Search Engine Optimization: The Basics of SEO & How to Get Started

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website's ranking in search engines by making it more appealing to the millions of potential customers searching the web. What does this mean?

Well, when someone types a keyword into a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo!, and your site shows up on the first page of results, that means you are SEO-optimized!

But how do you get your site to show up on the first page for popular keywords? What exactly does SEO involve? And what can you do as an online business owner to enhance your website's visibility for these important queries? What forms of SEO exist and what are their functions? This article will answer all these questions and more!


SEO Vocabulary You Should Know

Common terms from a practical standpoint are not important but it is beneficial knowing their meanings and how they all complement each other in their own unique way.

  • Local SEO - A must for any business or service that serves its clients in a specific local area. Optimizing Your Online Presence to target and build a local audience of loyal customers.

  • Technical SEO - Covers various aspects of SEO like website scalability, website speed, handling larger amounts of data, improving SEO for mobile devices, and enhancing a page with Schema markup.

  • On-Page SEO - This is any SEO work that you do to your site's content. You can optimize the title tags, headings, and meta descriptions of each page, ensure your site structure is correctly set up to provide customers a great user experience, and also use SEO techniques such as keyword research and image optimization.

  • Off-Page SEO - This is SEO work which is the opposite of On-Page SEO. The Off-Page SEO process includes optimizations that are done outside of your websites such as link building, social media marketing, guest blogging to bring traffic from relevant sites that relate to your niche or industry.

  • SERP or SERPs - Search Engine Results Page is the page displayed by search engines in response to someone's search query.

Local SEO: The Secret to Explosive Growth for Local Businesses

Local SEO is a game-changer for any business that operates locally. SEO strategies continue to evolve over time, one thing we have noticed is that if you want your locally ran business to benefit from SEO and rank well in search results, then Local SEO is the way to go. Local SEO narrows down your competition to other businesses in your service area when done correctly. By reducing the number of large corporations and established businesses that are located outside of your service area, you have an exponentially better chance of ranking at the top of search engine results.

local seo is crucial for local business success online

Reducing your competition to only local businesses is one of the best ways to jump ahead in search results and ensure the majority of your visitors are potential customers. You can start with creating and optimizing your Google My Business Page, Localizing every page of your website and submitting your site to local business directories. SEO has many benefits that are especially important for small businesses that operate on a local level.

 

So, What Is Localization?

Localization is a process that ensures that your website pages are optimized for people in the area, and for telling search engines where your target audience is located. Localization includes adding demographic keywords to your content, Localizing every page of your website, and submitting your site to local business directories. Localizing every page of your website includes adding location details to your titles, headings, and meta descriptions.

*Example*

Non-localized title tag -

"Increase Organic Traffic With Local SEO - RYSE SEO"

Localized title tag -

"Increase Organic Traffic With Local SEO | RYSE SEO | St. Petersburg"

Although the difference is just including the city, state or county in the title tags of your website, the impact can be the difference when it comes to your site ranking on the first page compared to the 3rd.

=> Localization can help you rank better on search engines by optimizing for people in the area and search engine bots. Local SEO narrows down the competition to only businesses in the service area.

 

How Your Business Can Benefit From Technical SEO In A Huge Way

In short, the key improvements you'll notice from Technical SEO are...

-Improve Your Ranking on SERPs

-Increase Conversions

-Build and Grow An Online Presence


Technical SEO is a subset of general search engine optimization or "SEO." This type of modification to the website code improves its visibility on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

There are many technical aspects that can have big impacts on rankings including site speed, backlinks/inbound links, page load time, technical errors such as broken images and media files. All these technical factors contribute in some way to how well you rank with relevant queries related to your target audience's keywords. If you don't optimize each element properly then it significantly hampers your ability to reach the relevant audience you need to succeed.

structured data is part of technical SEO
Use Technical SEO to Generate Featured Snippets In SERPs

When you begin implementing technical SEO into your website, be sure you have a Google Search Console set up properly to analyze all of the technical aspects of your web pages. Google Search Console "GSC" is the holy grail of technical information when it comes to maintaining a healthy and functional website that will rank well on google.

Some insights you can view on GSC include page speed, page ranking positions for individual keywords, mobile-friendliness, listing enhancements and a ton of other useful information you will need to claim the top spot of search results.

We highly recommend you consider technical SEO for your online business. It will improve your ranking, increase conversions and build an online presence!

 

On-Page SEO: How It's Done and Why You Can't Succeed Without It!

To get started with On-Page SEO, you'll need to know what terms your customers use to find what you are offering, we call this "Keyword Research". I can't stress enough how crucial it is that keyword research is done properly, doing this step wrong will have a snowball effect as you will optimize your site for words people may never use!

