Beginner-friendly Guide To SEO And How It Can Help Your Business

Beginner-friendly Guide To SEO And How It Can Help Your Business

With so many websites out there, it can be incredibly hard for businesses to connect with the right customers. You would think that only large, established, and popular brands have this privilege. However, the reality is a bit different. Thanks to search engine optimization, the internet is not the monopoly of prominent players. Many small to mid companies, and local businesses, are also getting the opportunity to compete for their own place in the market. They leverage SEO to increase online visibility, drive traffic to their website, and eventually profit from sales. If you are a business owner, reading a beginner-friendly guide to SEO is sometimes all you need to get things started.

Quick beginner-friendly guide to SEO to help with your business promotion

SEO marketing strategies are essential for any type of website. No matter if you are selling products, offering services, or simply sharing some helpful information. Unfortunately, many don't prioritize this type of optimization. They simply create a website, launch it without serious considerations, and hope for the best. However, without elements like quality content, the right keywords, and a healthy link profile, there is little chance anyone will find you, especially if a business is dwelling in a highly competitive niche. Just like in the old days, you need a proper advertising campaign, so people can easily find you.

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

As you probably know, search engines are used to find any information available on the internet. Simply put, they help people discover, read about different topics, and offer answers to countless questions, with the goal of providing online users with the most relevant solutions. With this in mind, you can observe SEO as a set of optimization practices that help websites lead online users to them. Basically, SEO is doing it by helping search engines "detect", evaluate, and rank websites according to the quality of given information.

However, despite the name, SEO is not only about search engines. Indirectly, it's about understanding people's needs and providing them with the correct answers. When you know the users' intents, you can optimize your content to deliver exactly what they need.

Searching for restaurants in a browser on a laptop

How long does it take to see results?

Despite what we all might wish for, SEO is not an instant one-time solution for increasing online visibility. Even for local SEO, where you only optimize your business website for a specific area, it doesn't happen overnight. In most cases, it takes a lot of effort and time (at least 4 months) before you see the first results. And, it doesn't even end there. You have to constantly work on your SEO efforts if you want to keep those hard-earned top positions.

Benefits of SEO for your business

An effective SEO strategy brings a lot of benefits to your business. Some of the most distinguished are:

• Increasing the brand awareness
• Improving online visibility
• Drive more traffic to your website
• Generate quality leads
• Help you connect and establish quality relationships
• Push your website to top-ranking positions in search engine result pages (SERPs)
• Allow you to remain competitive

How do you optimize your business website

To improve your website's overall SEO potential, you have to consider some of the most important stages of optimization.

Diagrams of some of the white-hat SEO aspects

1. Keyword research

No matter what type of content you have on your website, you won't get much visibility without the right keywords. So, the first stage of optimization is to find the keywords you want to rank for. Basically, you will have to identify the terms people often search for in relation to your business and operations. However, it's easier said than done. To get the right keyword, consider the next few factors:

Relevance - how relevant the keywords are for searcher intents.
Volume - how often people search for a specific term.
Difficulty - how hard it will be to compete for a particular keyword.

Generally speaking, you can find many tools like Ahrefs and SEO Rush to help you analyze keywords. Without them, this task will be almost impossible to do. In addition, these tools can help you check not only your keywords but you can inspect your competitors as well.

2. Content creation

Once you have the right keywords, it's time to make an environment to use them. This is where content plays a crucial role. You will basically need to create content concentrated around these keywords for the best optimization. It has to be relevant, informative, original content that brings true value to your visitors. Besides, the content will be used later on for additional SEO tactics like backlink acquisition. It's also a canvas for creating visually appealing pages by adding images and other visual materials.

3. On-page optimization

Combining keywords with the content is just a part of the process. There are other factors on your pages that need to be optimized as well. This is called "On-Page optimization", and encompasses elements like:

• HTML structure
• Accessibility
• Title tags
• Meta Descriptions
• Proper use of headings
• Internal linking structure
• Alt attributes
• URL structure, and more

4. Technical SEO optimization

One aspect of SEO optimization that rises in popularity lately is technical optimization. This means, configuring your website to provide the best user experience possible. To provide a smooth experience to your visitors, consider:

• Website loading speed
• Page speed
• Appealing design
• Image optimization
• Clear navigation
• Ease of use
• Responsiveness
• Mobile-friendliness
• Proper redirections
• XML Sitemap
• Robots.txt, and others

In addition, this encompasses some basic choices, like choosing the right domain name and an efficient and reliable hosting provider.

5. Off-page optimization

Off-page optimization basically includes the activities concentrated around backlink building. Most importantly, backlinks are one of the major SEO factors that affect your ranking positions. In essence, you have to obtain high-quality backlinks to "prove" the value of your pages. When other websites find your content useful, they will have no problem connecting to you. However, there are other methods to obtain quality backlinks, like citation building and social media promotion.

Don't forget your Local SEO

Normally, you would assume that small businesses focus on improving their local visibility. Yet, many fail to make use of the potential that local SEO offers. As a result, their websites are missing valuable local traffic, and they are not easy to find on search engines. Especially not on Google Maps and similar local tools. That's why one of the first steps to proper local optimization is to create or claim a Google My Business account. Since it uses a set of separate factors, local businesses have more opportunities to remain competitive where it counts. Moreover, they can win top positions for local searches and attract quality leads.

Using a tablet to search for services on Google Maps


Overall, every business owner can use this beginner-friendly guide to SEO to help their business. While it doesn't cover all the SEO aspects in-depth, it can give you valuable guidelines. You will generally learn how SEO is working, what it encompasses, and how to make the first digital marketing steps. Later on, you can analyze the results of your efforts and make necessary changes according to your needs. Remember, the goal is to offer a value both search engines and users will appreciate, which will eventually increase traffic and the number of potential customers.

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