Today, getting people on your website is about so much more than simply building a fancy website with a business logo and a catchy tagline.
But what exactly is SEO? How do you do SEO? And what exactly does SEO give you?
Below, we examine the basics of SEO to help give your website a boost in the search engine rankings and you a boost in the world of online business.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Essentially, it is the process of optimizing websites and web pages so that they're more likely to be served up in the search engine results, which are often referred to as the SERPs.
The better your site is optimized, the more free, organic traffic you'll start getting directly from search engines like Google and Bing.
Search engines use a wide range of factors to determine what a web page is about and whether that web page is a good fit for a search engine user's search query.
In other words, when you type in something like "SEO for new entrepreneurs" into Google, the search engine will parse through billions of websites and pages to find the ones that are most relevant to your search query.
Understanding what SEO is is simple enough, but understanding how to perform SEO is a whole different creature.
So with that in mind, let's take a look at the most essential thing you can do to help optimize your website.
One of the most critical factors used by search engines to determine a website's quality is its link profile.
You'll need to understand three types of links: internal links, external links, and backlinks.
Internal links refer to links within a website that point to other pages on the same website.
The anchor text of these links helps the search engine understand what the page that it's pointing to is about.
So, for example, if you have a link on your homepage with the anchor that says "SEO for beginners," and it's pointing to a blog post about that topic, it gives the search engine a basic understanding that the destination page is, in fact, about SEO for beginners.
External links are links that point from your website to other websites on the internet.
While these aren't anywhere as important as backlinks, search engines still like to see websites that point to other relevant, high-quality and trusted sources.
In other words, if you have a website about SEO, search engines will give more weight to your site if it has a large number of external links pointing to reputable sources, such as Wikipedia, Hubspot, or other digital marketing websites, which are most likely to provide valuable, in-depth information about the topic of SEO.
Of the three types of links mentioned here, backlinks are the most critical type of link you'll want to add to your link profile.
Essentially, backlinks act as votes of confidence from other websites, telling the search engines that your website contains valuable information about a given topic.
As a website owner, you can obtain backlinks in several ways, with the most prominent method being by guest posting on other relevant websites.
To do this, you'll first need to look for guest posting opportunities.
Once you've found relevant guest posting opportunities on other sites, you'll then create blog posts or content, which you will publish on those sites that will contain one or more links pointing back to your website.
The more backlinks you have from other websites, the more likely search engines will find, rank, and serve your site to online searchers.
Think about it this way; if no backlinks point to your site, why would a search engine think your website is worth serving up in its SERPs?
Internal links, external links, and backlinks are crucial factors for optimizing your website for search engines.
However, there are dozens of factors that search engines look at and that will affect your site's rankings.
Start by understanding the importance of building a solid link profile, and then, I recommend that you dive a little deeper to learn about the other steps you can take to help improve your site's SEO rankings.
Soon enough, you'll have your site ranking well, and you'll start seeing tons of traffic flooding to your site!