We’re regularly asked “What is SEO?” so here’s a run-down of what it means and how you can do it more effectively for your website.
Hi there. In this video, were going to look at Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and I’m going to call it SEO from here on in. And the point of it really is because there’s an awful lot of confusion out there about what SEO really means, and what you can do about it for your website to get found in the search engines. And to sum it all up, SEO is all about the activity and the things that you do to get the search engines — and, of many, Google is the dominant player — to rank your website well so it can not only be found on the search engines, but also when the people do find it, they’ll click the link and come to visit your website.
And I’m not going to go into the fine-tuning and the fine details of it. I want to just go through a few points to explain how you can begin to get started in SEO and, more importantly, why it’s important that essentially you get to grips with this.
So, first of all, What is SEO?
Well, as I said, it’s a way of getting the search engines to pay attention to your website with a view to giving it a good ranking, with a view to getting traffic. But what does that mean? Well, let me tell you a bit of a story.
Some of you, if you’re my age, and perhaps a little younger, will remember a film called Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner. And in that film, Kevin Costner was building this baseball pitch out in the middle of nowhere. And the catch phrase throughout the whole film was, “If you build it, they will come.” It was a visitor center, and that was it. “If you build it, they will come.” And that used to be the case with websites. You could build it, and traffic would happen almost automatically. These days, it’s no longer the case. And we’re asked quite regularly, “Why isn’t our website ranking?” And we always say, “Well, what kind of activity, what kind of SEO work are you doing?” And they usually say something like, “Well, um, we’ve got tags, we’ve got a blog, we’ve got social media.”
We normally end up having to go into great detail about how to develop SEO, but more importantly, what SEO actually is.
So SEO is all about activity on and around your website.
So let’s have a look at the things that used to work. Tags, metatags on your website, you still need them, but they’re not nearly as important as they were. They only make up a small percentage of the picture that Google gives to any website before it gives it a ranking. Backlinks are very, very important. But, again, it’s a question of what backlinks you have, how they’re developed, what sources they come from, what words they use in the backlink, if it’s part of a wider body of text, and so on. Not quite as simple as just going and creating a load of backlinks.
Social media only goes so far
Social media: I hate to break it to you, guys, but social media actually only only brings in a small amount of SEO credibility for your activity. So your stuff on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and all the others, only forms part of the picture. And so you’ve got to have a little bit more than that. You’ve also got things like forums, you’ve got other websites, you’ve got blogging. And content creation is a very important factor, and that was covered elsewhere on this website.
So you’ve got to have a content marketing strategy as well as your SEO strategy as well. Now, they don’t have to be two separate things. It could just be an overall strategy. We’re going to create this content, and we’re going to do this activity with it. So let’s get started to just give you some idea of what I mean by SEO.
Comments and engagement
So imagine we start with your website. And on your website, you’re going to have bits of content. You’re have pages and blog posts. And on those blog posts, if you’ve done the job well, you’re going to have things like comments, hopefully. You want to engage those who come to your website, visit your blog post, and get them involved in some kind of discussion. And from an SEO perspective, this is a big plus. Many people who own blogs and, if you go open up the blog on your WordPress site, please allow comments. And that doesn’t mean that everybody and their horse is just going to upload a load of spam comments. You can manage that. There’s a couple of tools you can use, and they are covered on the website about how to manage spam comments on your website.
But I can’t emphasize this one enough, comments are key. If you allow people to make comments on your website, then you will be doing yourself a huge favor when it comes to SEO because it makes your website so much more dynamic when the search engines come taking a look. So there’s your website, and all of this stuff is on your website. Now, around your website, you’ll have other things like, Twitter. Hopefully, if you use Twitter, you’ll be doing it daily, once a day at the very least. And, if you use a tool like Hootsuite, which we will be covering on the website, then you’ll be able to do that nice and easily.
Maybe you have a Facebook page. Again, you need to be active on Facebook, engaging with people, inviting people, encouraging people to make comments on your Facebook page. Now, I know these two things here don’t necessarily create a lot of SEO points. But what it does is create activity around your site. If your site has pictures, you could have Pinterest. Pinterest is important for websites where there’s a lot of graphical content, or images, or photographs, or you’ve got a product or service which lends itself to this stuff.
You NEED video on your site
You could also have video. Video marketing and video SEO is a huge topic, which we’re covering elsewhere. Do you have a YouTube channel or a video channel? And, if so, are you embedding those videos into your pages and posts? And, if you’re not, why not? See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRvjFDBhJ4g
Email and other media are useful too
You could also have things like email marketing. Do you send out email marketing? Do you make sure your website is prominent on all of your paper, offline activities like your business cards, like your email photos?
And, when you put all of this together, when the search engines come looking at your website, what they’re looking for is not just the activity on your site because you’ve got to have a blog. In my opinion, every single website that belongs to a business ought to have a blog and that blog needs to be active.
How often should you add blog posts?
Google will give you greater credibility if you’re regularly adding blog content to your site. I’m not talking about writing something every day, but if you’re able to write one, or two blog posts a week of anywhere up to 400, maybe 500 words, again, not writing massive amounts, that will do you a huge amount of good in the search engines.
If you can write five a month, that will be enough. And, then, you promote those five a month around your site through the social media, through video, through comments on your website, through email marketing, and all sorts of other activities where you let other people know who write blogs that you’ve written something which may be of use to them, and so on. See http://buzzwebsitedesign.com/why-blogging-is-important-for-your-website/
The idea behind it, again, like I just said, is to create activity on your website, and then activity around your website. What Google wants to see, a website sort of dynamic, where you’ve obviously taken a little bit more thought than just creating the website, putting in a few tags, writing one or two blog posts, and then just leaving it. I promise you, that is SEO death. It really is condemning your website to never being found for your search terms.
You need to be active. You need to be proactive. The Field of Dreams thing might have worked for Kevin Costner, but I promise you, it’s never going to work for your website. If you build it, they won’t just come. You’ve got to go out there and encourage them to come. And the search engines will take notice, and the search engines will come looking, and the search engines will start bumping you up the rankings the more you do and the more frequently you do it.
Promote your blog on other sites
So I hope that’s been okay. I hope that’s given you some idea as to what SEO is all about and, hopefully, some of what it isn’t. My advice to you is go start writing a blog post. Make sure that you’re promoting these blog posts around the social media and around the website. Make sure you’re actively promoting your blog on other websites, on other people’s blogs, and also on other places like forums, and content sites, etc. Make sure you’re promoting your blog on email marketing. If you write a blog post, can you send that out to your customer base or your contact list? A way of getting them to pay attention, come to your blog post.
Now, here’s another quick thing. When you start to get traffic, Google will know. And, if you start to get traffic, Google will likely come back more regularly. And, because of your efforts, your site becomes more popular. Google will start to bump you up the rankings because it becomes an ever-increasing circle. It’s a bit like a snowball rolling down the hill. The more momentum it gains, the faster it goes, and the more snow it collects along the way. So go for the big snowball. Create traffic. Create activity on your site and around it.
Hopefully that’s explained the question ‘What is SEO?’ and I hope you’ll be able to use this info. If you’ve any questions or comments then please let us know in the comments below: