SEO Survival Guide: Six Snippets for Starting SEO

Best Practices

By Nick Fountain:

SEO is a crucial practice of marketing that often goes unnoticed and uncovered in college classrooms across the nation. At least, I had not learned about what it was. Here’s a breakdown of the acronym: Search Engine Optimization. It may not be the sexiest aspect of your business, the belle of the ball or the focal point of a movie, but it is important nonetheless.

SEO is such a dynamic field of work it is hard to wrap your head around, especially if you are new to digital marketing. Even though I was introduced to the field in a baptized-by-fire sort of way, there is so much I have already learned. Here are six “rich snippets,” SEO humor, will help you adjust smoothly into SEO.

Are you an #SEO beginner? @NickRBM helps you survive & excel with these 6 snippets to help you transition into the wonderful world of Search Engine Optimization! Click To Tweet

1. SEO is Search Engine Optimization

Duh. But what exactly does mean? Many think it’s getting your website to the top of the search engine, which is correct in a sense. However, Moz.com, an industry expert website, defines it as the practice of increasing your chances to attract your target audience while boosting the traffic to your website through organic results, or unpaid results. Fortunately, SEO is becoming more human in nature as it grows in popularity. For more information on how Google’s search engine works, visit Google’s Webmaster page.

Beginning SEO Resources Red Branch Media Recommends:

SEO is a dynamic field that's hard to wrap your head around

2. SEO flows freely like a river; don’t get lost in the current

SEO is constantly changing, thanks to the fluid nature of the Internet. Luckily, there are many websites and tools can help you keep up with Google and other search engines. Yoast.com is a WordPress plugin, completely dedicated to optimizing websites and blog posts.

It provides tips based on how Google’s crawlers inspect pages, offering an on-page service to help understand the effectiveness of your strategy. It even helps calculate the readability of your content based on the Flesch Reading Ease. Remember, we might be optimizing for robots, but we’re still writing to humans.

Another tool we use is SEMRush. This site helps you track website traffic, traffic cost, backlinks, errors and anything else you want to know about a website’s SEO.

SEO Newsletters Red Branch Media thinks you should sign up for:

#SEO can be tricky. If you are struggling to grasp SEO, check out these 6 snippets of advice from @NickRBM: Click To Tweet

3. Quality over quantity, make your site appealing

Although keywords allow crawlers to search sites and content, they are not the most important aspect of SEO. Google and other engines are learning how to understand semantics. That’s right…they are learning! While this advancement in technology is neat, you have to write authentic content. Do not plaster your posts with keywords and variations of phrases. Write for your audience and crawlers will come. Authentic content will shoot you to the top of the search engines because it will be able to understand it was written for users. Establishing pages for user-generated content is one way to boost the number of authentic posts and SEO potential.

Along with content, you need to make your site user-friendly. This is another huge factor in drawing a crowd to your website. The user experience is almost as important as the authentic content you generate.

User Experience Experts Red Branch Media Thinks Rule!

4. Monkey See, Monkey Do

You can learn a lot from your peers. This includes both competitors and your target audience.

Keywords are how crawlers from google find you, therefore you must find the best keywords that relate to your website.If you are a mere blip on the radar or want more traffic, turn to your competitors. You can learn a lot from them. Tools like SEMRush allow you to view what your competitors rank for. However, taking the time to consider the content your competitors write and publish a great indicator of their SEO strategy. Of course, remember to put your own spin on their ideas. Imitation is a form of flattery, but it won’t look good on you.

Above all, consider the problems and challenges your buyer, user, etc. faces. Get into their head and think about what they Google on a daily basis. How can your product, software or service answer their needs? What will they be searching for in an attempt to find the answer/you? Any SEO strategy starts with the person you’re hoping will find your content, so give them the place they deserve in its creation. Building buyer personas is an amazing way to start diving into these questions.

Stuff Red Branch Media has written on buyer personas:

5. Stay light on your feet

Being adaptable is important when working in SEO thanks to the dynamic nature of SEO and how Google crawls the web. Google updates its algorithm frequently, therefore it is necessary to be aware of these changes and prepared to adjust your website accordingly. Again, Google changes its algorithm in an attempt to make search engine results better for humans.

If your strategy puts your audience at the top, chances are you will at least avoid getting penalized. Keep it genuine.

Stuff Red Branch Media thinks can help you keep up with SEO:

6. You will have questions; we all do

Though Google remains quiet on updates it implements, their Webmaster Central Blog can be a great resource. Do not be afraid to ask your leadership (if you’re on a team with SEO experts)! You are here to learn and develop a skill set makes you an asset for the next job you land! So why not ask questions and learn as much as possible? And take comfort in knowing even people with years of SEO experience have to continue brushing up on their knowledge. You might be an SEO beginner, but there’s a chance in your search to learn, you’ll uncover something even your superiors haven’t yet realized.

If you’re not on a team, look to the one place you’re hoping to understand most: the internet. There are more than a few amazing (and often free) websites and blogs filled with information on SEO. One of our favorites is Neil Patel.

SEO experts Red Branch Media thinks you should follow on Twitter!

So there you have it. Again, I am no expert in SEO, nor did I go to school for this particular subject, but these are six snippets of information  I think can help you adjust and thrive in the SEO field. To recap this article, we discussed:

  • Search Engine Optimization is increasing your chance of reaching your target audience.
  • There are many (free!) tools and resources to help you understand SEO.
  • Write for humans, not for robots.
  • You can learn a lot from your competitors and your audience.
  • Keep up with Google’s updates so you can optimize your site sooner.
  • If you are not curious, SEO may not be the right field for you.

Where’s your favorite place to learn about the latest SEO trends? Share it with us on Twitter @RedBranch!

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