The Basics of SEO
What is SEO?
The question we are frequently asked and, as digital presence is an ever growing presence in a business environment, people need answers!
Although SEO is something that especially after the recent Google algorithm changes, should be left to people who are completely in the know about what they’re doing. That’s not to say there is no reason not to learn the basics yourself, two great resources to teach yourself SEO are Moz and distilled, their blogs and resources are written by industry professionals and are extremely beneficial for anyone trying to learn SEO.
So, we’ll cover the basics in this blog and we’ll start with three segments of the practice and, as metadata was covered in the previous article “Writing Metadata for Search Engines”, we’ll leave metadata out. First we’re going to bust some jargon for you, then on-site fixes and then finally onto link building.
To start, let’s bust some jargon used in this blog for you:
- ALT Text – Alternate text is the description of a piece of media within your content, it’s not always neccessary if there is already a description of the image or video near to it
- Authority – Website Authority or Domain Authority is the trust given to a website by a search engine
- Backlink – Links from an external website
- Blackhat SEO – Blackhat SEO refers to aggressive tactics being used, writing content and metadata only for search engines and not end users or using different strategies to get links that you shouldn’t have
- Crawling – This basically means reading in Google’s terms, Google crawls each of your webpage’s content and metadata for consistency, repeat content and relevancy
- Follow/Nofollow – Follow links and no follow links either tell the search engine crawling the page to follow the links on the page or not to follow them
- Link building – Link building is the creation of external links to your website whether organically or manually (outreach)
- Metadata – Metadata is a description of the data that is going to be visible on the page (these include meta descriptions and titles)
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – The process of improving your websites organic ranking in search engines, which de-jargoned basically means where you will see your website on the search results page of a search engine.
On-site optimisation issues are usually something you will want to use your web developer for or entrust with a local Swansea SEO company but we’ll explain the basics to give you a head start!
On site issues can include anything from incorrect metadata to images not having ALT text, although the latter isn’t always a requirement it does let Google know when crawling what the image is and what relevance it has. The best way to ensure your on-site issues are kept to a minimum is by making sure you get your content right the first time, make sure the meta descriptions and titles aren’t too long or too short and that your content is written properly, with the correct spelling and grammar (and the main factor in ranking your webpages, use keywords!).
Link building is a highly discussed topic in the SEO world at the moment, some people think amount of backlinks is becoming less relevant to rankings whilst some think they are still as relevant as ever. One thing is for certain, they won’t harm you (if don’t properly), so why waste your time pondering whether they are AS relevant or not when you could build them up and measure the results for yourself?
You can build manual links, receive organic links or pay for “paid links” (paid links being massively penalised if caught, referred to as “Black Hat SEO”), organic links come from good social media, blogging or general audience interactions whereas manual links are physically searched for.
Manual link building is the process of finding relevant blogs, websites or social figures (with high social media presence) and contacting them for contextual links to your website through their blog or website, you should be aiming for people with higher authority websites.
If after reading this you’re still scratching your head asking yourself the same original question, what is SEO, contact us for some in depth and helpful information on the topics discussed.