What is SEO – And How Can It Help Me | Building Websites for Dummies

What is SEO – And How Can It Help Me

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation but this doesn’t really explain what SEO actually is and how it can help you.
In this post I am going to explain in simple terms What SEO is with no jargon and how you can use it to increase traffic to your Website or Blog.
1. The Search Engine part simply refers to Google, Bing, Yahoo and the other minor search engines we all use every day to search for stuff we want to know or find online.
2. Optimisation is the interesting bit. All of the search engines have an Algorithm ( an automated process) to decide which website best serves the customers search term. Based on a whole lot of metrics this algorithm ranks different posts and serves them up to the person searching as the best ones to Answer their search.
Based on these two things it is clear that if we want organic ( free ) traffic to our site we want the search engines to place us on at least page one if not number one on that page.

So How Do We Do That?

1) Make sure the search engines ( Google, Bing and Yahoo ) know you exist.
They cannot rank you if they don’t know you exist. You need to register your site with Google analytics and submit your sitemap. You also need to register your site with Bing Webmaster Tools and submit your sitemap to them too. You do not have to do this with Yahoo as Bing controls the Yahoo search engine. This will get your site indexed, but remember they index your posts separately. You can have some posts indexed and others not. I will show you how to get individual posts indexed later.
2) Make sure to title your post with a good Keyword Search term.
I say search term because rarely do you want to use just one word ( a Keyword ) as a title. You will want to use a sentence or at least a selection of words ( long tailed Keywords )
What you want is to closely match what people are entering in to their search engine. Unfortunately we are quite lazy and often write things like “good blog tips” Now this doesn’t make for a great title and would probably put the searcher off from reading it because it’s not great grammar and therefore wouldn’t raise much hope for its content. And all of this despite that’s what we searched for !
Rules to help you are :
a) Make sure plenty of people are searching for your keywords
b) Make sure it makes sense
c) make it interesting
How do we know what people are searching for so we know what to call our post?
This is where you need a Keyword Search tool. Google does provide a free one but it is very limited. You are better off investing in a good Keyword Search tool so you can beat the competition in terms of getting ranked. Take a read of my post What Is A Keyword Search Tool.
3) Write great content.
Make sure you use your title and Keywords in the first paragraph of your post. It is also helpful to put it into the last paragraph too, though not as vital. After that write what you want but make sure it is relevant to your title. Search engines read content and can determine whether it is relevant to the title and therefore to the reader.
Do not stuff your content with the keywords. This is old hat SEO and Google caught on very quickly that Keyword stuffed articles were not useful to their customers ( us ) You will be penalised by the search engines for this.
4) Use Internal links
The search engines want to give their customers the best reading experience. Using internal links within your posts, will suggest that the site has more to offer on a subject than just that post. Don’t link to an unrelated page that won’t help the reader. Make it relevant. The search engines can tell.
5) Get post engagement.
By engagement, I mainly mean comments on your post. The more comments you have, the more the search engines will recognise your post and site as being relevant and will reward you by raising you in their rankings.
Getting comments can be difficult if your post is not being seen. I have my Hosting with Wealthy Affiliate which is also a training and support community. We have a pay it forward system which allows for us to trade comments, so I usually get my first couple through them. Just to get the ball rolling. If you want to know more about Wealthy Affiliate read my review here.
This is not the only way to get the ball rolling. Belonging to Facebook Groups relating to your niche or general blogging ones is a good idea. Usually they have a comment share thread at some point during the week. I often use them too and find them just as useful. If you want access to my Fabulous Facebook Groups Click Here.
And in essence if you have done these things you have done almost as much as you can to optimise your SEO efforts. I am going to point you to my post 7 things you need to do once you hit publish to answer the question of getting individual posts indexed. If you do these 7 things you will definitely increase your SEO efforts.
You may read things about back links. These are links on other sites that link to your site. The old hat way was to get as many back links as you could but Google definitely doesn’t give them as much credibility in ranking posts any more. This is because people were selling back links and people were stuffing their sites with them. You can still buy them. Do Not Do This.
You can get natural backlinks which may help your SEO a little. Doing guest posts on other people’s sites is a good way to get these. Joining well known discussion forums like Quora where you may leave a link in a discussion is another good way to get them too.
Don’t stress about getting them though. I don’t, and I do okay in my rankings.
I hope this post has answered your question of What is SEO and how it can help you in getting organic traffic.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask either on here in the comments or through my Facebook page www.facebook.com/withgraceandg…
With Grace and Gratitude
Karen

  1. John

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    Very interesting article and topic, SEO really is important and something that many small online businesses tend to forget. I did not know this about purchasing backlinks, but it’s good that Google is punishing them. The organic traffic seems to be the right way to go.

    Found a few tips here that I will implement on my own website and hopefully bring more traffic. Is there any way to get more information on the algorithms used by the search engines? That way you could try to optimize towards that.
    Best regards,
    John

    1. Karen Noone

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      Hi John and thanks for reading. I’m pleased you found a few pointers.
      If you want to find out more about Googles algorithms take a read of this. https://goo.gl/KHBuUh
      Hope you find it useful.
      With Grace and Gratitude
      Karen

  2. Ashley

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    This is great info… I know all this “stuff” exists but honestly when the topic of algorithms and stuff some up it can be a little intimidating and leaves me unsure of what steps to take… Thanks for the great info! 🙂

    1. Karen Noone

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      Thanks for reading Ashley,
      Don’t worry about the algorithms, just stick to the basics in this post and you will get ranked.
      With Grace and Gratitude
      Karen

  3. Anissa

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    I am always researching post to help me with SEO. I’m glad you thoroughly explained it . Now I can fix my post to reflect it!

    1. Karen Noone

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      Hi Anissa and thanks for reading.
      I’m pleased I could be of help to you.
      With Grace and Gratitude
      Karen

  4. Gail

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    Hi Karen. Thank you for explaining these terms in such an authoritative and thorough way. It can be difficult when you undertake a new venture to keep up to speed with all the new jargon and acronyms that the more-experienced users seem to bandy about. Great to have found this site where you explain things so clearly. Thanks again.

    1. Karen Noone

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      Hi Gail and thank you for reading.
      I’m glad I you liked my post. My aim with this site is to help people with websites or blogs to cut through the jargon and realise that it doesn’t have to be hard work or complicated.
      With Grace and Gratitude
      Karen

  5. Monika

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    Aaaah! Guidlines for dummies like me! Love it 🙂 Finally somebody put it in words that I can easily understand. Thank you so much! As I am just about to move my blog to self-hosting and planning to focus on SEO, I find this incredibly useful and definitely bookmarking! 🙂

    1. Karen Noone

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      Hi Monika, glad I could be of use to you. Good luck with the change over to self hosting. It is definitely worth it if you want to monetise your site.
      None of us are dummies but my aim with this site is to help everyone understand building blogs and websites, does not have to be as complicated as some make out.
      With Grace and Gratitude
      Karen

  6. TheHappyFoodKitchen

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    This is so briliantly written and clear. I am going to go through it and apply it to my blog this week bit by bit as I’m not doing all I should be. Thanks for this, super helpful.

    1. Karen Noone

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      Hi and thank you for your kind comments. I’m pleased I have been of help to you. Do not hesitate to come back and ask if you have any questions.
      With Grace and Gratitude
      Karen

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