SEO 101: Learn the Basics of SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 02, 2018

The term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) typically evokes concepts like keywords and page optimization, but good SEO actually goes much further than that. Before you get too fixated on those keywords, it is important to understand all the things that contribute to good SEO. Here is a brief description of some of the most common ones.

On-Page Vs. Off-Page SEO

SEO is much like a game of chess. You have to position your pieces in a way that helps your website check and mate its competition when vying for that top spot on search engine results pages (SERPs). Some of those pieces reside on your website, but others are positioned elsewhere and attract attention to various pages and individual pieces of content that reside on your site.

On-page SEO refers to the things you do to attract the attention of search engines based on the quality of your content. We will look at a few specific examples of this in just a minute.

Off-page SEO refers to strategic ways to promote your content and drive unique visitors to specific things on your website (like blog posts, videos, landing pages, etc.). We will offer a few tips and examples for this shortly, too.

Common SEO Strategies

Written content includes things like blogs and articles, page meta descriptions, image text descriptions, and any other instance where the written word is used on a page. Your written content is also where keywords weigh most heavily.

It is important to never overuse keywords or make the use of one seem forced or out of place. You can also use connecting words to allow for the organic flow of ideas and your keywords will still be recognized and picked up by search engines.

Now let’s look at some other on-page SEO strategies that are often overlooked:

– Page formatting: Be sure that any blog or article you put on your site is presented in short paragraphs with distinct headings. Also see to it that every page on your site is responsive (loads properly on any device) and easy to scroll through.

– Articles and blogs: These should always be at least 350 words (500+ is better) in length. The longer and more informative the content, the better.

– Multimedia files: You want all your multimedia to be compressed as much as possible. This helps shorten load times which is an important consideration for good SEO.

When it comes to off-page SEO, there are a few easy things you can do to boost your rankings as well. Here are a few ideas:

– Back-link to your content via social media, forums, etc.: The more ways there are for people to find your content, the more quickly that content will be recognized. Back-linking also generates tons of traffic which also aids in ranking high.

– Promote your content on social media: This is the easiest way there is to generate back links since each time your link is shared it creates another one.

– Promote via PPC and CPC platforms. Pay-per-click and cost-per-click ads are a great way to promote your content and drive traffic to your site quickly. It is a great way to spur on the process of getting better rankings and broadening your reach.

While there is definitely more to explore when developing an understanding of what SEO is and how it works, what we’ve presented here provides a solid foundation for learning more and getting good at the game. We encourage you to take the time to examine your own SEO strategy, consult with a few experts, and develop content that is conducive to a strong showing on all the major search platforms.