SEO Basics for Beginners
Have you heard the term SEO and thought to yourself, "S-E-whaaat?" Well, for starters, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. Still scratching your head? Let us break it down into more simple terms.
Most people find websites by doing an online search via Google, Bing, Yahoo (etc). Search Engine Optimization is a process marketers use to help your website appear on the first few pages (and ideally the first page!) of search results. Search Engines use a complex set of algorithms to determine which sites will rank the highest in the results.
For example, let's say you own a hair salon in Palm Beach, Florida. When someone searches Google for "hair cut palm beach," you want your business to show up on the first page of search results. SEO is the intricate process in obtaining these first page results. Ultimately, it means that people will be able to find your business or website more easily.
SEO consists of two main parts: Optimization and Authority.
What's Optimization? Optimization allows search engines to understand the content of your website, including the keywords you're targeting and what products or services you're selling. Search engines will then display your website in the search results when someone searches for your keywords.
What's Authority? Authority means that Google (and other search engines) know that your website has great content for its users. Authoritative websites put out informative, engaging content that users are naturally inclined to share; and sharing alerts search engines that the content must be good. The more authority a website has, the higher it will rank in search results.
Let's recap. SEO is two things: allowing search engines to understand and display your website, and convincing search engines to rank it before other similar websites in the search results.
Now that you understand optimization and authority, let's move on to the different types of Search Engine Optimization.
SEO serves two masters: Humans and Search Engines.
Humans are targeted using on-page elements (the stuff people see when they visit a webpage) and Search Engines are targeted using technical SEO elements (behind the scenes aspects that search engines see when they scan a page).
In the infographic below, we've listed a few of the factors that affect on-page SEO elements and technical SEO elements rankings. Check it out!