FXLiveGuides

Video: SEO for Beginners

 
Dan Shaffer explains the basics of SEO.

SEO for Beginners

Hey everyone, my name is Dan and I work here at WebFX.

Welcome to WebFX LiveGuides! This is the first of our series of six videos for SEO for beginners, and we will be going over a lot of different things to help you as a business and a marketing manager to build out some SEO, for those of you who aren’t as familiar with it.

So there’s a lot to unpack when it comes to SEO and there’s so many different angles we could go at with this, but let’s take a step back to cover all the bases here.

First off, when we talk about SEO, we generally mean search engine optimization, but also SEO on Google.

There’s a lot of different search engines out there, but Google dominates the market share with about 80-90% of searches going through Google.

It mostly makes sense to use Google in all of your SEO efforts, and let the focus be there rather than wasting some of your time on Bing or Yahoo, or even some of the other tiny, tiny ones out there.

Now let’s take a look at your typical search engine results page, or SERP. A lot of people will say SERP, SERPs, stuff like that.

Here is your typical SERP, as much as four different ads are at the top, and then there are usually ten organic results on the bottom below them.

There are a lot of different searches out there, and you might see a map, or even more product ads at the top, depending on what you search for.

And we want you to show up in those 10 organic results at the bottom, whereas the ads are considered the pay-per-click advertising side of things.

So when you search something you get all of these results in a split second, however, there is so much going on in the background after, or even before the milliseconds it takes for those results to show up, and that’s what we’ll kind of unpack here, going forward. .

But first, let’s talk about why it’s important to even show up in those results.

A lot of people don’t even look at the second page, and a lot of people don’t even click past the fifth result.

So it’s very important that if you’re doing SEO, there’s a focus of trying to maintain a level of… showing up between the first and fifth result of the search results.

Actually, more than 30% of searches click on that first result. So depending on your industry, especially if you’re selling products and there’s a high volume of searches, you’ll see a huge difference in your revenue if you rank between one and two. And in some cases, for some products, it’s a million dollar per year difference between result one and two.

If you’re a business that’s B2B however, that’s still very important, however, more than 90% of users are using Google in their buying process, and 78% of the B2B buyers start with Google.

So even if you aren’t sure this is the thing, the strategy for you to tackle, I encourage you to Google your competitors and see what’s showing up for the services that you offer and I guarantee there’s at least one or two competitors, even if you’re a small B2B business, that are out there gaining business that you should probably be getting too.

So it’s very important to show up when someone Googles something related to your product or service. This is no secret, a lot of your competitors are probably doing this right now. And you can almost steal some ideas or concepts form them.

So like I said, ranking one or two is going to be very important.

Often, you won’t be able to do that for your main product or service – let’s say you just sell swimming pools, or something like that in your local area – you’re probably not ever going to rank for “swimming pools.”

However, you might rank really well for “swimming pools [location].”

There’s a lot of keywords that are nationally recognized that are just not as easy to go for, and it wouldn’t always make sense for you to go after those either.

So I know what you might be thinking, “Dan! How do I rank?”

Well, there’s no magic wand, we don’t have a contact at Google who we just call up and say, “Hey, here for a hundred bucks, can you get so-and-so up there in search results?” It’s not that easy. Actually, it used to be that easy, but Google caught on – it was very spammy, it was very sketchy.

Even just five years ago, now it’s a lot more quality driven. Google does a really good job at making sure the proper results are ranking as much as possible.

So there’s a lot to go over as far as how you rank, and that’s kind of what the next six videos are about. So we’ll get started, I’ll show you how a search engine kind of measures and looks at your website and why it decides to rank for it, and hopefully that will give you a good start to your SEO strategy.

So we need to learn how a search engine works before we can actually make anything that will rank. And Google in this instance has a crawler that goes around, sometimes as they call it, the crawlbot or the spider, and it will crawl the entire web, or as much as it can find, and find these web pages and run it through their algorithm.

Now that algorithm spits out basically a score, or a grade or something that in comparison to all the other websites, and basically determines where it should rank in a search result.

The Google algorithm contains hundreds of different items that we don’t really know for sure what is what. We do have a good hunch that there are at least 200 factors involved in ranking a site, however, I’ve heard as much as 500 – there’s a lot of different arguments out there.

However, there are a few different things that it is heavily weighted on.

Google doesn’t give us a checklist of the 200 plus different items that we need to know.

We do know it comes down to two different things – the on-page SEO and the off-page SEO.

These are very complicated areas that have, again, those hundreds of things involved.

Just note that on-page SEO has something to do with your content, off-page SEO has something to do with the links pointing to your website.

So obviously the first step you need to do is to make the actual content that you want to rank. There’s a lot of different areas that you need to improve with your content.

One, it needs to be high quality, it can’t just be poor grammar, bad spelling – Google actually knows how to check for that.

And it also has to be lengthy, it can’t be 100-200 words. If you’re providing some information in particular that needs to be extensive, then go ahead and write 1,000- 2,000 words about it.

Those are often the pages that rank the best.

Now that doesn’t always work for ecommerce products, or something like that.

But generally, the longer the content, the better it ranks.

Links are very important, and links have been known as one of the biggest drivers of SEO, besides what’s actually on your website.

Google determines what websites should be ranked based on how informative, or how much authority it has. And one of the only ways to know what that is, is based on other websites that are saying, “You have a valuable source,” and they’ll link to it.

That’s how Google runs, based on the content you have and then the links pointing to it.

Now when it comes to links, there’s a lot of different things you can consider a link.

However, not all links are equal. Google’s algorithm has gotten really smart at determining what is a spammy link, and what is a link that really describes who you are as a company.

And links are everywhere, so that’s why Google kind of has to be picky about where and how it gives value to different links so that the proper authority is given to you as a business.

Links are a topic all in itself so we’ll have a video later on in the series for you to kind of view and get a better idea over link building and on link quality in general.

Now there’s a lot on the backend of your website that should be optimized as well, and not just the content.

If you don’t know HTML, it’s not that hard. If you have a site built on Wordpress or another CMS, you’re probably further ahead than others in that you don’t need to know HTML.

However, setting things like title tags, H1 tags, meta descriptions are very helpful in getting your site to rank better.

One is your title tag. Your title tag is usually indicated by, if you ever see that tab at the top of your browser, and it gives you a little bit of information on what your webpage is.

Google actually takes that same tag and puts it in the search results to indicate what’s on that page.

If the keyword you’re trying to rank for is not in your title tag, then it’s a fat chance that you’ll actually rank for that.

I recommend using our SEO checker that we have on our website. It will give you a really good description of what’s wrong with your particular website, and it’ll tell you how to fix them.

So you get a good idea of where you could improve your content and the keyword usage that you’re trying to rank for across all of those different tags, how to fix them – especially if you’re an HTML site, or maybe you have Wordpress, it would be easier to implement those changes.

Content in itself is a completely different strategy. There is a lot that goes behind the content marketing side of things that ties into SEO. SEO is actually more of an ongoing strategy that is a core function of content marketing and all of the other things that come after that.

We’ll have two more videos coming up to kind of help you form the content with the keyword research and some content building and content marketing type strategies to go with that – so stay tuned for those videos.

I recommend watching them, I also recommend a few other resources, and we have some beginner tutorials on our website, the SEO checker, definitely run your website through there. That will give you a really good idea of what needs improved and where to improve that.

If you ever have any questions at all, feel free to message us, you can tweet us, you can call us on the phone, you can contact us on our form on the website.

Thanks for watching, I hope to see you guys in the next video and stay tuned to learn more about SEO for beginners.

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