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SEO For Beginners – What Is SEO?
Are you struggling to get people to your website?
Not sure how to get Google to give your website a little love?
I’m Torie Mathis, and I’m here to show you that you don’t need crazy tech skills, stacks of cash, or a dedicated staff to get traffic to your website. What you need is to be SMART.
And the smart way to get traffic to your website is to understand how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works and how you can implement it on your website.
Five to ten years ago, you could get a ton of traffic from just posting on social media. If you wrote a blog post with an interesting title and an eye-catching picture, you could bet that people would click on it if they saw it on Facebook.
Websites like Buzzfeed took full advantage of this by creating endless listicles (like “22 Reasons Friends Is The Best Show Ever”). People would see these types of articles, click on them, and then share them with everyone they knew.
Since then, things have changed dramatically. Social media sites like Facebook realized they were pretty much giving away free publicity. And they decided if websites want to get more attention, they would have to pay for it.
So, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites started making it more difficult for you to grab people’s attention for free. What began as 10,000 people seeing your post now was only a tiny fraction of that. If you wanted to get more exposure, you would have to pay for it.
The end result is it’s now tough to get tons of traffic from social media. You either need a massive following or be willing to shell out cash to get seen.
This is why SEO now matters more than ever.
But What Is SEO?
SEO is the process of optimizing your website for search engines like Google. If you understand it and do it correctly, you can get a significant amount of consistent traffic for free from search engines.
It seems pretty simple, right?
Well, it is, sort of. The general concept of SEO is simple, but it’s a little more complicated in practice, which makes sense, of course. There are literally billions of web pages out there, and Google has to be able to go through all of them and give the most relevant ones to searchers.
One of the primary goals of your SEO is to make your website stand out from all the others out there. You want to make your website as attractive as possible to Google. The more appealing, the more it will be shown to searchers, and the more traffic you’ll get.
So, how do you make your website stand out in the eyes of Google? That’s exactly what we’re going to cover right now.
But first, you need to understand how it all works.
How Do Search Engines Work?
To understand SEO, it helps to have an understanding of how Search Engines like Google work. Search engines are incredibly complex, and Google is notoriously secretive about exactly how it works, but over the years, they have revealed some key information.
At its core, Google exists to return relevant information to searchers. That’s why we all use it, right? We trust that, for the most part, it will return information relevant to our searchers. If it didn’t do this, no one would use it. If you search for “tacos” and Google returns pages with farm tractors, that information would be useless to you. And you probably wouldn’t use Google again.
In order to make searchers happy, Google is always trying to find the best and most relevant information for each and every search. But how does it determine which pages are the best and most relevant?
Google Uses Ranking Factors
The Google algorithm uses more than 200 different factors when evaluating website pages. These factors help Google to figure out which pages to return in search results. You enter your search term, and Google evaluates billions of pages by all their ranking factors to find the best results that match your search.
In simple terms, the pages with higher “scores” are listed higher in search results than pages that have lower “scores.” The better a page ranks according to all the different ranking factors, the higher it will appear in the search results.
As you would expect, not all ranking factors are equal. Some are much more important than others. So which ones matter the most? Google hasn’t made it completely clear which ones are most important, but there is some agreement around a few:
● Search intent
● Page speed
● User experience
● Content freshness, depth, and accuracy
● Site authority
● Structured data
● Optimized for voice search
We’ll cover greater detail about each of these factors as we get further into this series. If you want to nerd out, check out Brian Dean’s post on Google’s 200 Ranking Factors. It is fascinating.
But don’t worry about all 200 factors; if you want to succeed with SEO, focus on the ones we’ll cover. We’re going to explore each of these SEO factors and what they mean for your website.
By the end of this series, you’ll have a greater sense of how SEO works, along with some specific action steps to increase the search traffic your website receives.
In the next video in the series, we’ll dive into SEO Factor #1: Search Intent
SEO For Beginners Series
What is SEO? <– you are here 🤩
Search Factor 1 – Search Intent
Search Factor 2 – Backlinks
Search Factor 3 – Page Speed
Search Factor 4 – User Experience
Search Factor 5 – Content Freshness & Depth
Search Factor 6 – Domain Authority
Search Factor 7 – Security
Search Factor 8 – Mobile Friendliness
Search Factor 9 – Structured Data
Search Factor 10 – Voice Search
SEO – Playing the Long Game
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.
What do you think? Let's talk! Leave a comment.
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Hi! I'm Torie!
I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money. And I make it easy!
You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be SMART.
Get Smart AF
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