Did you know that there have been 5,050,000,000 and counting Google searches today? That is not including other search engines. What does this mean?
This means that showing up on the right pages and in the right searches on Google can be the factor that could make or break your brand and website. Achieving success in standing out in the virtual world depends on SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. But there is so much more to it than that. My guide to SEO for Beginners will simplify the basics and determine what it means to using and managing SEO in 2020 for businesses and companies.
SEO involves the art of being visible and ranked high on Google listings in the unpaid section (often known as organic listings). It is ‘optimization’ of your online content so that a search engine or Google deems it favorable and similar to the top results of a certain keyword.
70% of users start their searches on Google. Usually they find what they are looking for on the first page itself. How do you ensure your page or blog reaches that first page or top 5 results of Google search?
There are four factors in SEO that constitute the basics-
- Search Volumes behind keywords
- Organic Search Traffic
- Conversions of Customers (looking for our content/keywords/products)
These factors will determine your SEO strategy and campaign.
CONTENT, TOPICS, & KEYWORDS
The original and basic SEO strategy relied heavily on keywords. Keywords and keyword targeting meant that pages, posts, and blogs were built specifically around your targeted keyword or content.
The problem that many marketers and content writers discovered was that keywords can become redundant very easily. Finding the highest-performing keywords and including them in your content is a simple way to gain traffic. But there are a variety of keywords and types available. These keywords have different goals for different SEO campaigns-
- Money Keywords
- Branded Keywords
- Phrase Match Keywords
- Head Keywords
- Long-Tail Keywords
- Short Tail Keywords
- Supporting Keywords
While keywords remain a foundational skill and idea of SEO, there has been a changing dynamic towards topics and entities. Keywords are specific terms, while topics/concepts/content or entities suggest broader ideas and definitions of the terms.
You can use research tools like Answer The Public to gain insights into your industry, learn keywords, and entities that are useful for your industry. It is a great resource for topics favorable to you and your business.
What if you cover multiple topics? This blog post has provided me amazing ideas on optimizing content and website for multiple topics. The idea is to keep reading, learning, and help others grow equally.
IS CONTENT KING?
We all talk about high-quality content is important, content being king, et al. But can Google really distinguish between good or poor quality content? What if you write a resourceful, helpful blog post and somebody writes a shoddy, filler post stuffed with keywords. Which do you think maybe ranked higher in a search engine?
For creating high-quality content, just writing, and posting every day is not enough. You have to consider an array of factors to achieve reach and target your audience.
- What is your main focus/niche/industry?
- Your future plans/roles
- Your competition
- Your peers
- Google Algorithm
- Global scenario
SEO is complex, evolving, and requires constant monitoring. There are layers of algorithms, factors, and numbers involved in successful SEO strategies. These basic factors will provide you a direction and an indication of which processes to work on.
White Hat/Black Hat/Gray Hat
Different types of SEOs work for different businesses and individuals.
White Hat SEO is the right way of building a sustainable following, brand, and business. It follows Google’s guidelines, is ethical, and transparent. The reports that White Hat SEO generates offers actionable intelligence for entrepreneurs and digital marketers.
Black Hat SEO on the other hand gets you short-term results by bending the rules, spamming content with keywords, and generating poor content. Black Hat SEO uses software and techniques to build links that push their rankings immediately. They can also be penalized or banned by Google for unethical and illegal practices.
Gray Hat SEO takes the best of both worlds and offers marketers ways to build traffic by staying within the lines. Gray Hat SEO captures on Google’s changing rules and contradictory regulations to promote their growth and increase traffic.
Like I said before, SEO is evolving CONSTANTLY and Google’s regulations also get altered and modulated as time changes.
WHAT SEO MEANS IN 2020
This was a quick glimpse at the basics of SEO and how Google monitors your content and performance. Google Algorithms was updated in 2018 which indicated a massive shift towards building authority and trust.
That is what good content, brands, and businesses boil down to. In 2020, especially with the fluid global scenario, committing to your readers and followers implies creating authority, transparency, and trust. Answer the questions your users and readers are asking.
Answer them in a way NOBODY else can. Be honest about what value you provide. Be CONSISTENT.
SEO strategies don’t work immediately. As confusing it seems, it’s not magic. It requires an organized, multi-disciplinary approach with research and analysis.