Rag, Tag and Bobtail’s Guide to SEO (for dummies)
Trying to explain SEO is like opening a huge can of worms. I’ve lost count the times I’ve tried to explain the pitfalls and differences between on-site and off-site SEO to my clients, so I thought it would benefit everyone if I put together a small guide on SEO (for dummies). So welcome to Rag, Tag and Bobtail’s guide to SEO (for dummies).
So, you have a new site – and of course you want it to start ranking on Google. How well you do is going to depend on a lot of different variables. Competition, Backlinks, Content, Domain Authority and Page Speed are the ones we shall focus on.
(Piechart provided by https://thehelpfulmarketer.com/blog/free-seo-tools/ – which is full of useful SEO information!)
THE TWO TYPES OF SEO
There are two types of SEO – “ON SITE SEO” and “OFF SITE SEO”.
Off-site SEO is everything that happens to market your website away from your website. Social Media, generating backlinks, Google Advertising, Word-of-mouth, leaflet campaigns… you get the picture.
On-site SEO is making sure your website pleases Mr Google. This means it’s got to be fast. Page Speed is a big factor – and that’s the responsibility of your web designer (me hopefully!).
You can check your pagespeed using GTMETRIX. Some people get hung up on getting a perfect score. I don’t think the score is too important (as long as it’s not too low!) – and spending too much time trying to get 100 is a waste of time and resources!
Your website has also got to be responsive. Mobile optimisation. And above all, have good, useful, keyword optimised content. The more content the better!
RAG’s PARAGRAPH ABOUT COMPETITION
Say you are a Butcher, and you want a website advertising your Butcher’ shop.
Nobody is going to find you on Google by searching for “Butcher”. The competition is too great! (unless you have a MEGA DA – but more about that later…)
But the keyphrase “Butcher in Cheadle” – is targeting your local market – and have a much greater chance of showing up on the first page of Google.
Take this article for example. It’s never going to show up on Google for people searching for “guide to SEO” – but I bet you a fish supper that it’s going to show up on the first page of Google if you look up “Rag, Tag and Bobtail’s Guide to SEO”. *
*Obviously nobody is ever going to search for “Rag, Tag and Bobtail’s guide to SEO” – I’m using this as a clever example!
To gain an advantage over the other Cheadle Butchers – you want…
- The fastest website, modern, and mobile responsible.
- More helpful content, optimised for they keyphrase “Butcher in Cheadle”
BOB’s PARAGRAPH ABOUT KEYWORD OPTIMISATION
I realise I am using the word “optimisation” an awful lot – maybe I should explain in a bit more detail.
You can’t simple fill up your website by writing “Butcher in Cheadle” again and again (although that used to work!) – that is called “keyword stuffing” and will earn you a slap on the wrist by Google, and a decline in your search engine standing. No, there has to be a decent percentage of keywords against the entirety of your homepage content.
So 800 words describing your business, with “Butcher in Cheadle” appearing 6 or 7 times should be somewhere near where you want to be. This is what in the biz like to call “Keyword Strategy”.
There’s a whole lot more to it than I care to explain here, for example Headings, External links, Inbound links – but it’s nearly time for my Gin and Tonic, and this article is just to cover the basics!
Having the keyphrase in your domain name also helps – “Butcherincheadle.co.uk” – you’ve already given yourself an advantage over Mr Bones the Butcher next door.
It’s a worn out phrase in SEO – but it still holds true: “CONTENT IS KING!” – Useful content which will make the reader keep reading and likely click elsewhere on your site.
BOBTAIL EXPLAINS ABOUT BACKLINKS
This is the big one. Generate enough backlinks to your website and you’ll be winning. But, it’s also the hardest to do. This is usually what SEO agencies are for, and why they are so expensive.
Each website has something called “Domain Authority (DA)” – which is a score between 1 and 100. Imagine Amazon – they probably have a DA of 100, the same with Facebook, Ebay, Booking.com etc. The big players. Websites with a huge number of “backlinks” (other websites linking back to them.)
The new “Butcher in Cheadle” website will start off with a very low DA – because they have no backlinks. If there are two butchers in cheadle – the website with the higher DA will probably rank first.
So how do you increase your Domain Authority?
Answer: By getting other websites with a good authority score to link back to your website! This will tell Google that “Hey, this website has attracted the interest of the big players. This website must be a player, too!”
It’s important to note that just any website linking back to you won’t be of much help. In fact, if a spammy website or spam contents link back to your site, you’re doing more damage to your domain Authority.
Obviously, there is a lot more to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation by the way) – but this article is meant to highlight the most important points, and save me having to explain it over and over and over!
Many thanks for reading Rag, Tag and Bobtail’s Guide to SEO (for dummies)! (You notice me trying to squeeze the keyphrase in again there at the end!)
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