start by analyzing your keywords and content. You can use a keyword analysis tool or an online SEO tool like SpyFu or SEMrush to identify relevant search terms and phrases related to your business, and find your (approximate) current rankings for them. Based on the results, you may need to update or rewrite existing content to make it more search engine friendly, or create new content that covers topics that customers are searching for.
  2. Check for Technical Issues: Check technical factors such as page loading speed, HTML code errors, broken links, security issues, and crawlability of your website pages. UReview these elements of your site in order to improve user experience and maximize the impact of search engines on your website traffic.
  3. Analyze Competitors: Do some competitor research by taking a look at what other websites in your industry are doing better than you. Observe their content strategy, page optimization techniques and link building tactics in order to determine which strategies might work for you as well. Consider using tools such as Ahrefs in order to compare backlink profiles between competitors and gain insight into where potential opportunities lie for improvement on your own end.
  4. Monitor Rankings & Traffic: To monitor progress over time and accurately track the success of efforts taken thus far use analytics programs such as Google Analytics that offer detailed insight into visitor behavior on various pages of your site (i.e., session duration, bounce rate etc.) so that these trends can be identified and actioned accordingly later down the line if desired/needed.

By performing regular audits, you can ensure that your SEO strategy is always on the right track and that your website continues to rank highly in search engine results.

Now you know all there is to know about SEO—so get out there and dominate those rankings!

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional SEO advice or services. Please consult a qualified SEO professional if you need help with your website or search engine optimization strategy.

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