A no-nonsense, beginners guide to SEO | Ascend
January 20, 2023
A no-nonsense, beginners guide to SEO
If you have an online presence, you need SEO. It really is as simple as that. Without it, you risk losing business to competitors and missing out on good search rankings.
But if you’re new to SEO, it’s hard to know where to start.
Sure, SEO is technical. But you don’t have to be an expert to know how it works and how to implement SEO best practices on your website to get better results.
In this article, we’ll show you what SEO is, how it works, and some top tips for successfully optimising your website for SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It’s the process of improving the quality (and quantity) of traffic to your website from search engines like Google.
Unlike PPC, SEO targets unpaid traffic. It doesn’t use any paid methods (like paid ads) to attract customers. Instead, it all comes naturally from how you optimise your website. In other words. It’s all organic traffic.
The goal of SEO is to expand your company’s visibility online. As a result, you’ll get more visitors, increasing your chances of more conversions, leads, and revenue.
How does SEO work?
We won’t go into the technicality of SEO in too much detail, but to sum it up, here’s how it works.
Search engines perform these functions:
- Crawling. Search engines crawl the internet to find web pages.
- Indexing. They then put all the content they find into a giant database.
- Ranking. The search engine then ranks all the content.
The way that you optimize your website will influence how the search engine crawls, indexes, and ranks your website. The better optimized it is, the higher your ranking will be.
If you want more detail, you can find out more about the specifics of SEO on Google’s website.
Why is SEO important?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons SEO is important for businesses:
- Reach the right audience. When you optimize your site effectively, you’ll start appearing in the right searches. This means that when your target audience is searching for what you’re selling, they’ll easily be able to find you.
- Improve brand perception. Show consumers that your website is up to date and worth clicking by appearing in the top searches
- Raise brand awareness. Reach more consumers by appearing in the top searches on Google.
- Increase chances of conversions. Studies show that the average click rate for the top position in Google’s rankings is 28.5%. From here, it drops drastically.
The higher you are in the rankings, the more likely you are to get a click. And with more people heading to your website, the more likely you are to get conversions.
Top tips for successfully optimising your website for SEO
There are lots of different ways you can improve the SEO of your website. To give you a good starting point, we’ve outlined some of the basic principles you should follow.
Use the right keywords
To effectively optimise your website, you need to target the right words and phrases. If you don’t, you won’t appear in the right searches - which makes it harder for your audience to find you.
So how do you know which keywords you should target?
There are a few different ways to approach this. Here are a couple of the most common:
- Base your keywords around search volume. This involves targeting relevant words and phrases with high search volume to reach a wide audience. However, it’s important to know that it can be hard to rank well for popular phrases — especially if you’re a new business. A lot of well-established companies dominate the rankings for high volume phrases.
- Optimise based on niche phrases. If you struggle to rank well for popular phrases, find search terms with lower volume that are more specific to your business. For example, instead of trying to rank for ‘coffee shop’, you could focus on ‘independent coffee shop in Cardiff’.
If you’re still not sure which words and phrases you should target, let us help. Contact the Ascend team and we can put you on the right track.
Create high-quality content
Google is smart. If you’re trying to cram in all your keywords without creating quality and relevant content, it’ll penalise your rankings.
Instead, focus on creating high-quality and in-depth content — especially in your blog articles. Not only will this show Google that you’re not keyword stuffing, but it’ll also add more value to your visitors.
This leads us nicely to our next point.
Think about the user experience
Creating a good user experience can have a positive impact on your SEO rankings. Why? Because with a good user experience, visitors are more likely to stay on your website for longer.
If a visitor lands on your website and doesn’t know where to go to find what they need, they’ll leave. This short interaction tells Google that your website isn’t helpful to visitors, and your rankings can suffer as a result.
Think about how you can make your website as user-friendly and intuitive as possible. For example, creating clear call-to-action buttons or having a well-structured site.
Talk to Ascend’s SEO experts for all your optimization needs
In this article, we’ve really just scratched the surface of SEO. To get the best results, you should use a combination of all the best practices. But if you’re not an SEO expert, it’s hard to know what you should or shouldn’t do. This is where using an SEO agency can be helpful.
Our SEO team is prepared and ready to help you elevate your online presence. We take the time to understand your business, learning everything there is to know about your product or service, your competitors, and who you’re trying to target. From here, we’ll create an SEO strategy that’s suited to your specific goals.