Attract Free, Converting Traffic Using Keyword Research

We love using Google's Keyword Planner, a tool for researching the most popular terms and phrases people are using to find our products and services online. The Keyword Planner will give you an overview of how much traffic each term gets, how competitive or hard to rank it may be, as well as related search terms and phrases you may not have thought of.

on-page SEO is a staple of all SEO strategies

When researching search terms and phrases people are regularly using to find your products, be sure to look for user intent. Are they searching for something to buy? Needing information about something? Looking for directions? User intent is valuable to analyze as you'll want to only select phrases with the intent you are targeting. Pairing user intent with relevant search terms is our own recipe for success in finding high-converting long-tail keywords.

Optimize Your Page Content With Long-Tail Keywords

You need to set up your On-Page SEO properly throughout your entire site in order to rank well on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). Begin with optimizing your site structure in a way that maximizes the user experience when navigating your website. Linking internally from one page to another that is related to the topic, will boost your page authority in the eyes of search engines.


Optimizing your site content for SERPs is a combination of well-thought-out keyword placement at the beginning of your page title tags, headings, meta descriptions and image alt tags. Including the exact keyword you are targeting in the URL of the page has also been shown to provide a small boost to SEO.


Title tags and meta descriptions are vital to your on-page optimization success.

Your title tag should be kept under 70 characters and written with the purpose of catching a user's attention while ensuring to clearly define what the page is about.

Remember that On-Page SEO success relies on in-depth, thorough research of search terms and key phrases being queried by your target audience. Only after researching will you be able to create an effective On-Page SEO strategy that acts as a magnet for highly relevant traffic.

 

Off-Page SEO Must Be Focused on Quality Over Quantity

Off-page SEO is a practice that includes offsite link building. This off-page technique complements on-site optimization and can be an effective way to increase rankings in SERPS. When off-page SEO is done correctly, it will help you rank higher than your competitors and attract more relevant traffic.

There are many off-page techniques that can boost the quality of your content's ranking in SERPs but they all require time and effort to implement properly. All off-page techniques have some benefits as well as drawbacks or negative consequences if not implemented properly so be sure to research them carefully before deciding which one is best for your online business.

Off-Page SEO Techniques: Guest Posting & Link Building!

Guest Posting is the process of writing a post and submitting it to an authoritative site in your niche, with an agreement that they will publish your article in exchange for linking back to them. The benefit of doing this off-page technique is gaining valuable links from high-quality websites all around the world, which can include other blogs, major publications, directories and more! (Just make sure the sites you guest post on are relevant to your site and are full of quality content!)

infographic showing how backlinking works for off-page seo

Link Building can be done in many ways, with the end goal of getting other sites to link back to you in their content, like blog posts. Our most efficient method of Link Building has been creating highly informative content that has been well researched. Everyone wants amazing content, but many are not willing to do the work involved to create amazing content.

Fortunately, we like hard work as it is often heavily rewarded! People in your industry will appreciate that you've saved them a lot of work by linking back to the information you collected!

Link building also means getting people who have already built their reputation online (think social media influencers) to mention what you offer in their content as well as asking people active in social media networks like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to share your page and its content to their followers, who then hopefully share it again and so on...

 

In the End, A Complete SEO Strategy Is The Key to Ranking High In SERPs

When it comes to the basics of SEO, the words "strategy" and "planning" are often used in conjunction with one another. And for good reason! It's important to have a complete SEO strategy when developing your site so that you rank high on SERPs and avoid penalties.

Every aspect of Search Engine Optimization should be taken into consideration from local SEO, keyword research, link building strategies, technical optimization tips (title tags, meta descriptions) social media marketing efforts etc., every single part of the process is just as crucial as all other aspects - if not more critical-to-success than others. A well thought out SEO plan will make sure no stone goes unturned or overlooked within any phase of an online venture which ensures success across the board whether

A good practice is conducting a comprehensive website SEO audit before starting to develop your SEO strategy so that we can make sure everything is optimized internally first. This includes things like meta titles and descriptions as well as alt tags with appropriate keywords. Links should be no-followed when linking out from our own site (unless it's relevant). Particularly urgent matters include fixing broken links and removing duplicate content issues.

Take These SEO Tips and Put Them to Work For Your Site

You should now have a decent grip on the core elements that make up the always-changing landscape of Search Engine Optimization!

If you have a site of your own, id recommend attempting to audit the site and find sections that are lacking visibility to optimize and try to get more relevant traffic clicking through and hopefully converting!

Never forget the SEO process is never-ending, it is a cycle of trial and error that can always be improved. The best thing you can do RIGHT NOW to increase visibility in SERPs is to START. Find the writing style that fits your niche and start producing quality content on a daily basis that people love to consume.

 

Too Busy to Optimize and Maintain All That Goes Into Professional SEO?

If you’re reading this, it means that the world of SEO might be intriguing to you. Whether your goal is to rank on page one for a specific keyword or improve your conversion rate and get more traffic from organic search, we can help!

Our team at RYSE SEO will work with you closely to develop an effective SEO strategy tailored specifically for your business needs. We have expertise in every facet of digital marketing including local SEO, technical SEO, on-page optimization (SEO), off-page optimization (link building and content creation) plus much more. Get started today by calling us now or booking a FREE consult below!


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